The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is approximately 12-15 years. However, there are several factors that play an important role in getting the longest timeframe from your unit. It starts with good-quality equipment, choosing the proper tonnage required for the size of your home, the knowledge and skill of the technician installing the unit, and regular annual AC maintenance. 

The following discussion may be beneficial if you notice your system is not working as it should and that it might be time for AC repair:

  • A humming noise coming from your air conditioning unit may indicate that your system is enduring an electrical issue. As such, you should immediately contact your HVAC technician. Doing so will get your unit working properly promptly and will reduce the likelihood of a fire. A small problem can easily become larger if not quickly handled by a professional.
  • The fact is that air conditioning is not a luxury item but a necessity when you live in a hot and humid place like Florida, specifically the Miami area. Since it is mostly hot all year round, your air conditioning unit works harder than any of your other electrical equipment in your home. In doing so, there is a much higher chance of it malfunctioning. A common problem is for the air conditioner to freeze up, generating ice on the evaporator coil or keeping the airflow from circulating. This seems impossible given the high-temperature levels, but it certainly does happen.

Here are some of the common culprits that cause freezing:

  • Dirty air filters. Dirty air filters or obstructed air returns can diminish airflow resulting in your air conditioner working slowly, using more energy and eventually freezing and failing to function or failing to start at all. You should change them regularly, approximately every 2-3 months.
  • Thermostat. Check the batteries in your thermostat.
  • Low refrigerant.
  • Dirty evaporator coils.
  • Clogged drainage lines. Dirt and other organic materials sometimes accumulate in the drain lines causing water to back up, eventually overflowing the drain pan and wetting the filter which restricts airflow causing the unit to freeze up.

Regular air conditioner maintenance is critical to the performance of a unit not only because it keeps you and your family comfortable but because it lowers utility bills and helps predict possible mechanical problems before they happen. It is important to remember that part of the unit, the condenser, sits outside of the home and is exposed to the weather constantly and should be cleaned on a yearly basis. Air conditioning problems usually arise at the most inopportune time. That is when you have family visiting from out of state or just returned from a nice vacation and come home to a “more than HOT” environment.

In situations where your air conditioner unit is not blowing cold air or is actually blowing warm air, it is likely that the evaporator coil is frozen, a capacitor is not supplying power, there is a refrigerant leak, the condenser is dirty, or you have a broken compressor. These problems can be easily diagnosed and resolved by a trained HVAC technician.

The are some steps we recommend you follow to troubleshoot the problem:

  • Make sure the fan motor on the condenser (outside unit) is turning.
  • Check your breakers and fuses. Fuses are designed to protect the motor and compressor from overheating. A blown fuse may indicate that there is a significant problem with your system or merely that other electrical items in your household have encumbered your home’s electrical potential and tripped off the breakers.
  • Check your thermostat. These control devices can stop working and require replacement. You can also inadvertently turn them off or not have them in the correct setting. In addition, problems reflected by the thermostat might be related to a frozen coil which is responsible for evaporation needed for cooling.
  • Look at the evaporator coils for ice or other debris.
  • Check your filters for dirt.