Fault Finding

Affordable Air Conditioning Adelaide have created a list below of common faults you might encounter with your air conditioning unit.

Before you take a look, consider these general points too!

One of the most common air conditioning problems we see is improper use. Make sure to close windows and doors when your air conditioner is on. If your air conditioner is in a single room, ensure you isolate the room or a series of connected rooms from the rest of your home.

Generally, air conditioner manufacturers make durable, high quality products. If your air conditioner fails in any way, it is a good idea to begin by checking any fuses or circuit breakers. It is best to let the unit cool down for round fifteen minutes before resetting any circuit breakers.

If your central air conditioner’s compressor stops on a hot day, the high-pressure limit switch may have tripped. You can reset it by turning the unit off inside if it is not already, then turning the systems circuit breaker off for around 15 minutes or so (these are usually located at your switchboard and marked a/c or aircon OR they may be located on or near the outdoor unit itself, depending on the age of the installation).

Once 15 minutes has lapsed, you may turn the circuit breaker to the ON position and wait a moment or two before turning the system on as normal inside. If the fault has not corrected itself, you may need to wait until the heat of the day has eased and try the process again. We also suggest running the units at no more or no less than 13degreesC difference than the predicted outside temperature. Any more than this may result in the unit going out on a fault and not operating correctly or effectively.

In extreme weather, we also suggest running the units 24 hours a day at a low or high temperature depending on the Season (high for Summer heat and low for Winter). Once the system has been able to combat the heat or lack of in your home it will be able to maintain a more even air temperature. If the unit is only turned on for a few hours at a time then turned off, it will have to essentially start from scratch every time you turn it back on, meaning your desired air temperature will be harder to reach and less likely maintained by the system.

Other common problems we see result from faulty installation and inadequate maintenance (failure to clean filters is a big cause), which can affect air flow and refrigerant levels. If you suspect your air conditioner has been installed or serviced improperly, contact us so we can help you establish what the problem is.

Troubleshooting for other common problems

Air conditioner doesn’t cool or heat the room well

Please check the following:

  • Are the temperature and operation mode properly set by the remote controller? Heat (Sun) for Winter and Cool for Summer (Snowflake). Temperature should be no more or no less than 13degreesC of the predicted outside temperature
  • Are air quantity and direction properly controlled? This is a reference to your fan speed and vane or outlet directions
  • Are air filters clean? (See our How often should I clean my filter Blog for a downloadable guide)
  • Are areas directly below or next to the air conditioner blocked by furniture or other objects? Especially your outdoor unit as impaired flow can cause the system to overheat or under perform
  • Are external windows and doors closed to the outside and also to areas that are not being conditioned (where possible)?
  • Has the ventilation (outdoor units) fan stopped?

Did this solve your problem? If not, please contact us by using our Request a Service form or by calling our office direct!

Warm air does not flow immediately after starting the heating function

This is not a malfunction — the air conditioner is simply warming up. Please wait for about 10-15 minutes.

Air conditioner does not operate (operation lamp off).

Please check the following before calling us!

  • Is the breaker thrown or the fuse blown?
  • Did the system register with a beep when you turned it on (wall split and floor console units only)
  • Has there been a power failure?
  • Do the batteries in the remote controller need replacement?
  • Is the timer set correctly?

Air conditioner does not operate (operation lamp flashes).

As per the above.

The ON/OFF button on the main unit or remote controller does not work.

Turn off the unit at the circuit breaker if a ducted or manually on the indoor unit head (only on some models) if a wall split system, and contact us or your air conditioner manufacturer.

Operation stops unexpectedly. (The operation lamp on the main unit flashes.)

Please check the following before calling us:

  • Are the air filters clean? If not, clean the air filters and restart operation using the controller. If the operation lamp still flashes, turn the breaker off and contact us or the place of purchase.
  • Perform a simple re-set by turning the system off at the circuit breaker for around 15 minutes. Then restart as normal.
  • Are there any objects blocking the air inlet or outlet of the indoor/outdoor unit? Remove any objects and restart operation using the controller.

Abnormal noise during operation

Record the noise or make notes of the sound and possibly the points at which the sound occurs if not constant. Turn off the unit, and contact us or your air conditioner manufacturer.

I lost the remote controller. Can I use the air conditioner without it?

Operation can be started by pressing the “ON/OFF” button on the main unit if a wall split system (some models only). In this case, operation mode and fan speed are set to the last setting the unit was operated on.

The outdoor unit discharges water or steam.

  • During heating operation, the outdoor unit melts accumulated frost and discharges it as water or steam. This is normal, but if you are concerned, please call us or your air conditioning installer.
  • In extreme cold weather, the outdoor unit will build up heavy ice. In order to remove this your unit will divert HOT air from inside to the outdoor unit until it has broken up and removed the buildup. This process is called a de-ice and can take up to 30 minutes to complete. The unit will smoke, crackle and make noise while this is happening. There also may be a series of symbols that appear on your controller to signify that the unit is in de-ice mode. Please DO NOT turn your unit off. This cycle has to be completed for the unit to resume normal operation. In extreme cases the system may do this many times. Please adjust your temperature settings to a lower point so that the system is working less hard to reach your desired room temperature. We also suggest in extremes leaving the unit on its lowest temperature setting overnight and adjusting it throughout the day may help reduce the effects of the de-ice cycle.

Water leaks from the indoor unit.

Turn off the unit and check your return air filters if a wall split system. If they are dirty, cleaning them should fix the problem, however if they are very dirty the drain the takes the condensation away from your indoor unit on a cooling cycle may be blocked and require cleaning. This is best done by a technician. Please contact us or your air conditioner manufacturer to arrange a visit.

If the unit is a ducted system this may mean that your drain is blocked or may have become dislodged. Turn the unit off and contact a technician for an attendance to inspect and rectify.

If water is leaking from one of your outlets, you may have the unit set to a too low a temperature in Summer, and the ductwork is generating condensation that will drip out of your ductwork. Please adjust your temperature setting. If the problem persists please contact us of your air conditioning installer for a service.

Refrigerant Leaks

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, this can mean it was either undercharged at installation or it leaks. If it leaks, simply adding more refrigerant is not a solution — you will need to call in a professional. We can fix any leak, test the repair, then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant.

Remember the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is at its best when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification, and is neither undercharged nor overcharged. Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment and should be fixed immediately.

Inadequate Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to your unit continuing to function efficiently, identifying problems and avoiding breakdown. If you allow filters to become dirty, the air conditioner will not work properly and the unit is likely to fail prematurely. Check out our Blog on maintenance and how to clean your air conditioners filters.

Sensor Problems

Room air conditioners have a thermostat sensor located behind the control panel that measures the temperature of air coming into the coil. If the sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner can cycle constantly or cease to work properly. The sensor should be near the coil but not touching it. You can adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place, but it’s safer to call in a professional to avoid harm to yourself or causing damage to your air conditioner.

Drainage Problems

When it is humid outside it is a good idea to check the condensate drain to ensure it isn’t clogged and is draining properly. For more complex drainage problems contact us!

Improper Installation

Improper installation of a central air conditioner can result in leaky ducts and low airflow. Many times, the refrigerant charge (the amount of refrigerant in the system) does not match the manufacturer’s specifications. If proper refrigerant charging is not performed during installation, the performance and efficiency of the unit is impaired.

Unqualified service technicians often fail to find refrigerant charging problems or even worsen existing problems by adding refrigerant to a system that is already full.

Further questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!