5 Common AC Repairs for Chicagoland Homeowners
August 29, 2023
Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Chicagoland experiences a climate of extremes, with hot and humid summers contrasting with bitterly cold winters. However, with such heavy usage, AC systems in Chicagoland face their fair share of wear and tear, leading to specific issues that homeowners must address promptly.
This article will explore the HVAC issues residents in Chicagoland may encounter. Understanding these common challenges will enable you to make informed decisions about your AC system and take timely action.
Understanding Your AC System
In the scorching summer months, we rely heavily on our air conditioning systems to stay comfortable indoors. An air conditioning system works on the principle of refrigeration. It consists of four primary components:
- The compressor: Often referred to as the heart of the system, the compressor is a powerful pump responsible for compressing the refrigerant gas. As the refrigerant passes through the compressor, its pressure and temperature increase significantly.
- The condenser: Once the high-pressure, high-temperature refrigerant exits the compressor, it flows into the condenser. The condenser mainly aims to release heat from the refrigerant to the surrounding air outside your home. This causes the refrigerant to condense into a high-pressure liquid.
- The expansion valve: As the high-pressure liquid refrigerant moves into the expansion valve, it rapidly decreases pressure. This process converts the refrigerant into a low-pressure, low-temperature mixture as it moves toward the evaporator.
- The evaporator: The evaporator is located inside your home, typically attached to your furnace or air handler. As the low-pressure refrigerant enters the evaporator, it absorbs heat from the indoor air. This heat absorption cools the air, distributed throughout your home via ductwork and vents.
These components transfer heat from your home to the outside, leaving you with a cool and pleasant environment.
Importance of Regular Maintenance for Optimal Performance
As homeowners with older AC systems, routine maintenance becomes even more critical to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your cooling system. The benefits of regular AC maintenance include:
- Improved energy efficiency: A well-maintained AC system operates more efficiently, lowering energy consumption and reducing utility bills.
- Extended life span: Regular maintenance helps identify and address minor issues before they escalate, prolonging the life span of your AC unit.
- Consistent cooling: Proper maintenance ensures your AC system consistently provides cool air throughout your home, eliminating hot spots and discomfort.
- Enhanced indoor air quality: By changing air filters and cleaning coils, you can maintain better indoor air quality, reducing allergens and airborne pollutants.
Common AC Problems and Their Causes
Homeowners with older AC systems need to be aware of the common problems that can arise and their potential causes. Identifying these issues early on can help you take timely action and prevent more significant and costly repairs. Let’s explore some of the most common AC problems and what might be causing them:
1. Uneven Cooling
You may notice that some rooms in your home remain comfortably cool while others feel like saunas, despite running your AC at full blast. Potential causes could include:
- Insufficient insulation: Poor insulation in certain areas can lead to heat infiltration, making it challenging for your AC to maintain consistent cooling.
- Blocked or leaky ductwork: Obstructions or leaks in your ducts can result in uneven distribution of cooled air throughout your home.
- Incorrectly sized AC unit: If your AC unit is too small for your home’s square footage, it may need help to cool the entire space effectively.
2. Refrigerant Leaks
A refrigerant leak is an issue that can lead to a decrease in cooling capacity and, if left unaddressed, can cause long-term damage to your AC system. They harm your AC system’s performance and pose serious health and environmental risks. It is essential to know that refrigerants are chemicals that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming when released into the atmosphere.
Some potential causes could be:
- Wear and tear: Over time, the copper coils containing the refrigerant can develop cracks or corrosion, resulting in leaks.
- Physical damage: Accidents or external impacts can cause damage to the coils, leading to refrigerant leakage.
3. Frozen Evaporator Coils
If you notice ice or frost forming on your indoor unit’s evaporator coils, it indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. Potential causes could be:
- Insufficient airflow: Restricted airflow caused by a clogged air filter, blocked vents or a malfunctioning blower can lead to the coils freezing up.
- Low refrigerant levels: When the refrigerant levels drop significantly, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze.
4. Airflow Problems
Inadequate airflow can reduce cooling efficiency and cause discomfort in your living spaces. Potential causes for airflow problems are:
- Clogged air filter: An excessively dirty or clogged air filter restricts the amount of air flowing into your AC system.
- Blocked condenser unit: Debris, such as leaves or dirt, can obstruct the outdoor condenser unit, reducing the system’s ability to release heat.
- Damaged or leaky ducts: Leaks or damage in your ductwork can cause cooled air to escape before it reaches your rooms.
5. Electrical Malfunctions
Electrical issues can lead to various problems, including the AC unit not turning on, frequent tripping of circuit breakers or erratic cooling.
A few of the potential problems could be the following:
- Faulty wiring: Poor electrical connections can disrupt the proper functioning of your AC system.
- Capacitor problems: A malfunctioning capacitor can affect the motor’s ability to start and run efficiently.
- Thermostat issues: A faulty thermostat can miscommunicate with your AC unit, leading to inconsistent cooling.
Turn to Perfect Home Services for AC Repair
Regarding home AC repairs, some issues are best left in the capable hands of professionals. Refrigerant leaks and electrical malfunctions are two problems that demand immediate attention. Refrigerant leaks affect your AC’s cooling capacity and pose environmental risks. Handling refrigerants requires specialized knowledge and equipment, making it a task for certified HVAC technicians. Electrical issues, on the other hand, can be hazardous and should never be attempted as DIY projects. Only qualified professionals can diagnose and repair electrical problems safely.
That’s where Perfect Home Services shines as the go-to expert for heating, cooling and plumbing services in Chicagoland. With over three decades of experience, Perfect Home Services has been a trusted name since 1992. Perfect Home Services has you covered when you need professional, on-time air conditioning, heating and plumbing installation, repair and maintenance.
Our skilled technicians can handle any challenge, providing reliable and efficient solutions. Take advantage of Perfect Home Services’ expertise and experience and let us be your trusted partner in all your heating, cooling and plumbing needs.
Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your AC system is in the hands of skilled professionals and experience the comfort and efficiency your home deserves by scheduling a service. Stay cool, Chicagoland, with Perfect Home Services by your side!