Common Issues With Older ACs

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With regular maintenance and timely professional repairs, a home air conditioner can last at least a decade. If your unit has gone through more than a handful of Minnesota summers, you may begin to notice one or more of these common issues with older ACs. Bloomington Heating & Air provides high-quality repairs and service for most major HVAC systems. Don’t let a common issue bring your unit down — call us today to schedule an appointment!

1. Faulty Wiring

If your home’s air conditioner was installed before you moved in, and it’s unclear who installed it or when, faulty wiring may be involved. The issue can be isolated to the unit itself or extend to the home, either way posing the risk of electrical issues, such as sporadic shut-offs when the unit is running, or a fire.

2. Misaligned Thermostat Sensor

The thermostat sensor for air conditioning units is found behind the system’s control panel and over time may either lose its connection with the evaporator coils or have too much contact. When this happens, you’ll likely notice it cycling on and off more frequently which can contribute to premature wear and tear of internal parts. Also, the home may feel too hot or cool and cause your utility bill to spike with the cycling.

3. Fan Issues

Two fans help move warm air from the home — one near the evaporator coils and the other outside in the condenser unit. Each fan depends on many other internal components to properly function, including belts, motors, and adequate levels of lubrication. Issues may also develop if the fan blades are bent, such as from debris or direct contact. If you notice or suspect any type of fan issue, call Bloomington Heating & Air right away. Without ample air flow through the system, the compressor is susceptible to failure which often leads to a full system replacement.

4. Refrigerant Leaks

If you’ve noticed the air conditioner struggles to produce an ample amount of cool air, regardless of the thermostat setting, you likely have a refrigerant leak. Without a precise level of refrigerant, the AC is unable to effectively pull warm air from the home. A leak generally starts as small and relatively unnoticeable but can quickly drain from the unit. But if the low level is related to the compressor, the answer to when to replace air conditioner is now.

5. Electrical Failure

The older your unit is, the more likely it’ll experience an electrical failure of some kind. These common air conditioner problems include failed capacitors, open and/or sealed relays, and circuit breakers that trip on a regular basis.

6. Inefficiency

How efficient an air conditioner is has a direct correlation to the amount of energy used to cool the home. The more energy used, generally the higher your cooling costs will be. It’s not uncommon for an older system to be inefficient, even with diligent maintenance and repairs.

7. Ice Build-Up

It may sound like a contradiction, but many older air conditioners have ice build-up on the evaporator coils, even during this time of year. The thickness depends on the severity of the root cause, such as a clogged air filter, failing condenser, or refrigerant leak.

8. Leaking Air Ducts

An extension but integral part of any air conditioner — and common location for ac repair in older systems — are the air ducts. Break and holes aren’t uncommon in the ductwork but any issues, such as cracked or missing connection seals, need to be repaired quickly. Otherwise, the system releases cool air into the walls and other air pockets rather than in individual rooms where it’s wanted.

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