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6 warning signs that could lead to air conditioning breakdown

September 15, 2021

There’s nothing more frustrating or disruptive than mechanical breakdowns. Whether it’s the car, the boiler or the washing machine, it’s only when things stop working that we realise how dependent we are on them.

Air conditioning is heavily relied upon in most commercial buildings; offices, hotels, restaurants, shops, factories, etc. It is there to keep building occupants comfortable and to circulate clean, fresh air. Of course, it’s only when the air conditioning system develops a fault or breaks down that we realise how vital it is – and you can bet your life that it will break down in the height of summer or midwinter!

Typically, air conditioning units break down because they haven't been regularly serviced or maintained. Modern systems will be covered by a warranty however, some warranties are only valid if systems are maintained.

If you haven’t had your system serviced recently and you are outside of your warranty period, it is advised that you book a service or opt for a preventative maintenance plan so that you are fully covered in the event of a breakdown – it will save you a heap of money in the long term.

What are the early warning signs of faulty air conditioning?

There are a number of early warning signs of air conditioning breakdown that should never be ignored, not only because you are risking a complete breakdown which can lead to severe disruptions for some businesses, but also because a faulty air conditioning system could become a safety risk. And, if you don’t have a maintenance plan, repairs could be expensive.

Here are 6 typical warning signs to look out for

Air conditioning is not reaching set temperatures

If you air conditioning system is not reaching the correct thermostat temperatures, there might be a problem with the system compressor or worse still, there could be a refrigerant leak. It is essential that this is dealt with quickly as refrigerants are dangerous unless handled by experts.

Water leaking from the air conditioning unit

If you see infrequent or tiny amounts of water coming from your air conditioning unit it might simply be condensation after heavy cooling use. However, if you see water continually dripping or running from the unit this could be a sign of a blockage or an issue with the condensate pump. It is always worth calling your service engineer to check that all is well.

Unusual sounds

You’ll no doubt be familiar with the sound of your air conditioning units so any unusual sounds should be investigated. Any vibrating sounds, knocking sounds or increased sound levels should be checked as a part may be faulty and dangerous. The longer any issue is left, the greater the likelihood of a total breakdown.

Fumes and odours

It might sound obvious but if you see smoke, smell burning or notice mouldy smells or bad odours when your air conditioning unit is on, switch off right away and call a service engineer and do not allow anyone to turn it back on. Such fumes can be toxic so be sure to open windows and keep areas well ventilated until your service engineer arrives. Place a warning sign over the controls and do not leave the site unattended until the problem has been checked or resolved by the engineer.

Ice or frost building up on the air conditioning unit

The most likely cause of frost or ice build up is a restriction of air flow. This is usually caused by dirty or blocked filters or coils. However, it could also be the sign of a refrigerant leak. Again, this needs to be investigated quickly by a qualified service engineer.

Dirty or blocked louvres

If you see a build up of dirt and dust on or around your air conditioning louvres then you can be sure that there is an equal amount of dirt on the inside too. Dirty filters will also mean that your air conditioning unit will also be using more energy and putting greater stresses on parts. Also, the air coming out of the unit will not be clean which could be a health hazard. Continued use in this condition will ultimately lead to damaged parts and breakdown.

Health and safety first!

A simple, regular service by one of our qualified air conditioning engineers will put your mind at rest that your air conditioning system is safe and importantly, will minimise any chance of a breakdown.

Better still, a custom maintenance plan will ensure that your system is running optimally and safely, and save you money in the long term, especially if your plan includes replacement parts.

If you want to avoid any chance of air conditioning breakdown, or if you have any concerns about your air conditioning system, please contact Loop Air Conditioning right away. Our expert engineers can also provide you with a FREE QUOTATION for servicing or maintenance to suit your budget and needs.