Thursday, May 20, 2010

Central Air Unit – Troubleshooting Your Central Air Unit

Spring is the season for cleaning up and fixing up your house. However, you must also keep in mind that summer is just around the corner, and that it might just be time to clean and maintain your central air unit to bring it to optimal performance for your indoor air cooling needs.

Having a fully-operational central air unit in good condition is not only economical, but it's also a step towards greener, more environmentally-conscious living. So it's good to regularly check and troubleshoot your central air unit. Here are just a few tips to do just that:

Central Air Unit – Electrical problems with switches

When an air conditioner doesn't work, usually some people dismiss it as a problem of the whole machine and discard it. Sometimes it may just be a faulty electrical connection or a non-functioning switch. If your unit won't start, check the outdoor service control switch for any blown fuses or such. A central air unit has a multitude of switches for each component, and any one of these may just be damaged.

Problems with humidity

When a unit cools but does not dehumidify the area, chances are the unit is too big for the room or rooms it is cooling. Since the unit cools the room too quickly, there's no time for the moisture to be removed. Either switch to a smaller unit or increase the load capacity by making it cool more rooms. Sometimes there may also be an unexpected moisture source such as leaks and such.

Central Air Unit - Duct problems

If both the outdoor and indoor parts of the air conditioning unit are fully functional but cool air doesn't seem to come out, there may be a defect with the ducts. Make sure there isn't any blockage in the ducts. It also might even be unhealthy for you and everyone in the building.

Diminished cooling capacity

If the air conditioner is operational but isn't blowing out cool air, check your temperature settings on your thermostat first. If your settings are correct but the temperature still isn't, the next thing to check is if the outdoor air conditioning compressor is running. Also check your air filters. Over time, it may be blocked by dirt and debris. Either clean the filter or replace it. Also, make sure that the air supply vents are open and aren't blocked by furniture and such.

High monthly energy bills

Your air conditioning unit may be working properly, but if it uses up a lot of energy, there might be something wrong. Usually older units may use up more energy, in which case it might be time to replace it. But most of the time it's because central air units have to exert more energy because the house or building is not well-insulated. Check for air leaks in your house or building and re-examine your insulation.

Of course, it's always better to consult with a professional technician or electrician, but with these basic tips, you should be able to solve, or at least troubleshoot some everyday problems you may have with your central air unit.