With the sweltering heat that Florida summers bring, most of us keep our AC running 24/7. While this is usually a necessity to beat the summer heat, our AC units can take a beating from working so hard to keep us cool. Luckily, there are many AC issues you can encounter that are totally repairable without the intervention of a professional HVAC technician. Because keeping Florida residents cool and cozy is our number one priority this season, the pros at Freedom Air are here to share some simple solutions to common AC problems.
The Problem: Your AC Isn’t Cooling
Your AC unit may be low on refrigerant. Although rare, your AC could also be undercharged, or there may be a leak.
Solutions: Repair Leaks or Add Refrigerant
- If you do find a leak, try using a Freon leak repair kit to fix the leak.
- If there are no leaks, add refrigerant to your unit by following these steps:
- Shut down your AC unit and attach the low-pressure hose (usually blue) and the high-pressure hose (usually red) to your system’s pressure ports.
- Turn on your AC and let it run for 15 minutes.
- Then, check the temperatures of the outdoor air, return air, suction line, and liquid line.
- Determine your metering device (it will either be a thermostatic expansion valve or restrictor.)
*A thermostatic expansion valve’s values are: Superheat: 18°F (-7°C), Sub-cooling: 25°F (-4°C).
*A restrictor’s recommended superheat value can be found by drawing a line from the outside air temperature down to the return air temperature. The value in that row or column is the required superheat temperature.
- Connect the supply hose from your manifold to the refrigerant container, keeping the container in an upright position.
- Add refrigerant slowly and in small amounts into the suction line of the system. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the system to stabilize between pours.
- Check pressure and temperature readings to determine if more refrigerant is needed. Continue to add refrigerant until everything looks normal.
- Finally, observe a complete cooling cycle before turning off power to the unit and removing the gauges.
The Problem: Your AC Is Blowing Hot Air
When your AC is blowing hot air, it usually indicates a dirty air filter causing flow problems. This could also mean you are low on Freon.
Solutions: Change the Filters or Replenish the Refrigerant
- Change your air filters. Also, verify that your outside AC unit is running, and check it for debris such as leaves or weeds obstructing the air flow.
- Replenish your system’s supply of refrigerant. (To do this safely on your own, follow the steps previously outlined)
The Problem: Your AC Never Turns Off
Even in the hottest climates, your AC should turn off occasionally. If yours does not, it could indicate a dirty evaporator coil or issues with your fan or blower motor.
Solutions: Turn Off the Thermostat Fan or Clean Evaporator Coils
- Turn the thermostat fan to the off position. This is another way to turn off your AC for a much-needed rest.
- Clean the evaporator coil. To clean them yourself, follow these steps:
- Turn your AC off at the thermostat.
- Remove the screws or other fasteners to loosen the access panel at your indoor air handling unit.
- Use a non-wire, soft-bristle brush to sweep the dirt away. You can also use a commercial coil foam cleaner or compressed air. If you use compressed air to clean your coil, use a shop vacuum cleaner to collect material as it becomes dislodged.
- Adjust the fan speed. If your blower motor isn’t producing enough air, or your fan is running too slowly, your system can work overtime and run when it’s not supposed to. You can adjust the speed on your fan to a faster setting or give the fan blades a good cleaning.
The Problem: Some Rooms are Warmer Than Others
Typically, inconsistent temperatures from room to room in your home indicates poor air circulation or an unbalanced system.
Solutions: Use Dampers or Natural Ventilation
- Add or adjust dampers. A damper is a plate located on your ducts with small levers that can open and close to regulate air flow. If the lever is parallel to the pipe, the damper is open, and if the lever is perpendicular to the pipe, it is shut. Play with different setting adjustments to find the best balance for your system.
- Ventilate your home. Naturally ventilate your home by keeping all interior doors open to allow air to flow more freely throughout your house. Open the doors to any closets that have noticeably cooler air than the room they are in.
The Problem: Your Unit Is Constantly Turning on and Off
If you notice your AC constantly turning on and off, you may have a dirty or blocked condenser unit.
Solutions: Clean Your Condenser Unit
- Clean your condenser unit. To safely clean your outside condenser unit, follow these steps:
- Turn off the power. Do this by either pulling out a block or moving a switch to the off position. You can also turn off the power at the main electrical panel.
- Clear away debris. With a soft brush attachment, vacuum grass, leaves, and other debris from the exterior fins. Take this time to clear away brushes, weeds, and overgrown grass around your condenser within a 2-ft radius from your AC unit.
- Clean and straighten the fins. To access the coil fins, remove the condenser unit grille. Then, remove debris with a coil brush and straighten the coil fins with a fin comb.
- Apply coil cleaning spray. Spray a generous amount of foaming coil cleaner in a back and forth motion. After letting it sit for five to ten minutes, wash away the cleaner with water.
When the Simple Solutions to Common AC Problems Aren’t So Simple
If you have tried some of these simple solutions to fix your AC problems and the issues persist, it’s time for the professionals to step in. The team at Freedom Air has kept Florida homeowners cool for years. For any of your HVAC needs, let a Freedom Air pro help – call us today at 321-631-6886 or fill out a service request form on our website.