Seaforth resident, Linda asks

“Over the last few weeks we’ve noticed that our air conditioning unit doesn’t seem to be as cold as it usually is? What’s wrong with it? Does it need a service? Or does it need to be re-gassed? Our neighbour seems to think it’s a problem with the outdoor unit as it seems quite noisy. Please help.”

The reasons why an air conditioning unit may not be cooling properly could be due to a number of things. It may need re-gassing, ductwork could be damaged, it could be an electrical fault. Below are a few things we see in most cases, however its always best to give us a call if the unit seems faulty.

It can be very frustrating to run your air conditioner, but never achieve the temperature that gives you the comfort you’re after. If a unit isn’t reaching a sufficiently cool temperature, there are a range of issues that could be causing this problem. When you book a service, our team will inspect the system to assess which of the following issues is the root cause.

Before you call us, you can check the following.

  • Inspect the air outlet of the indoor or outdoor unit to see if it is blocked with obstacles and remove them and clear the area if necessary.
  • Check if the air filter is clogged and clean the filters if necessary.
  • Check if the fan speed control is set to a low speed.
  • Ensure the doors and windows are closed to prevent warm external air entering the rooms. Close curtains or blinds if there is direct sunlight. If you have visitors, this may be the cause. When there are too many occupants in the room, the cooling effect is decreased, as there is too much heat in the room.

Gone through the checklist and still can’t solve the problem?

Your aircon may not be not cooling efficiently for one of the following reasons.

The refrigerant gas is low

The most common cause of an air conditioner that isn’t cooling sufficiently is a refrigerant gas leak, which leads to low gas levels. This can occur when the pipe connections get knocked or damaged, causing a slow leak. This can happen over a couple of months, and you may not be aware it has happened until your aircon stops cooling efficiently.

Our technician will conduct a pressure test and a bubble leak test to determine the source of the leak. The leaks usually come from the flares and the connection of the flares. We sometimes find them in the wall cavity, which is generally caused when screws or pins are hammered into walls. These leaks can be difficult to pinpoint, but we have the option of using a super sealant. This is a specialised product that can be added to the gas that effectively seals pinprick leaks. It can’t be used on every system, however.

Once a leak is identified and repaired, we replace the missing refrigerant gas in the system. Volumes needed to re-gas range from a couple of kilograms to 10 kilograms of refrigerant gas. We often get asked by clients if we can top up the gas without finding the source of the leak and repairing it. We are governed by a body called the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARCTIC). An ARCTIC licence stipulates that all members must find and repair air conditioning leaks before refilling gas. So, our role is to see where the hole is first before re-gassing.

It’s worth noting that there are different types of refrigerant gas. Older systems tend to run on R22 gas, which isn’t eco-friendly and is being phased out. If your system is running on this gas, we would recommend you replace the indoor unit, the outdoor unit, and the refrigerant piping of your system to accommodate the cheaper and environmentally friendly R32 gas. To compare, the retail price of R22 gas is $500 a kilo, while R32 gas sells for about $100 per kilo. When a system runs on 10 kilograms of refrigerant gas, this can account for a significant saving.

The ducts are damaged

Ducts can easily be damaged or separated when you have other service providers, such as electricians, working in your roof space. You then have a situation where the cool air remains in the roof space, and only ambient air reaches the rooms.

The filters are blocked

If the filters haven’t been maintained or cleaned regularly, insufficient air would be drawn into the system to cool as the buildup obstructs the airflow. We clean filters as part of an annual maintenance service. When airflow is restricted, the system has to work harder, which uses more energy and affects your power bills. If you’ve noticed a rise in your bills, this is a likely cause.

Your system is too small

If we have ruled out all of these potential problems, we will assess your system to determine if it is the right size to cool your home or business. If a system is too small for a space, it won’t be able to cool it sufficiently.

Aircon not cool enough?

Give us a call today to book a service with Penair. Our technicians will be able to identify the cause and repair the system, so your air conditioner gives you the comfort levels you want to achieve in your home or business.

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