As Florida homeowners, we have unique challenges regarding our air conditioning repair service needs. Due to North Florida’s long summers and nearly year-round demand for air conditioning, our HVAC systems experience different types of stress than our northern counterparts. For this reason, we are taking a look at the most common issues that require AC repair service in our area.
Signs You Need AC Repair
Having to call an AC repair service company to come out to your home or business can feel a little intimidating. We ask ourselves questions like, “What if I call an HVAC service technician to come out, and it turns out to be something simple that I could’ve solved myself?” We may also wonder, “How much is this going to cost?”
The following are the most common issues that air conditioning repair service technicians encounter during service calls.
- Bad AC contactor or capacitor
- Blown breaker
- Air handler condensation line blockage
- Faulty compressor
Bad AC Contactor or Capacitor
What is an AC contactor and capacitor? Think of this duo as being like your AC unit’s “spark plug.” An AC contactor and the separate capacitor are small components that fit in the palm of your hand that build up enough electrical charge to initiate the compressor in your exterior condenser unit to “kick on.” Over time, corrosion builds up on the contactor, or the capacitor loses its charging ability — preventing them from doing their job.
Keep in mind the contactor and capacitor don’t have to go out simultaneously. If one is bad, they will not work in tandem. Usually, when one or the other is out, it’s easiest to have both replaced simultaneously. One telltale sign that you have an issue with your contactor or capacitor is if your outdoor unit’s fan is turning on, but your system is not blowing cool air. The lack of cool air means the compressor is not turning on.
It’s important to note having a bad compressor will also cause this issue. We will cover a bad condenser in the final section.
Every electrical circuit in your home has an associated breaker. Appliances and systems like your HVAC System require higher amperage, so they tend to have higher amp breakers in your home’s electrical service panel. Sometimes, the breaker associated with your AC unit will go out for various reasons. One cause is if the AC unit is pulling a high load of amperes (amps) that exceeds the breaker’s limit.
Breakers are rated according to their maximum amp load. If this load is exceeded, newer breakers have a mechanism that will automatically shut them off. However, in some cases, the breakers are damaged due to overload. This requires breakers to be replaced. Your constantly-running AC unit places a great load on the breaker. An indicator of this issue is if your HVAC system won’t turn on at all.
It’s best to have a professional replace breakers. It can be dangerous for homeowners to attempt to replace breakers on their own.
Air Conditioner Condensation Line Blockage
Central HVAC systems have air handlers. Air handlers are usually in the home’s utility closet or garage. These units have internal coils that create condensation as they cool the air. This condensed water collects in a condensation pan near the bottom of the air handler, where water is then drained out via a condensation line. These condensation lines usually drain the water outside on an exterior wall.
When air filters become dirty or if there are leaks in the system that allow air to circumvent the filter, debris builds up in the condensation pan and mixes in with the water. This dirty water can lead to blockages in the condensation line.
Newer HVAC systems come with a float switch component designed to shut the system down should the water level in the condensation pan exceed a certain threshold. This prevents the pan from backing up and causing water damage to your home.
Often, blocked condensation lines are the culprit for a system that won’t run. A blocked condensation line is an easy fix and can be solved by flushing the line or physically clearing the blockage.
A Faulty Compressor
Earlier, we talked about how a bad capacitor or contactor can allow the outdoor condenser unit’s fan to run but keep the unit from cooling because the compressor won’t turn on. When your fan is running, but your air isn’t cooling during a cooling cycle, the hope is that it’s just a bad capacitor or contactor because they’re cheaper and easier to replace.
However, a faulty compressor will present the same symptoms, and it’s much more expensive to replace. An HVAC professional will determine the cause after running a few diagnostic tests.
Contact Gator Air & Energy for Air Conditioning Repair Service
At Gator Air & Energy, we help the residents of Gainesville and surrounding communities keep their homes cool. We provide AC repair service in Lake City, High Springs, Alachua, and Melrose. Our experts can troubleshoot and solve any of your AC repair needs. Do you need air conditioning repair service at your home? Call us today at (352) 389-4396 or fill out our online contact form to get a quote!