To work at their best, air conditioners, like every other appliance, need some TLC. In hot weather, it’s the air conditioner issues that haven’t been properly maintained that complain the most.
We asked air conditioner experts and Consumer Reports research engineers to describe the most common air conditioner issues that arise with window and central air conditioners so you don’t lose your composure as the weather warms up. They identified some common air conditioner issues that need to be resolved right away. There’s also a list of the best air conditioners for mini, medium, and big spaces.
The most common air Conditioner issue concerns all window units and central air conditioning systems, and it’s also the simplest to repair.
Here are some common questions to ask that will help you keep your air conditioner running efficiently over the summer.
1. Is the filter clogged? A clogged duct limits airflow, lowering performance and reducing the ability to efficiently cool the air, regardless of the kind of air conditioner you have. Make sure you clean the filter in your window or portable air conditioner lately and then check it on a regular basis. Check the filter manufacturer’s recommendations for when to replace it in central air conditioning systems. HVAC filters lasted anywhere from three to twelve months in CR’s research.
Please remember that if your central air conditioning system is on all the time or if you have pets, you’ll have to check your filters more often. “Nine times out of ten, when we get complaints about central air systems that aren’t running properly, it’s due to a filthy filter,” says Stewart Unsdorfer, owner of Central Heating & Air Conditioning in Cleveland.
2. Is it too warm in here? Your window air conditioner is installed in a window that receives direct sunshine during the day, it would have to work harder to keep your room cold. If you have the choice, relocate it to a more shady place. If not, have your shades and curtains closed throughout the day to keep the sun out of your home to keep it from heating it up.
3. Is there any warm air leaking in? Check the seals inside the window air conditioner to ensure that neither hot and cold air is leaking in. If required, re-seal the area around your unit with weather stripping.
According to Chris Regan, CR’s senior air conditioner tester, “most modern window units come with insulation panels to insert over the plastic flexible side panels.” “However, you’ll also need to use weather stripping along the exterior of the machine to improve performance. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation and safety instructions.”
4. Does the window air conditioner vibrate? The vibration of the fan and the sound of the compressor cycling on and off create a lot of noise in an air conditioner. These sounds are to be anticipated. However, if the device vibrates, it’s possible that it was mounted improperly. Make sure it’s firmly in place in the window, then go through the assembly notes in your owner’s manual to make sure you didn’t forget something.
5. Is the thermostat set to the proper temperature? You can more effectively adjust the temperature in your home with a smart or programmable thermostat so that it’s cool when you’re home and a little colder when you’re not. If the temperature doesn’t seem right, make sure the thermostat isn’t in direct sunshine. Which might cause it to record the incorrect temperature.
6. Are the registers clogged or dirty? If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, clean the registers on a daily basis to prevent any dust accumulation. Be sure that nothing is stopping the airflow into your registers, such as furniture or other items.
7. Is the compressor swamped with plants? To function properly, the outdoor central air compressor needs sufficient ventilation. So leave at least 2 to 3 feet between it and any plants or structures. There should also be a 5-foot clearance between the unit’s roof and any trees above it.
8. Do you recall your annual physical examination? A professional HVAC inspection will detect any major air conditioner issues before they worsen and leave you hot and bothered. The technician may inspect all moving parts as well as the refrigerant and, if possible, recharge the device.
Do you want a new air conditioner? If your home air conditioner is resolving. Be sure the air conditioner is the right model for the space it’ll be cooling. You can check out a list of several different air conditioning models from various firms. That did well in CR’s evaluations. More information can be found in our complete air conditioner reviews.