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Common AC Problems: A Guide for Denver Homeowners

Spring has sprung in Denver! Residents throughout the Mile-High City are catching up on their spring cleaning checklists and shaking off the cobwebs after a long, harsh winter.

Spring is the perfect time to book your AC tuneup before the sweltering summer temps hit. But even with proper maintenance, things happen. Your air conditioner isn’t invincible, of course — knowing how to recognize common AC problems can save you time and money in the long run.

3 common AC problems for Denver homeowners

Keep reading to discover 3 of the most common air conditioning problems:

  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Water leaks
  • Malfunctioning thermostats

Refrigerant leaks

Most homeowners have probably heard their air conditioning repair technicians mention refrigerant. But what exactly is refrigerant? And how does it help keep you cool in the summer?

Refrigerant absorbs heat from the air in your home. Throughout the cooling cycle, refrigerant transforms from a gas to a liquid as it absorbs heat and back to a gas again as it returns to room temperature. Other parts of the air conditioning unit work together with refrigerant to turn hot air into cool air and circulate it through your home.

A refrigerant leak can be dangerous and requires immediate attention. Call a Denver air conditioning repair specialist as soon as you notice any of the following signs of a refrigerant leak:

  • hissing or gurgling sound coming from the outdoor unit even when it’s not running
  • the AC blowing mild, warm, or hot air
  • high energy bills despite no obvious change in usage
  • ice forming on the evaporator coils of the outdoor air conditioning unit

Can refrigerant get low without a leak?

Typically, only leaks cause low refrigerant levels. However, wear and tear on AC parts can also cause low refrigerant levels. When you install a new air conditioner, your Denver HVAC technician will ensure the unit is supplied with enough refrigerant to last throughout the unit’s lifespan. Don’t forget to book an annual AC tuneup to make sure your AC is working optimally.

Water leaks

brown brick building with white window type air conditioner - common ac problems - air conditioner repair in denver co

Water leaks are often a sign of poor maintenance. If you don’t book annual AC tuneups, you risk the chance of water leaks both indoors and outdoors.

Indoor leaks typically occur when the unit’s condensate drain clogs up. As gross as it sounds, algae and fungi growth are the two most common culprits.

While there are some home remedies for indoor water leaks and killing algae and fungi, we don’t recommend trying them unless you really know your way around an air conditioner. (And rest assured that if you don’t, our Denver AC repair specialists do!)

Broken condensate pumps are another common cause of a leaking air conditioner indoors. Condensate pumps last 3 years on average — your local air conditioner repair service will inspect and replace these during your annual maintenance appointment if needed.

Outdoor water leaks aren’t always a cause for concern. In fact, they’re normal as long as your AC is performing like it should be and the leakage isn’t excessive. But if your AC isn’t cooling properly and the outdoor unit is leaking a lot of water, it’s time to seek professional help.

Several issues can cause outdoor water leaks, including:

  • improper installation of the AC (which is never a problem when you book your AC installation with Golden West!)
  • a broken condensate pan
  • refrigerant leaks

If you notice water leaks from your air conditioner or a drop in performance, call in the pros ASAP. Not only are indoor leaks unsightly, but they can also damage your walls and cause mold growth.

Malfunctioning thermostat

Your thermostat relies on a sensor, located near the evaporator coil, to detect the temperature and turn on the AC at the right time.

If the sensor is malfunctioning, your AC won’t turn on, or it might turn off and on seemingly at random.

Here are a few of the most common thermostat problems that cause your AC to malfunction:

  • Dislodged or broken sensor
  • Dead batteries in the thermostat
  • Constant cycling of the AC (turning off and on randomly)

Swapping out dead batteries for fresh ones is an easy job you can handle yourself. You can also check the sensor to see if it’s in the right spot. We don’t recommend trying to move it back into place yourself, though.

If you think your sensor or thermostat is broken, call Golden West, your trusted AC repair service in Denver. Our central location right off I-25 puts us in a prime position to respond to air conditioning repair emergencies throughout Denver, Aurora, Centennial, and the surrounding metro area.

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