The heating and cooling of your home might not be something you think about every day. As long as the temperature is comfortable and no odd noises or water is coming from the unit, there is no reason to worry. In the event of a malfunction, the most important step to take is to call a professional AC service company. They can diagnose the problem and restore the perfect indoor environment. Air conditioning units are complex machines made up of three basic systems-mechanical, refrigeration, and electrical. HVAC technicians are trained in all of these areas, so it is important to understand the need for a professional.
1. Mechanical Issues
As your system ages, many things can go wrong. Aside from mechanical issues that cause the system to shut down completely, there are smaller problems that can lead to poor temperature control and lack of efficiency. One of the first systems to fail on a unit is usually something mechanical. The blower fan inside the air handler (inside unit) and the fan inside the condensing unit (outside unit) tend to wear out first since they work tirelessly for years on end. Both of these can be replaced by an AC service technician.
2. An Aged Refrigeration System
The refrigeration system works by circulating refrigerant through a series of coils and sending it to a set of coils located in the air handler. The refrigerant has an extremely low boiling temperature-the resulting chemical reaction creates a very cold liquid. This process works in a constant cycle and provides cold air. With a heat pump, the cycle is reversed, and heat is produced by allowing the refrigerant to draw heat from outside air. Over time, coils can erode and create tiny pinholes that cause the system to lose pressure and refrigerant. An AC service tech is equipped with a tool that can find the leak and identify whether the coil can be fixed or needs to be replaced. The most common cause for refrigerant leaks involves older coils that are made up of two or more metals that have corroded by touching each other, particularly when condensation is present. The latest coils are now made with only one type of metal-copper or tin-whereas old coils contained up to three metals-copper, tin, and steel.
3. Electrical Problems
Electrical problems can be very tricky to diagnose. AC units have a complex series of circuit boards and switches that keep the thermostat, condensing unit, and air handler in constant communication. If any one of these connections is broken, the unit may still work but can cause malfunctions that require professional help. Technicians have the necessary tools to diagnose and repair electrical problems.
The most important thing to know about your heating and cooling system is when to call for help. There are plenty of dangerous tasks that should only be addressed by a certified technician. If there is ever any doubt, make the call.