This may be the first time you’ve had this problem with your air conditioner, but the odds are that someone else in the Philadelphia area has at some time experienced the same thing. So let’s talk about some of the common issues we see with Philadelphia air conditioning units.
Frozen Copper Tubing
It may seem odd that the components of a hardworking machine could freeze in the middle of summer, but that is exactly what happens every year in countless numbers of air conditioners. The copper tubing, which makes up the evaporator coil, turns white with a solid layer of ice. Why?
One reason your copper tubes freeze is because there’s a leak causing the air conditioner’s liquid refrigerant to drop below its proper amount. The remaining refrigerant isn’t enough to keep the evaporator coil at the correct temperature. The coil gets too cold and freezes the surrounding air. The result is ice forming on the copper tubing.
Reduced Air Flow Across the Evaporator Coil
Not only must the evaporator coil have a sufficient amount of liquid refrigerant, but it also requires a certain amount of consistent airflow. If the airflow slows below a critical level, the evaporator coil temperature will drop until the coil is cold enough to freeze the air. Once again, the ice will encase the copper tubing.
Unit Running Constantly
Almost as annoying as a unit that won’t turn on is a unit that won’t turn off. Why has it either completely stopped cycling on and off or cycles back on with very little time off?
There are many potential causes of an air conditioner running excessively. Let’s examine three simple reasons.
The thermostat is the brain which tells the air conditioner when to turn on and how long to stay on. If the thermostat fails to work properly, it will send the wrong signal to your air conditioner. A potential result is an air conditioner that rarely seems to turn off.
If there are gaps in the seams of the ductwork, a proportion of the cool air produced by your air conditioner never reaches the interior of your home. Therefore, the unit has to work harder in an attempt to cool your home.
It’s similar to hauling water in a leaky bucket to fill up a bathtub. You’d have to make more trips to the water source to fill the tub.
Clogged or Overly Restrictive Air Filters
Your system needs to receive a steady amount of free-flowing air to operate correctly. A dirty air filter chokes the system. It can’t breathe. The air conditioner desperately needs that air, so it keeps running in an attempt to take in enough air for the system to function.
Overly restrictive air filters have the same effect as dirty filters. Some filters trap tiny particles. That’s great for relieving allergies. However, not all air conditioners perform well with those types of filters.
Unit Not Cooling
Often when a unit isn’t cooling it’s for one of the reasons mentioned above such as frozen copper tubing or lack of airflow.
The unit may continue to run, but the air coming out of your vents isn’t cool. There’s a good chance that you’ll find your evaporator coil frozen solid or your air filter clogged.
You can easily remedy some problems like a bad filter without calling a professional. However, you may feel more comfortable leaving other issues in the hands of a knowledgeable technician.
Whatever the problem is, we’ve seen it before in the Philadelphia area, and we have the needed experience to get your air conditioning unit up and running again. Don’t sweat through the summer, and don’t sweat your air conditioner problem. Instead, contact HVAC Philly.