Residents of Singapore, like many others in the world, are dependent on air conditioning for comfort. Singapore’s hot and humid climate can quickly make the surroundings unbearable. High-temperature, coupled with high humidity, causes extreme discomfort. These air conditioners ensure this doesn’t happen. An AC is prone to malfunction and failure, like every other electrical appliance. Individuals must know how to diagnose basic issues.
Common causes of air conditioner malfunction
- Circuit breaker/fuse
The circuit breaker, like the fuse, disconnects power supply in case the circuit is overloaded. Excess temperature or long running hours can load the air conditioner causing it to pull excess power. If the aircon is not receiving any power, inspect the circuit breaker (or fuse). If the breaker is tripped, reset it. Similarly, a blown fuse would need a replacement.
If this happens frequently, it indicates regular overload on the circuit. Either the AC is pulling more than rated power, or the circuit breaker is not of appropriate capacity.
The thermostat is used to change the settings of the air conditioner. A thermostat could be battery-operated and may behave erratically in case of weak batteries. It may even stop functioning completely. Know the system. If your thermostat is battery-powered, try changing them.
If the thermostat powers up, there may be a possibility that its settings have been reset. Program the thermostat to a temperature lower than ambient temperature to try to get the aircon to start. You may not know the exact temperature, so dial down to the minimum setting, if required.
Ensure that the system is set to the cooling mode. There is a fan-only mode that would not turn on the entire system.
Dirty air filters can cause extensive problems if left uncleaned. If water drips in your room, you need to inspect the air filters. Clogged air filters block the airflow. The evaporator coil cools below freezing point, and ice begins to form.
Clean (or replace) the air filters, turn off the air conditioner until all the ice has melted, and try using it again. If there is sufficient airflow yet ice forms on the coil, there could be low refrigerant pressure inside the system, probably because of a leak. You may diagnose this problem, but you can’t fix it without professional help.
This is the heart of the aircon and is also responsible for a major portion of the power consumed by the aircon. If the compressor is loaded beyond its design, it may pull more current and cause the electrical failures discussed in the first paragraph.
If your aircon is not cooling sufficiently, pay attention to the condenser unit. The unit produces a distinct rumbling sound when the compressor is running. The compressor shuts off when the set temperature is reached, or the compressor overheats. In case you notice frequent on and off cycles, it could mean an overloaded compressor. Clean the condenser coil. It is responsible for venting off excess heat.
After cleaning the coils, try using the aircon again. If the level of cooling increases and compressor cut off frequency decreases, you should know how much value cleaning provides. Please read here on how often aircon coils need cleaning. Also refer to our guide on signs of the faiing compressor
You could understand the signs of miscellaneous problems like the growth of mold, which is directly caused by leaking water and excess moisture inside the room. This problem can be fixed by using chemical sprays to clean the coils. At the same time, it also needs to be ensured that the drains pipes are unclogged and working properly. This is pretty much all the repairs you can perform without requiring special tools and expertise. In case you’re experiencing problems with your aircon, you should consult a professional technician. We, at MCL Air Conditioning, provide aircon installation, repair, and air conditioning service in Singapore. Our highly-trained staff can fix problems in no time. We are available 24 * 7 everyday at your service. Our speciality is aircon chemical wash.