Troubleshoot Air Conditioning Problems

The last thing you want to happen on a hot summer day is for your air conditioning to stop working properly. We’ve all been there a time or two. It’s as if your air conditioner is fighting against you, purposely malfunctioning on the hottest day yet, just to get a good laugh. Learn how to troubleshoot air conditioning problems before they become problems!

DIY troubleshooting air conditioning

We’ve put together a list of several of the most common air conditioning problems and how to troubleshoot them. Some of these should by default be left to a certified technician, and we’ll be sure to let you know which ones.

Should you experience any trouble while attempting to troubleshoot air conditioning problems or don’t feel comfortable working on your unit altogether, leave the work to a licensed, trained HVAC professional as you wouldn’t want to cause any further damage to your system.

How to Troubleshoot Air Conditioning Problems

1. Faulty Installation/Improper Sizing

Proper sizing and a precise installation is of the utmost importance when it comes to installing an HVAC unit. A possible indication that your unit wasn’t installed correctly is if it short cycles or if your home never feels cool enough.

If this is the case, have an expert inspect the entire system and ensure that your unit is cooling efficiently. The size of your unit is dependent on the square footage of your home that needs cooling. To give you a better indication, Energy Star has put together a A/C Sizing Chart:

troubleshooting air conditioning problems

2. Low on Refrigerant

If your unit is low on refrigerant, it means that it was improperly charged or you have a leak. In both cases, it’s imperative that you call a technician as soon as possible to inspect the issue, making any necessary repairs and/or charging the system correctly.

It is not as simple as adding more Freon; if your have a leak, you need to schedule air conditioner repair immediately. Beware of HVAC companies that only refill your refrigerant without addressing the underlying leak problem.

3. Inadequate Maintenance

How well your HVAC unit functions is entirely dependent on how often you schedule professional maintenance. You wouldn’t neglect your car for years on end, so why neglect your HVAC unit? Much like your car, your HVAC unit has numerous parts and components that need cleaning and adjusting annually so that it can operate at maximum efficiency.

Life is often fast paced, with work and/or classes, having to take care of the kids and keep the house clean, prepare dinner, etc. It seems like sometimes there isn’t a moment to spare. Scheduling a tune-up for your unit is the last thing on your mind right now.

The easiest solution is to join a maintenance program; that way, it isn’t your job to remember to schedule your appointment! They’ll do it for you at your easiest convenience.

Call Larry & Sons now to talk to someone about joining our HVAC maintenance program! We’re here to make life just a little bit easier – and ensure comfort.

4. Poor Airflow

If your home isn’t as cool as you’d like to be, there are a few things you can do before calling in an expert. Put it on your chore list to vacuum vents regularly as this will cleanse your vents of all the dirt and debris that could be blocking airflow. Clear away anything that could be blocking airflow, such as furniture, rugs, drapes, etc.

This doesn’t, however, replace the need for a professional duct cleaning. If you really want to improve indoor air quality and home energy efficiency, your best bet is to have your air ducts professionally cleaned every 5-7 years.

5. Change Your Air Filter

One of the most important things you can do to ensure proper airflow is by changing the air filters regularly. While our technicians can change your air filter when performing maintenance, that’s just twice a year.

troubleshoot air conditioning air filter

On average, you should change your filters every 1-3 months to ensure a healthy flow. Forgoing changing the air filter will lead to poor indoor air quality, uneven heating and cooling, short cycling, strain on your system, and a buildup of dust and dirt on your HVAC fan blades and around vents. Put reminders in your phone and calendar so you never forget.

We recommend using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filters. Although they cost more, they do a better job of filtering your indoor air and last a lot longer,


At Larry & Sons, we want our customer to get a refreshing respite from summer’s blistering heat. If you find yourself without cool air and can’t seem to tackle the problem, big or small, give us a call at 301-733-5428.

You can also keep in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!

Landscaping, Your Hagerstown AC, and Saving Money!

Who knew that proper landscaping of your Hagerstown home could save you money?  It’s true!  Your air conditioner will work harder and more frequently than you would ever want if it is located in direct sunlight. Landscaping is a way you can give your AC a break while at the same time saving money on utility bills.

 Inspect, prune, and pay attention!  Get out in that garden and have a look at that AC unit!

  • Cut back any overgrown bushes or plants nearby, and remove any weeds growing near or over the AC unit, in order to ensure proper air circulation is maintained in the space immediately surrounding the AC unit. It might even be prudent to place stepping stones or cement in the foot of space immediately surrounding the AC unit, to keep a good barrier between the unit and surrounding foliage.
  • Pull out that green thumb and plant some flowers or greenery surrounding but not too close to the AC unit, making it a part of the yard’s landscaping, rather than an eye-sore which stands out.
  • Get your air conditioner under the shade.  This can be done simply by adding trees or tall bushes near the AC unit, protecting it from the blazing sun.  AC units can also be moved to the North side of a house or other building, making sure they are under the shade during the heat of the day.  Ensuring an AC unit is in the shade can mean not only saving approximately 5% on cooling bills, but can also increase the energy efficiency of the air conditioning unit by upwards of 10%.
  • Add trees or tall foliage all around a property to provide shade directly on the home or building, which can additionally contribute to overall cooling of the yard and buildings being cooled.

 Proper landscape maintenance near, upkeep of, and airflow to your Hagerstown air conditioning unit ensures that there is reduced wear and tear on the AC unit, helping it to run more efficiently for a much longer period of time.  Pay attention to your AC unit and it will provide a great service for many years. Call Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning if you need any AC service in the Hagerstown, MD area!

 

 

 

Programmable Thermostats and Your Hagerstown AC

Air conditioning makes our home comfortable during a hot summer day. However, air conditioners need electricity to run, and most of us are trying to reduce our home’s energy consumption. There are a number of ways you can make your Hagerstown air conditioning system more efficient, including upgrading to an ENERGY STAR rated unit and scheduling regular maintenance, but one of the easiest steps to implement is installing a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats automatically adjust the temperature in your home depending on the time of day. You can save up to 10 percent a year by turning down your thermostat back ten degrees for eight hours a day! Most models allow you to store multiple daily settings, so you can turn you air conditioner down during the day when you are at work and while you are sleeping, and still have the temperature cooler when you need it. You can also still manually adjust the temperature without affecting the normal settings, giving you complete control and helping you save energy.

Programmable thermostats are not all made the same, and there are many different makes and models. An HVAC contractor will go over the different features available to you so you can decide which best fits your needs. Different thermostats work better with different systems, for instance some heat pumps need thermostats that have multi-stage functions, so it is best to consult with a professional before deciding what to purchase.

Programmable thermostats allow you to save energy without sacrificing comfort, which is something that all of us are looking for. If you are looking for a simple, affordable way to improve your HVAC system, a programmable thermostat is a great choice. Most are easy to read and easy to use, call Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn more about having a programmable thermostat installed in your home!

Waynesboro Air Conditioning Tip: What to Do Before Turning on AC for First Time

The weather is starting to heat up and you are eager to flip the switch on your Waynesboro air conditioning system for the first time. It’s been sitting there since spring, waiting to be used, but now you wonder if there are any tasks that should be completed before its first use. Depending on the type of system you had installed there are a few things you should keep in mind before you cool down your house. They include:

  • Outdoor Cleaning – First, make sure the outdoor unit (if you have a central AC system) is cleaned up nicely. Clear away any leaves, remove the cover and check the system for any growth or debris that might have gotten under the cover. Check the air supply registers to make sure they are open and either replace or clean your filters depending on whether they are permanent or disposable.
  • Check Your Thermostat – The thermostat should be checked before you start using the system. To do this, set the system to Auto-cool and then lower the thermostat setting to one degree lower than the actual temperature in the room. If the system turns on, the thermostat is working properly. Let it run for a few hours to make sure this stays consistent.
  • Clear Away Winter and Spring Dust – Now that your system is running, make sure you check the filters for any buildup of dust that was in the ductwork. Over the off season, your ducts might develop a layer of dust and debris, especially if your heating system doesn’t make use of them. The filters might clog quickly as a result.
  • Check for Water Leaks – Your condensate overflow drain should work properly as well – check for any potential leaks during the first 48 hours of operation. Even a small leak should be checked immediately to avoid potential problems as summer cooling season kicks in.

If you notice any problems other than those listed above, you should call a Waynesboro heating and cooling professional immediately. Ideally you will have your system inspected in early-mid spring to ensure it is ready for the summer, but even so problems can develop between inspection and first running. Electrical issues especially should be checked immediately.

To schedule your spring maintenance appointment for your air conditioner, please give Larry & Sons a call today!

We're ready to serve you safely!
Ask about our zero contact service calls.

See our Video Here!