It is hard to imagine a world without air conditioners. They have become an integral part of the infrastructure for residential and commercial buildings in many parts of the world. Like any other mechanical system, air conditioners are prone to occasional failure, which can be uncomfortable, if not dangerous. In this blog, we will discuss some of the failures that can commonly occur with AC units and the tools and methods used to remedy these problems.
It is crucial to understand the regular operation of an AC unit before talking about potential problems. While AC units may seem like complex systems at first, they work on some basic physical principles. The fundamental chemical used in air conditioning is called a refrigerant. A refrigerant is a fluid with specific physical properties that work in the air conditioning cycle. They should have a low boiling point, be non-toxic, non-flammable, and moderately dense. The current chemicals used are constantly changing as chemists find more efficient and environmentally friendly mixtures, but some of the most commonly used refrigerants today are Chlorofluorocarbons, Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and Hydrofluorocarbons.
This refrigerant is exposed to the warm air inside the building to be cooled as it travels through a series of coils. Since this chemical mixture has a low boiling point, the ambient air is warm enough to turn it into a gas. The gaseous refrigerant holds the heat, and the now cooled air is blown back into the room by a fan. Before this refrigerant can be recycled to absorb more heat, it needs to be converted back to a liquid. This is done in a component called a compressor. Compressors apply a large amount of pressure on the gaseous refrigerant, condensing it back into a liquid. During this process, the excess heat from the reaction is blown outside the building through a part called a condenser, and the cycle repeats.
AC unit problems can vary in severity and may require anything from a part change to a whole system replacement. The most widespread problem with air conditioning units is a bad or broken capacitor. Capacitors are responsible for turning on and continually powering the outdoor condenser. Since the indoor components are powered separately and are still working, one will usually notice that the indoor fan is on but only warm or room temperature air is blowing. Another common issue is when the refrigerant liquid is low or empty. Because the refrigerant is the required medium in which heat is exchanged, the rest of the system can still be working, but the room will not be cooled. A condensate line is a drain that removes excess moisture from the unit and dehumidifies the house. This line is usually a PVC pipe that ends at the outdoor unit. If the building is humid, one notices mold, or there is an unpleasant smell, then it is possible that this drain line is clogged with debris. A component called a control board feeds power to different parts of the system, and when this fails, it can cause various symptoms which may make issues harder to pinpoint. The last common cause of AC problems is a dysfunctional condenser fan. This will be an obvious problem because, when the fan is not turning, smoke or steam will rise from the condenser.
Most of the fixes for these issues are simple, and usually, the most important factor is early identification of the problem. The solution for a broken capacitor is to replace it. It is crucial to ensure the power AC is powered off and that the replacement capacitor matches the voltage rating. For a clogged condenser drain, one can either cut open the PVC pipe near the level of the clog or go downstream to the clog and use compressed air to remove it. To troubleshoot a faulty control board, a technician will expose the board and use a voltmeter, ensuring that 120v is running through the terminal. Thankfully, if a problem is identified with the control board, it will have a label on it stating the exact model to replace. The method for checking a condenser fan motor is similar to the control board. It is important to note that since the capacitor powers the motor and is still the most common problem, one should have already ruled its dysfunction out. Next, one should look at a wiring schematic to find which wires lead to the capacitor. There should be an equal amount of resistance between all of the wires measured. If there is not, then the fan motor is out. Sometimes, at the beginning of a warm season, when the AC unit is turned on after a long break, the motor will still work and just need a little help in starting. If this is the case, then one can use a long drill bit or screwdriver to knock the fan blades so that they can start moving.
Internet of Industrials understands how vital a functional AC unit is for both residential and industrial establishments. That is why we are proud to offer many HVAC and refrigeration equipment. From testing equipment to replacement parts, Internet of Industrials is your one-stop shop for your AC requirements. You can have peace of mind in knowing that all of our parts are stocked in the USA and are quality tested before they ever leave our warehouse. Our team of industry experts is available 24/7x365 because we are dedicated to helping you source any parts you may need. Get started today by filling out an online request for quotation, and one of our agents will get back to you with a competitive quote within 15 minutes, guaranteed. Any other questions can be answered by contacting our team at +1-714-705-4780 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to being your partner in meeting your needs.
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