air conditioner failure

Air Conditioner Failure & 3 Ways to Prevent It

  • December 2, 2015
  • By MR COOL

Nothing can ruin an entire week like unexpected air conditioner failure. Everything was going great, then, suddenly, the A/C stops working and the whole family gets crabby. It’s hard to be happy about life when you’re sweating yourself to sleep every night. Plus, who wants to pay a costly repair bill? Ugh.

Air Conditioner Failure – Stop It Before It Starts

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your system running smoothly for years to come.

Check Air Filters Monthly

The single most important thing you can do to keep your air conditioner functional is to check and clean your air filters. Those filters are not designed for you specifically. Yes, they do clean interior air. Yes, that can be good for your health. But again, no, they were not designed with you in mind.

Air conditioner air filters are designed to keep dust, dirt, and debris away from the sensitive interior components like the evaporator coil. Dirty coils corrode faster, reduce operating efficiency, and make the unit work harder to keep your home comfortable. Those factors can all build up to a colossal mechanical failure.

You, obviously, want to prevent that. Check your filters once per month, minimum. Check it even more if you have a lot of pets or a large family. If the filter is so dirty that you can’t see through it, you need to clean or replace it. Making this simple step a regular habit will keep your unit running efficiently while it helps you avoid a big air conditioner failure down the road.

Pre- & Post-Season Cleaning

Imagine that you leave your car sitting outside for six months. One day you decide you need to drive it somewhere. Are you going to just jump behind the driver’s wheel, start it up, and expect everything to go smoothly? Or are you going to check the car to make sure the tires haven’t gone flat and that a family of badgers hasn’t taken up residence in the trunk?

I really hope you’d at least give the thing a quick glance before you expect it to run.

Your air conditioner is like that car. It sits unused all winter. Bad weather can deposit leaves, sticks, and debris inside the cabinet and clogging the coils. Before you turn the unit on to keep you cool during the summer, you should give your air conditioner a quick clean up. We go into detail about how to do that elsewhere. Rest assured that the cleaning process is not very complicated.

You also want to make sure you clean the unit before you let it sit all winter long. Summer thunderstorms and high wind can dirty up the condenser in the same way bad winter weather can. Plus, a little Previous post: ... Next post:


6 thoughts on “Air Conditioner Failure & 3 Ways to Prevent It”

  1. Please explain the “self clean” function on the diy models, Do you just press it and it turns off when it is finished? Are there steps involved? Approximately how long does it take? I cannot find any info on it.
    Thank you

    1. Press Self-Clean and it will automatically engage. It will also shut off automatically. The duration is variable.

  2. The install manual says, “Do not place air conditioner under an eave or where it can get rained on.” Why can it not get rained on if it is an outdoor air conditioner unit?

    1. While an air conditioner condenser (the outside unit) can stand up to rain, it is always preferable to protect the condenser from inclement weather whenever possible.

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