Diagnosing Faults with Your Air Conditioning System

The climate here in Australia is usually warm all year round. We rely heavily on air conditioning to keep us cool and comfortable so when our systems fail, it can make for rising temperatures and rising tempers.

Spotting the signs of a poorly functioning AC system doesn’t have to be difficult so we’ve prepared this handy overview so you know when it might be time to call in the plumbers.

How Does an AC System Work?

Your system will include refrigerant. This substance is able to convert itself from gas to liquid and back again very quickly, transferring the heat inside your property to the outside instead.

The key components include a condenser, compressor and evaporator. Refrigerant reaches your compressor as a low-pressure gas. In then goes on a journey:

  • The temperature and energy contained within the refrigerant rises at which point it is expelled and makes its way to your condenser.
  • Here the heat is stripped from it where it changes from a gas to liquid due to the increase in pressure.
  • This fluid then reaches your evaporator where its pressure falls and it begins to evaporate, turning back into a gas.
  • As this occurs, heat is absorbed from the surrounding air. This process continues until all of a rooms warm air is outside and there is only cool air left inside.

Refrigerant Leaks

As you can imagine, one cause for a malfunctioning system is a refrigerant leak. This can manifest itself in a number of ways but will prevent your AC system from doing its job properly. Low refrigerant will make the system inefficient. No refrigerant at all will mean that it can’t complete the heat exchange process, leaving your rooms hot.

A leak can’t be fixed by adding more coolant, instead you will need to have the leak located and repaired.

Electrical Failure

Individual components within the system can wear out. This includes the compressor as well as the fans that are present. This usually happens when a system is repeatedly turned on and off or is too big for a room.

Sensor Problems

Temperature is controlled by a thermostat. This sensor is sensitive to movement and needs to be located properly. If not, it can have trouble reading a consistent temperature which will cause erratic behaviour.

Blocked Drainage

All air conditioning systems need to be able to drain away condensation and moisture. If the drain hole is blocked, it will need to be cleared to avoid pooling water.

Hire a Plumber

AC systems should be routinely inspected and serviced. Refrigerant levels need to be checked and dirty filters will need to be cleaned or replaced at least annually. A plumber in Melbourne and the Northern Suburbs will be able to provide maintenance for your system and diagnose any problems if it isn’t functioning properly. Perform a web search to find a suitable AC maintenance company who will be able to assist.

Keeping on top of maintenance will ensure that your air conditioning system is there when you need it.

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