The Top Causes of AC Unit Failure and How to Prevent Them

Learn about the most common causes of AC unit failure and how to prevent them from an expert in the field of air conditioning. Keep your AC unit running smoothly with these maintenance tips.

The Top Causes of AC Unit Failure and How to Prevent Them

As an expert in the field of air conditioning, I have encountered numerous cases of AC unit failure. While there are various reasons why an AC unit may stop working, there are a few common causes that stand out above the rest.

Inadequate maintenance

is by far the most common cause of AC unit failure. When air filters and coils are not regularly cleaned, the unit will not function properly and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely. This is why it is crucial to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for filter maintenance, whether that means changing it monthly, every three months, or cleaning it when it becomes dirty. To determine if a filter needs to be cleaned, simply hold it up to a light source.

If no light passes through, it's time for a cleaning. Not only do dirty filters reduce airflow, but they can also cause the AC unit to freeze. Another simple solution is to make sure that the thermostat is turned on, that the interior is clean and level, and that it is not affected by sunlight. If these basic maintenance tasks do not solve the issue, there may be another problem at play. Like filters, drain lines can also become clogged with dirt, dust, and lint.

If this happens, the drain pan will fill up and water will leak out, potentially causing damage to the AC unit or surrounding areas. To check for clogs, place your hand near where the two ducts meet and feel for air flow. In addition to clogged filters and drain lines, another common cause of AC unit failure is acid buildup. This can occur due to electrical failure and can lead to a variety of problems such as reduced cooling efficiency, increased energy consumption, and even system failure. Neglecting regular maintenance can have serious consequences for your AC unit, so it's important to stay on top of it. Now that summer has arrived, it's time to start using your AC unit again.

But before you do, it's important to understand the different components of the unit and how they work. For example, there are contactors for the compressor, fan motor, and condenser fan motor. If any of these contactors are faulty, it can cause issues with the overall functioning of the unit. If you notice that your AC unit is running on short cycles and your space feels warmer than usual, the culprit may be a faulty thermostat. The condenser is another important part of the AC unit, as it gives the motor an initial boost to start operating.

To keep your condenser in good working condition, be sure to clean the filter every two weeks and replace it every two months during peak seasons when the AC unit is used most frequently. One of the worst-case scenarios for an AC unit is when internal damage occurs to the compressor. This can happen if the unit is not properly maintained and can result in having to replace the entire AC unit. To avoid this costly issue, be sure to schedule regular maintenance checks with a trained technician. If your AC unit is not cooling properly or you notice weak airflow, it could be a sign of a compressor problem. Air conditioning systems are complex machines that require regular care and maintenance to function properly.

If you notice that your AC unit is humming but the fan is not turning on, there may be an issue with the condenser. Finally, another common cause of AC unit failure is clogged air conditioning filters. When dirt particles become trapped in the filter and are not cleaned regularly, it can lead to a variety of issues. Another possible cause of this problem is a completely broken down condensate pump, which will need to be replaced.