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A/C and Heating Service - Sales - Installation - Since 1989

Common Questions & Answers courtesy Lawrence Air Conditioning & Heating

How can I tell if my air conditioner is broken?

When your thermostat is set to cool & you have set a realistic temperature, the AC system will operate until your home reaches the set temperature. It will then cycle off within 30-45 minutes, if not sooner. There are a few variables that will affect the operation of your AC system, but don’t necessarily indicate a broken AC. Such as outdoor temperature, indoor temperature, ect.

Example: if your system has been turned off for an extended period of time and the inside temperature increases to roughly 85 degrees or higher; when you then turn the system on and set the temperature on the thermostat to 72 degrees, it will most likely take the AC system several hours to reach that set temperature.

Another way to test to see if your AC system is broken or not, is to put a thermometer at the return air grill, (or the grill that is sucking the air, not blowing it) leave it place for 3-5 minutes and then note the temp. Then place that same thermometer at a few different supply grills (or the grills blowing the air), leaving in each location for that 3-5 minute period. If the temperature difference between the return air grill and the supply grills is around 15-20 degrees, then more than likely your system is performing properly.

What are the major types of Air Conditioners?

There are many types of Air Conditioning systems – to include:

  • Central Air and heat, split systems or package units (most common in residential homes)
    • Straight cool, w/ straight electric heat
    • Heat pump systems, with back up electric heat
    • Straight cool systems w/ gas or propane heat
    • Dual fuel systems
  • Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioners
  • Geothermal Heating & Cooling (less common in southern states)

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

When the AC unit is working and the thermostat detects that the set temperature is lower than the room temperature, warm air from inside the building enters the unit through a grille at the base and moves across evaporator coils within the unit. Liquid refrigerant circulating inside the coils absorbs the warm air and becomes a gas. Not only does the evaporator coil absorb heat, but it also takes moisture out of the air, serving as a dehumidifier.

The warm refrigerant gas then travels to the compressor in the exterior unit where it’s compressed and becomes even hotter. Then, the gas travels to the condenser where it again becomes a liquid. This process causes heat to release outdoors through fans. The cooled refrigerant then returns to the indoor unit, and the process repeats until the desired temperature is reached.

What Should I Do If My Air Conditioner Isn’t Blowing Cool Air?

  • Check the thermostat; if it doesn’t display, change the batteries (if it has batteries). 
  • If there’s still no display after changing the batteries, check the fuse box. 
  • If no fuses have blown or tripped, your thermostat may need to be replaced.
  • If the thermostat is working but the AC isn’t, check your filter, if it is dirty replace it with the same size.
  • If the air conditioner still is not cooling properly, turn the thermostat to fan and wait for about 30 min. to an hour and then turn it back to auto. A dirty air filter prevents air flow, and over time could ice up your inside coil preventing cold air from blowing.
  • If all else fails, call us for expert repair.

What Are Some Common Air Conditioning Issues That Require Repairs?

  • Refrigerant can leak through damaged lines in the system, resulting in less pressure during the cooling process. As regional HVAC experts, our technicians can detect the source of the leak, repair it and recharge the entire system to ensure the proper amount of refrigerant is added.
  • The unit’s condenser coils can freeze up and prevent cooling. This issue usually occurs either when the filters are dirty or debris obstructs airflow from the outdoor unit. Another cause can be low refrigerant levels. Our professional technicians can diagnose the problem and resolve it by deicing the condenser coils.
  • The unit’s drain line and drip pan can become damaged or obstructed with algae, preventing moisture from draining. This can result in high indoor humidity or even damage to the unit. Our expert HVAC technicians can clear or repair these components so condensation can again effectively exit the system.

I am using a R22 refrigerant system. Can I change the refrigerant to R410A?

No, each refrigerant has been designed to operate in a particular pressure during operation. These two refrigerants have different properties and are not interchangeable. The compressor and other components may be damaged if you change the refrigerant.