cleaning air conditioning

Elimination of basic air conditioner malfunctions

For most of us, air conditioning is associated with a sense of absolute comfort. What could be better than the long-awaited coolness on a hot summer day or a pleasant warmth when autumn and slush are outside the window, and the heating has not yet been turned on? In addition, the advertising assures us: modern air conditioners are technologically advanced, modern and easy to operate. But you should understand that no air conditioner is able to work for years without a single breakdown. Any device needs regular maintenance, any device has a service life. This is important to consider when you buy a brand new air conditioner.

It is for this reason that we are convinced: every user should know about the basic malfunctions in order to detect the problem in time and call the wizard. If you neglect this knowledge and continue to use the air conditioner, sooner or later the problems will affect the entire split system, and then the repair will cost a considerable amount. In this sense, any technique is similar to a person: if the air conditioner is not «treated» in time, the «disease» will begin to progress.

But do not worry ahead of time. Some problems can be fixed independently, saving a lot of money. But we will have to work hard, we will allocate a couple of hours on a day off. However, in most cases, you will still have to entrust the repair to an experienced specialist. In this article, we will tell you about the most common malfunctions, what they lead to and how to fix the situation. Be sure to read the article to the end and do not forget to share this material on social networks.

List of malfunctions and troubleshooting methods

Unpleasant smell from the indoor unit

This is a separate big topic, to which we have devoted a separate article. Be sure to read it. In short: often the air conditioner exudes unpleasant odors if you do not carry out regular cleaning and disinfection.

This procedure can be performed at home. You can clean the indoor unit with your own hands. The outdoor unit can also be cleaned without assistance, but only if it is located at a height of no more than two meters. We still recommend that you entrust this task to a specialist. But the indoor unit can be cleaned independently.

The air conditioner makes strange noises

why is the air conditioner making noise

Gurgling, cracking, clicking, knocking, rattling-sooner or later, every air conditioner user will begin to hear these sounds. Often the reason lies in poor-quality assembly from the manufacturer or the absence of rubber gaskets, which are designed to dampen excessive vibration.

The device is operated in winter

air conditioner icing

Most split systems are not able to fully work at sub-zero temperatures outside the window. The technical data sheet specifies the operating temperature range, which is worth getting acquainted with. Usually, the air conditioner can work effectively at a temperature of +5 to +40 degrees.

If you use the device outside of its operating range, the air conditioner will work at full capacity and sooner or later will not withstand such operation. First, there will be minor air conditioner malfunctions, and after them the entire system will fail. If you want to use the device in the winter season, install the winter kit. Or use other heating sources.

The air conditioner does not cool/heat the air well

The reason is either insufficient power or the presence of internal malfunctions. Power must be selected at the purchase stage, having studied our material and using the help of a manager.

And as for internal malfunctions, it is possible to determine them accurately only if a complete diagnosis of the split system is carried out. This is a long and expensive procedure, but it is necessary if the device does not work effectively. Often, specialists find a freon leak, eliminate it, refuel the device and it starts working at full capacity.

The air conditioner stops working

air conditioner crackles

The user turns on the device, adjusts it, but after 10-30 minutes the air conditioner turns off. There are several reasons: either the radiator is dirty, or the temperature sensor has failed, or the electronic control board has broken (we will talk about it later in the article), or the settings are incorrectly set.

We recommend that you thoroughly clean the radiator, often the problem lies precisely in the contamination. In addition, thorough cleaning and disinfection will positively affect the operation of the entire system as a whole.

If the device turns off after a recent refueling with freon, it is necessary to measure the pressure of the compressor and drain the excess refrigerant, if there is too much of it.

Condensate flows out of the outdoor unit

In 99% of cases, the problem lies in the drain pipe. You need to turn off the air conditioner, wait 10-15 minutes, disconnect the tube, clean it and dry it, and then install it in place. If it seems that the air conditioner is broken, sometimes it is enough to check such non-obvious components as the drain pipe.

air conditioner drain pipe

The compressor is not working correctly/has failed

There can be many reasons. Let’s list the main ones:

  1. The radiator of the outdoor unit is dirty, which makes it difficult to remove heat and increases the load on the compressor. Thorough cleaning is required;

  2. Increased pressure in the main line. In this case, you need to bleed the refrigerating agent a little until the indicator returns to normal;

  3. The fan in the outdoor unit is faulty, so the system as a whole does not work correctly, and this is reflected in the compressor. We will talk about the fan in detail later;

  4. The capillary tubes are clogged. A very common cause of incorrect operation of the compressor. The problem can be solved by replacing the tubes;

  5. The service life of the compressor has come to an end and it has failed. You will not be able to replace the compressor with your own hands, this is a difficult job that requires experience and knowledge. Contact the service center.

The fan is not working correctly/has failed

The fan may stop or work incorrectly if its blades are broken, the air conditioner in the motor has broken down, the capacitors are faulty or there is a problem in the electronic board.

Usually the problem is solved by completely replacing the part that has failed. Below are some simple instructions for replacing certain components.

Replacing the impeller:

  1. Remove the protective grid;

  2. Unscrew the fasteners that hold the fan;

  3. Remove the impeller from the motor pulley;

  4. Install a new impeller and assemble all the components in the reverse order.

Replacing the motor:

  1. Turn off the power!

  2. Remove the protective grid;

  3. Unscrew the fasteners that hold the fan;

  4. Disconnect all electrical connections;

  5. Unscrew the motor mounts, disconnect it;

  6. Install a new motor;

  7. Assemble all the components in the reverse order.

Replacing the capacitor:

  1. Turn off the power!

  2. Disassemble the outdoor unit;

  3. Unscrew all the brackets that fix the capacitor;

  4. Disconnect the wires;

  5. Remove the old capacitor and put a new part in its place;

  6. Assemble all the components in the reverse order.

The work takes a little time, on average no more than an hour. But it must be performed by a specialist from the service center. Self-repair is not recommended.

Failures in the operation of the electronic control board

air conditioner rattles

If the temperature sensor or compressor is not working correctly, it is probably due to a malfunction of the control board. Usually, failures occur when the board is configured incorrectly. Often, the problem can be corrected by correctly programming the board. But in some cases, problems occur directly on the surface of the boards.

So, for example, it is not uncommon for the masters to disassemble the air conditioner and see the burned boards. This is especially true for old apartments, in which the voltage can «jump». The problem can be fixed only with a complete replacement of the board. A little later we will tell you how to do this. You can also put more powerful triacs.

If you see that the fan is rotating at a low speed or intermittently, pay attention to the board. They are often equipped with switches that rotate the fan. Also check the resistance. If the indicator is close to 0, it is better to replace the chip with a new one.

Control board replacement algorithm:

  1. Turn off the power;

  2. Disassemble the housing; Removing the cover at the top when the housing is disassembled.

  3. Remove the boards by unscrewing the fasteners. Do not forget about the wires with connectors, they also need to be disconnected;

  4. Install the new part in place of the old one. Assemble all the components in the reverse order.

Only an experienced specialist can perform such types of work. Therefore, it is not necessary to carry out such repairs yourself. The service of replacing the board is not cheap, it is a painstaking and important work. Entrust it to a professional.

Freon leakage through the outdoor unit

external unit hums

This is one of the most common problems. Often in this case, the device stops working effectively, users complain about weak cooling or heating of the room. There are two ways to detect a leak: using a leak detector or a soap solution.

The leak detector does not always cope effectively, so older masters prefer to use a soap solution. But this does not mean that it is worth abandoning more modern technologies. Sometimes they are much more accurate.

There are two possible ways to eliminate the malfunction: by soldering or by completely replacing the heat exchanger. Before soldering, the place is preheated with a burner. Solder is applied to the leak site, work carefully, without elevated temperatures. But replacing the heat exchanger will require more time and effort.

When replacing it, you will have to dismantle the outdoor unit, completely disassemble it. In some cases, the block is not removed from the wall, but only de-energized. At the discretion of the master. The heat exchanger must be cut out of the system, put a new one in its place and connected with nitrogen. After that, the entire system is assembled, leakproofness is checked, freon is filled and diagnostics is carried out.


Every year, manufacturers produce air conditioners with a large number of functions. The devices are becoming more technologically advanced and more convenient to use, this is a fact. But you should remember — the more complex the system, the higher the probability of failure. The air conditioner consists of many components connected to each other in a single chain. If one of the «links» ceases to perform its function, it will entail other malfunctions.

That is why it is so important to know about the main malfunctions and how to eliminate them. If you find signs of a breakdown, contact the service center immediately and report the problem. Also, it is not necessary to repair air conditioners at home if you do not have sufficient experience and qualifications.

The only thing you can do is to clean and disinfect the split system. This is a simple procedure, every user should learn this if he wants to increase the service life of the air conditioner. It is better to entrust the rest of the work to a specialist from the service center.

In the comments below, you can share what problems you had to face when using the air conditioner and how you fixed this situation. And repair specialists can give some useful recommendations for users and novice craftsmen. We wish you good luck!

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