Whether you depend on your ducted air conditioner to keep you warm on a chilly winter’s night or keep you cool at the peak of a brutally sizzling summer, one factor’s certain. Air conditioners are a blessing. Although, when facing a potential ducted air conditioner breakdown, they can become much less pleasant! Some of the telltale signs your aircon is at risk includes leaking, inability to heat or cool, unpleasant odours, or excessive amount of noise.
Sadly, like all home appliances, your air conditioner has a finite lifespan. So, keeping your ducted system well maintained and getting it serviced annually are the best things you can do to extend the lifespan of your air conditioner!
Causes and Prevention of a Ducted Air Conditioner Breakdown
You may have noticed something isn’t quite right with your system, but at which point do you have a problem that requires the attention of a ducted air conditioning expert? Here are our top six causes of ducted air conditioning breakdowns and the steps you can take to solve them.
1. Your Air Conditioner Unit is Cutting In and Out
These days, ducted air conditioners speed up and slow down thanks to modern inverter technology. However, if your outdoor ducted air-con unit is cutting in and out this could mean something is wrong, such as a shortage of gas or an airflow restriction which will eventually lead to a breakdown.
As a first step, clean your filters! If that doesn’t help, turn off the air conditioner immediately. Running your system when it’s short of gas may potentially harm your ducted system.
2. Your Zones Are Too Cold or Too Warm
Zoning systems are a crucial part of a ducted air conditioner. Their functionality should be checked over each time you have a service carried out on your system. Something as simple as a failed zone damper motor could result in conditioned air being constantly dumped into one particular room. This results in that zone getting way too hot or cold.
If you have a temperature-controlled system such as Advantage Air GENIII or MyAir this problem could be as simple as the temperature sensor being placed in the wrong position in your room! We recommend seeking a professional’s advice before trying to relocate any temperature sensors yourself. Our staff would be happy to provide you with some guidance on this.
3. Your Electricity Bills Have Increased Significantly!
If your electricity bills are higher than normal first check how the air conditioner is being used.
- Setting lower temperatures than normal? If so, try setting the air con to 24 in winter and 21 in summer.
- Running too many rooms? Close some zones off & shut the doors.
- Is there a window left open? Leaving an external window open means you are trying to cool Brisbane, ensure all outside windows are closed.
- Do you have more people in the home than normal? More people in the home means your air conditioner needs to work harder.
- Are the kids running the aircon while you are out? Consider upgrading to MyAir so you can see when the system is being used remotely.
If you have checked the above and adjusted accordingly, there may be a problem with your air conditioner but first, check that the return air filter is clean! Once you have confirmed the filter is clean then it might be time to call in the ducted air conditioning repair experts.
4. Your Ducted Unit is Leaking Water
In summer when your ducted air conditioner is cooling there should be water coming out of the main drain, which normally goes straight into your gutters (where you can’t see it). However, you should also have an emergency drain, which is visible somewhere normally located underneath the gutter coming out of the fascia.
If you see water coming out of the emergency drain, stop using your system immediately as this indicates the main drain is blocked and you’re at risk of the drain pan in the roof overflowing onto your gyprock ceilings!
5. Foul Smells or Odours Coming From the Vents
When your ducted air conditioner is running, the cooling coils are covered with water almost constantly, if you are a heavy user they may never get time to dry out which can result in mould, fungi and other microbes to start growing on the coils. This can lead to off-putting odours being distributed throughout your home via the air conditioner.
Another possible cause of odours is vermin, rats, possums, geckos, mice and even snakes that may have found their way into your air conditioner from the roof. Rats and mice in the roof can do extensive damage to your ducts and wiring, which can be costly to repair. So, if you hear scratching, thumping or little feet running around in your roof, it’s best to get on top of it straight away before they do too much damage!
6. Constant Air Conditioner Breakdowns and Costly Repair Bills
If you have had multiple ducted air conditioner breakdowns, it may be time to consider replacing your air conditioner!
The expected lifespan of a ducted air conditioner is around 10-15 years from our experience. After 10-15 years, repairs start to become costly. Making the switch from an older, less efficient system to a newer, more energy-efficient inverter system which runs the latest R32 gas (with global warming potential GWP (675) Zero ozone-depleting potential (ODP)), will make a world of difference!
Time for a New Ducted Air Conditioner System?
Newer systems such as MyAir provide greater control over your zones and also provide additional benefits such as smartphone apps that allow you to control the system while you are away from home. One advantage to this, is to ensure your home is nice and cool when you arrive home from work!