27 Air Conditioner Maintenance, Cleaning Tips | Problems & Solutions!

Maintaining your air conditioner unit is essential to ensure that it performs to the best of its ability and provides maximum comfort. Besides, regular maintenance can help your AC become efficient and thus, reduce your electricity bills.

AC Maintenance

Here are some of the common problems that you encounter with ACs and the solutions to the same.

1. Your AC does not start despite switching on the appliance

The first thing you do is to check your AC remote. The batteries might have exhausted. Replacing the batteries should resolve the problem. If the AC does not start functioning after replacing the batteries, there could be a loose connection somewhere. You can use a tester to check whether the AC receives power supply.

You can unplug the AC and check out the wires. If there is a loose connection, tightening the screws should do the job. If you use a thermostat between your AC power supply and the AC, you can check for loose hanging wires. If the AC still does not start, the best solution is to call the AC mechanic.

AC Loose connection
There could be a loose connection inside your AC console, or there could be issues with the AC motor.

The current supply is not uniform in some places. You experience sudden voltage surges that can harm the AC by damaging its PCB. At times, the IC or capacitors can get burnt due to these current fluctuations. The solution is to replace the ICs and the PCB. The mechanic is the right person to handle such issues.

Inverter AC PCB Printed circuit board
Inverter AC Printed circuit board

2. The AC fan does not work

If you find that the AC fan does not work even after switching the unit on, there could be tripping of the circuit breaker inside the system. There could be a buildup of ice in the internal coils. Such an issue obstructs the regular functioning of your split AC. This issue requires professional handling.

AC ice buildup

3. There is not enough airflow as expected

It is the most common problem found with many ACs. You find the compressor working properly but experience a reduction in the airflow. The main reason could be the clogging of AC filters.

Dust in AC Filters

You can easily remove the AC protective cover and remove the filter placed between the AC unit and the cover. It would be full of dust. The ideal way to clean it is to use a soft brush (even a used toothbrush can work) and remove the dust. You can wash the AC filter under running water to clean it thoroughly. Wipe the filter dry by patting it with a dry piece of cloth. Fit it again into the AC, and you will experience an improved airflow.

4. Dust inside the fins

As you remove the filter for cleaning, you might have noticed the presence of dust inside the fins. This dust would generally be moist and not easy to remove using a cloth. You could end up spreading it further. The best way to clean this dust is to rub a toothbrush on the fins.

Dust in AC Fins
Dust in AC Fins

Special brushes to clean AC fins are also available on the market. These brushes have sufficiently long bristles that can penetrate the fins and clean the gaps. As the dust would be moist, you would have to exert some pressure. You can moisten the brush with a cleaning solution and use them on the fins. However, you should ensure to switch off the AC before attempting this procedure at home.

5. Stubborn dust inside the fins

If you find it challenging to remove the dust from the fins, the ideal solution is to go for a water wash. Your AC mechanic has the requisite tools to water wash your AC. The procedure requires spraying the fins with water at sufficient pressure to remove the dust altogether.

Before attempting a water wash, it is advisable to protect the electrical components of the AC by covering them with polyethylene sheets.

Air Conditioner Fins cleaning indoor unit

If you attempt the procedure on the indoor unit without removing it, your floors could become soiled with water and dust. AC mechanics have special equipment and covers to ensure that the dirty water collects in a bucket and does not spill all over the floor.

Alternatively, your AC mechanic removes the indoor unit and performs the water wash procedure. It is a better way of cleaning your AC of all the dust.

6. Presence of mold inside the AC unit

The environment inside the AC unit is generally moist. Molds and fungus love such an environment to grow. You can sense the presence of mold if you observe or feel an unpleasant smell in the air that blows from the AC machine. The presence of mold can lead to health issues, especially if you have asthmatic patients at home. The ideal plan of action is to call for professional assistance to remove molds and fungus.

7. The AC does not blow cool air

There could be various reasons for the AC not blowing cool air. The primary reason could the temperature setting in the thermostat. It should be a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius less than the room temperature. You can lower the temperature and check whether the problem is resolved.

If you still find no improvement, you can check out for dust accumulation and clean the filters as detailed in our earlier paragraphs. An AC service personnel can check whether there is a refrigerant leakage or reduction in the pressure. They have the requisite equipment to do so.

If there is a refrigerant shortfall, you can go for a top up. However, you should use the same refrigerant gas to topping up as available in the machine.

On refilling the refrigerant, you will notice a marked improvement in the AC performance.

8. The AC cools the room but unevenly

Usually, an AC should deliver uniform cooling. However, if you find the temperature fluctuating from time to time, there could be a leakage in the insulation pipes or a blocked vent. One should ensure to open all the vents and remove the obstructions.

AC Swing Function

If the swing function does not work, there could be uneven cooling in the rooms. You can check for the settings and remove any blockages that prevent the swinging of the louvers. If the issue persists, one should call a technician to look into the matter.

9. Water dripping from the indoor unit.

Many households face the problem of water dripping into their rooms from the indoor unit. Generally, the condensed water should flow out through the drain pipes placed outside the house. If there is a backflow of water into the AC unit, you should check the drain pipe for clogging.

ac water leak inside

Secondly, the drainpipe should hang in an erect position. If you find it curving upwards, there can be a disturbance in the free flow of water from the indoor unit.

One should remember that the water pressure is not high enough inside the drain pipe. Therefore, if there is an airlock, there will be water accumulation inside the drain pipe. It could lead to the wastewater flowing back into the indoor unit, and thus, you find water dripping inside the room.

The solution is to check the drainpipe position and ensure a free flow of water without any blockages. If the problem persists, you have to seek professional help to resolve the issue. The condensate pump might have broken. They need replacement.

10. Water dripping from the outdoor unit

AC water leak outdoor unit

One should make it a habit of checking for inconsistencies in the outdoor unit’s functioning. There could be water puddles all over the place. The reason could be a broken condensate pan, improper installation, a broken AC seal, or a dry air filter. Replacing these items requires you to consult an AC technician. It is better to address this issue as quickly as possible.

11. A frozen evaporation coil

Clogged filters can lead to inadequate cooling because of low air supply. Therefore, the temperature inside the AC unit becomes cold enough to form a layer of ice on the evaporator coil. If the frozen layer becomes thick, it makes the AC freeze up and stops working.

One way to resolve the problem is to clean the filters and allow proper airflow. Leaving the AC as it is without switching it on allows the evaporator coil to defrost. Alternatively, you can run the AC on fan mode. The ice should melt entirely within 24 hours and drain away. However, if it does not do so, you should call for technical advice.

12. A broken thermostat

A thermostat is a device placed inside the AC to control the ambient temperature according to your requirements. Generally, you control the temperature settings using your remote control or pressing the AC unit’s respective buttons. If you find the thermostat broken, you cannot control the temperature settings properly. It could end up damaging the AC unit.

The ideal solution is to replace the thermostat, and a trained AC service person is the right person to handle the job.

13. Electrical Coil failure

Electric coils or wires connect all the components of the AC. There can be a disruption in the connection due to wire corrosion. Such a disruption can cause the malfunctioning of the compressor or the motor. Besides, there can be an issue of a short circuit under such circumstances.

The situation requires you to call the AC technician to rectify the error.

14. Leakage in the AC ducts/pipes

When you install an AC, especially the split ACs, you insulate the pipes/ducts with a special coating to prevent any leakage of refrigerant liquid. Over a period, this coating can wear off due to the effect of sun and rain. Rats can also gnaw away at these insulations to cause leakages in the ducts/pipes.

AC duct pipe

Such an issue needs replacement of the ducts by professional service personnel. They have the requisite expertise to handle such issues.

15. Dirt accumulation in the external unit

We have seen how to remove dust from the filters and the fins in the internal unit. Similarly, the external unit can also experience dust accumulation. If your AC outdoor unit is located on the terrace or at an accessible location, you can remove the dust yourself using a vacuum cleaner.

However, if your outdoor unit is placed on a window sill or at uncomfortable heights, you have to seek professional assistance. AC service personnel have the requisite safety equipment and tools to handle such jobs.

You should check the outdoor unit regularly and clean the dry leaves and foliage that could accumulate beside it. It attracts insects, and thereby, birds and rodents keep flocking near your outdoor unit. Cleaning and disinfecting the unit at regular intervals can increase its lifespan. 

16. Issues with the AC compressor

If there are issues with the compressor, the AC will not work correctly. The outdoor unit will not be able to dissipate heat. The compressor is responsible for managing the flow of refrigerant between the evaporator and the condenser. Thus, it directly affects the cooling capacity of the indoor unit.

Air Conditioner Compressor

Your compressor could need replacement. An AC technician is the right person to handle such an emergency. If you can get the compressor repaired, it should be fine. Otherwise, you might have to go for a new compressor.

17. AC making funny noises

Generally, ACs do not make much noise. You can find a slight humming sound as the compressor switches on and off regularly. Even this sound is not present in inverter ACs. Therefore, it is a call for alarm when your AC starts making irritating noises.

For example, if you observe a hissing noise, there could be a refrigerant leakage situation. Similarly, a loud thumping noise suggests damage to the motor or the blower. If you experience a screeching sound, the compressor or fan unit might have an issue.

AC refrigerant leakage

It is better to summon a professional AC service technician to look into the problem and resolve it. One should not continue using the AC if it starts making such noises.

18. Foul smell on switching on the AC

If you find a foul smell emanating from the AC when you switch it on, the problem is not with the AC itself but with the drainage system of the air conditioner. There can be an accumulation of dust, dry leaves, and other debris on the drainage tray or the drain pipes.

Cleaning the drain pipes requires technical knowledge as you have to open the unit and unclog the debris. It is advisable to consult an AC mechanic to resolve the problem.

We have discussed issues that could affect the smooth functioning of the air conditioning unit. Though one can use DIY methods to rectify some issues, most of the problems can be technical. Hence, seeking professional help is the right course of action.

Tips for maintaining your AC better

Now we proceed to share some tips on AC maintenance that could prevent such problems from occurring.

  • Most Indian cities experience voltage issues. Low voltage is not much of a problem, but high voltage is. The sudden surge in voltage, especially after the resumption of a power cut, can damage your AC mechanism. Therefore, it is a better idea to invest in a step up or step down voltage stabilizer. Today, you get double boost and triple boost step-up voltage stabilizers to take care of low voltage. However, you should check the output of these voltage stabilizers. It should be in the range of 240V. If you get a reading exceeding 240 volts, you should go for a recalibration of the voltage stabilizer.
AC Stabilizer
  • Generally, new ACs come with warranties and maintenance check-ups. Once the warranties expire, it is better to enroll in an AMC program with a reputed service provider. They ensure to visit your home regularly to service the AC and take care of the issues before they flare up into something big.
  • Besides, you should learn how to clean the AC filters. It does not take much time to do so. You can remove the filters and unclog the pores to allow better airflow. It ensures to keep the machine in good working condition.
Dust Filters in LG Split AC
  • One should also remember to clean the outdoor unit regularly and prevent the buildup of dust and debris that could attract insects like cockroaches and mosquitoes. These insects attract birds and rodents towards the AC. The warm surroundings are conducive for such animals to breed, thereby creating unnecessary problems. Maintaining the area clean discourages such nuisances.
  • It is better to invest in an Inverter AC. Today, you have the top brands selling dual inverter ACs that are highly energy efficient.
  • Do not use multiple electronic items in the rooms where you have ACs. If you use them, you should ensure not to place them near the AC. Electronic instruments like laptops and desktop computers emit heat. This heat can negatively affect the AC thermostat and make the AC work harder.
  • The ideal temperature inside the AC room should be around 24 to 25 degrees Celsius. Anything less can make you feel uncomfortable and consume more power.
LG dual Inverter ac
  • One should invest in the ideal AC for the room, depending on its size. For example, if you install a 1-ton AC on a room that requires a 1.5-ton AC, you are overworking the AC. Hence, it will show a depleted performance and not last long.
  • One should switch on the AC every day for at least ten minutes, even if the temperature outside is cold. It helps to keep the AC components in perfect working condition. Under such circumstances, you can set the AC temperature to 27 or 28 degrees Celsius.

Conclusion

We have discussed various maintenance issues about ACs and tips that could help you to maintain your ACs. Purchasing and installing an AC is not a big deal, but maintaining it certainly is. The household that manages their ACs well ends up saving more power.

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