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Top 10 Defects of Air Conditioning Systems

When it comes to your air cooling system, there are a lot of things that can age or deteriorate (or may have never been installed correctly in the first place) that will be identified in your home inspection report. So, be on the lookout for these items and get them fixed prior to the inspection. Here are the Top 10 Defects found on inspections regarding air conditioning:

  1. Outside unit out of level. Whether due to the ground settling unevenly or improper initial installation, units 8 to 10 degrees or more out of level can affect compressor operation, lubrication and place excessive stress on the freon lines and connections.
  2. Noisy Fan /Excessive vibration. This could be due to loose mounting hardware, bearings in the motor that may be failing, or a broken mounting bracket, to name a few.
  3. Insulation missing on coolant lines. This condition will cause a loss of efficiency in the cooling system.
  4. Outside Unit “Icing Up." There are a few reasons that this can be happening. Call an HVAC specialist to ascertain the exact cause and rectify. 
  5. Running in short cycles (turning on and off too frequently). You may think that as long as it's cool inside your home, your system is working properly, but your air conditioning system may be working overtime to compensate for system deficiencies like low refrigerant charge, a clogged filter, or improper unit size for the home, all of which can cause the compressor to fail prematurely.
  6. Low or high Delta T (temp diff between supply and return air). Too high of a drop between the two temps (more than 20 degrees drop) could indicate a lack of air flow or low on refrigerant. Less than a 15-degree drop could mean too much air flow, dirty outside coil or low on refrigerant.
  7. Improper condensate drainage at the air handler. This can cause water back-up, unit damage, and air quality issues due to bacterial growth.
  8. Dirty coils in the air handler. This condition reduces the efficiency of the A/C and heating system, increases cooling and heating energy costs, reduces the removal of humidity, increases equipment breakdown and costly repairs, creates a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew, and contributes to low air flow.
  9. Dirty, damaged or missing air filter. When the air conditioning filter or filters are dirty or missing entirely, the results include the accumulation of dirt and allergens, decreased system efficiency, and possible damage to duct work, blower fan and the cooling coil.
  10. Inadequate air distribution in parts of the house. Your system is out of balance, it's time for a tune up!

Call an HVAC specialist to assess and service your system to have a much cleaner report on inspection day!