Air Conditioner Parts Tips

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I think I have a bad capacitor. How do I tell for sure?

Bad Capacitor?

Fedders air conditioners and other brands all have capacitors, which help the unit's compressor, blower, and fan to work properly. If your unit's capacitor goes bad, it can lead to failure of one or all of these air conditioner parts. If you aren't sure what is the source of the trouble with any or all of these elements, test the capacitor with an Ohmmeter. The Ohmmeter is a device that supplies a small current to an electrical part. This allows you to see whether it is able to properly receive the current; if not, the unit is bad and must be replaced.

A capacitor is built to store electrical energy and release it at a steady rate. You MUST disconnect the unit from the wall socket and disconnect the capacitor from the wires. You must also discharge the remaining electricity from the capacitor.

Failure to do this WILL result in a potentially serious or fatal electrical shock.

Fortunately, you may not need to test the capacitor; if it is visibly swollen or leaking fluid, the capacitor has gone bad and will need replacement. Replace it with an equal or higher rated model. Do not replace with a capacitor with a lower voltage rating! Air Conditioner parts require specific voltages and you must always use "equal or greater" parts.

   
Why is my Hampton Bay air conditioner leaking?

My Air Conditioner Is "Leaking"

If you have water gathering around your Hampton Bay air conditioning unit, you may have a blocked drain line. This usually happens after the air conditioning unit has been unused for a long period of time. Any water trapped in the drain line or the drain pan. Mold or algae can grow in the line, and when summer comes around again, the new flow of water from the Hampton Bay air conditioner is blocked by the growth. The drain pan is only an inch or so deep, so eventually you get water overflow.

To stop the leakage, you'll need to clean or replace the drainage hose and drain pan. You can kill the growth inside the hose using bleach. Just pour a water/bleach solution through the hose and rinse it out completely.

To prevent future leakage, inspect the hose and drain pan right before the warm season starts. You may need to clean out the hose and pan once more. You can also help prevent future growth by installing new air filters. Dirty filters cause more water to condense, leading to an increased potential for growth in your drainage system. The only replacement air conditioning parts you may need for this job are a replacement hose if it is too old and worn, a new drain pan if the old one is too rusty and worn, and the replacement air filters.

   
My air conditioner isn't working so well, but I can't find a mechanical problem!

Reduced Efficiency?

Sometimes the problem with an air conditioning unit (whether it be an Emerson air conditioner, a Fedders air conditioner, or any other model) isn't with worn out parts or blown capacitors, but with the duct system. Your ducts carry the cold air to all parts of the house in a central air conditioning setup. If those ducts are not clean, air has a difficult time moving through those ducts.

You may think that your higher energy bills or not-so-cooled-off home is the result of an air conditioner mechanical problem but dirty ducts can be just as serious as mechanical repairs. If you haven't had a look at your ducts in a few years, do an inspection today.

   
My air conditioner isn't working. What should I check first?

Air Conditioner Problems-The Basics

When your air conditioner isn't working, there are a few simple things to check on first before running off to buy appliance parts. You may think you know what is wrong with your Amana air conditioner, but every good repairman has a checklist of things to look at. Ruling out the obvious by elimination is necessary before getting down to the real work of repairing or replacing air conditioner parts. If your air conditioner isn't working, check the following before breaking out your tools:
1. Make sure that the unit is plugged in, then examine circuit breakers, to ensure power hasn't been cut off. Your Amana air conditioner, like all makes and models, requires electricity to run, so the fix might be as simple as replacing a blown fuse or re-setting the circuit breaker.

2. If the unit is plugged in and the circuit breaker or fuses are in tact, check your thermostat next. Make sure it is indeed set to air conditioning and not heat, and the temperature setting is adjusted a few degrees below room temperature. You can quickly activate the air conditioner by setting it for a very low temperature, 60 degrees or so. Make sure the unit is running, and reset it for the temperature you desire.

3. If your unit does turn on, but doesn't function properly, the next step is to check the filter. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, which makes the unit work harder to cool off the house.

If you are still having problems with the air conditioning unit, it's time to take a closer look at the machine to see what is wrong. Some problems are simple to fix. Noisy appliance parts may need some internal tightening or cleaning. If there are issues beyond noise and dirt, you'll have to get out the toolkit and prepare to do some additional looking for the source of the problem.

You may discover one or more of the following:
1. Bad wiring
2. Faulty thermostat
3. Bad compressor
4. Bad selector switch.

If you encounter one or more of these, do some careful reading on how to proceed. Know that many units have warranties that become void if certain "do-it-yourself" work is done. When you replace parts, try to stick with the brand your unit currently uses. If you have Whirlpool, use Whirlpool replacement parts. If you have Kenmore, use Kenmore appliance parts. This insures the best compatibility and ease of replacement.

   
Why is there ice on my air conditioner pipes?

Icy Air Conditioner Unit?

Are you getting little to no cold air? Do your air conditioner pipes have ice on them? There are two basic reasons why ice can form in this situation.
1. Little to no air flowing through the evaporator coil, or
2. Low refrigerant.

If you know the correct model replacement filter to buy you can try replacing the filter. Once the filter is replaced let the unit sit turned off until all the ice is gone. Then turn on the unit and check to see if ice has formed again after a few hours. If there's no ice, you just repaired your unit with out having to call for repair help. If your unit has iced up again, you will need to contact an air conditioner repair pro.

   
My room feels too warm or cold for the thermostat setting I have.

Thermostat Issues?

If you set your thermostat for, say, 69 degrees on your Fedders air conditioner, but you notice the room temperature is too warm or too cold, chances are you need to inspect your thermostat.

As with any air conditioning part, you'll need to open the box and clean everything inside. Wipe away any dirt, dust or accumulated grime. Next, check for corrosion on all the internal parts. You may be able to clean off the corrosion you find, but if it is too far gone, consider upgrading with GE appliance parts, Kenmore appliance parts, or whichever model you happen to own.

A mechanical thermostat should be level. These are little containers with a blob of mercury that makes an electrical contact when the temperature is right. This should be level.

You can check it with a small "bubble level" which is basically a ruler with a bubble that shows you when something is exactly horizontal. The bubble will rest in the center of the window. If the thermostat is not level, fix it by gently pushing it up or down until it is level.

If these tips do not work, you may need to get a new thermostat. If you do need to replace the thermostat, check with your local appliance part depot to see if they have your make and model in stock.

   
What else should I look for when troubleshooting my air conditioner?

Air Conditioning Problems-More Basics

When troubleshooting Emerson air conditioners, Amana air conditioners, or any other unit, the pros have a checklist to eliminate the obvious before getting down to more serious work, which could involve replacing air conditioner parts or doing warranty work. If you are trying to troubleshoot or repair your unit on your own, use this list to eliminate what the pros consider 'obvious' (to them) problems:

1. If you have a working unit, but little or no cold air, check to make sure your air damper is closed. An open-air damper draws in outside air, reducing the efficiency of your air conditioner.

2. Many people forget to remove the air conditioner's back cover in the summertime until they encounter problems with warm air. Check to make sure your back cover has been removed.

3. If you have a window-unit style air conditioner, check the part of the unit that hangs outside the window. Remove any lint, dust or debris that could be clogging up the condenser coils on the back your unit.

   
Why does a A/C window unit need a window? Is it safe to utilize the unit in a room without window intstallation?

Air Conditioning

You should not use an air conditioner unit in a room without installing it in a window- or rather, it won't be much use. The reason you must install it in a window is because the unit vents waste hot air. Basically, the unit takes in the warmer air of the room, runs it through the cooling system to take out the heat, and returns cool air while venting the heat out the back.

   
I changed my filter and still get ice on my air conditioner

Icy Air Conditioner Part Two

If you have changed filters on your Amana air conditioner or other model, and are still getting ice on the evaporator coils, you need to check for a refrigerant leak. Changing refrigerant should be left to the pros because of environmental and calibration concerns, but checking for refrigerant leaks is a simple process. No appliance parts and service calls required!

You should check the fittings to the evaporator coils to make sure they are tight. Then take soap and water solution and put it on the coils and look for bubbles. If you see bubbling on the coils, you have located a refrigerant leak! At this stage, you will need the help of a professional who can fix your leak problem and refill your refrigerant.

   
What does my window unit A/C consist of?

Anatomy Of A Window Unit Air Conditioner

Before you go running out to purchase Sears appliance parts (or whichever brand you may need) to repair a window-unit style air conditioner, a new do-it-yourselfer should take a moment to get familiar with the air conditioner.

Air conditioners consist mainly of a compressor, fans (and fan motors) a hot coil and cold coil, and an expansion valve. There is also a control unit.

If your air conditioning unit is getting frosty coils, you probably don't need to buy new or used appliance parts. You should first clean the filter, oil the fan motor, and clean the condenser coils. Clear away any dust you find on the interior of the unit, but take care not to bend or break coils and tubes. The unit should become less frosty after this maintenance.

If your window unit seems to hum without blowing air, chances are your fan motor is bad and needs to be replaced.

If you find that your coils or tubes are leaking coolant, call an air conditioning repair service. Do not attempt to deal with leaking coolant unless you know what to do.

   
Should I try to replace coolant myself?

What About Coolant?

If you are experiencing refrigerant leaks in your air conditioning unit, it is best not to try and handle this type of maintenance by yourself. Simply getting new or used replacement parts is not the answer; it takes calibration and testing to properly maintain coolant or refrigerant.

There are also a host of regulations that govern coolant, how it is used and how it may be disposed of. Call your local appliance parts and service center to get a quote on this type of repairs. As always, do a spot check first, to make sure you don't have a lesser problem. If your Emerson air conditioner is only leaking water, for example, you can easily fix this by cleaning the drain pan and properly leveling the air conditioner. Do a full inspection before calling in the pros!

   
Can I get a high-efficiency filter?

Replacing Your Air Conditioner Filter

If you are replacing your air conditioner filter, consider using an electrostatic filter instead of your previous model. The electrostatic filter is an air conditioning part that gives a high amount of filtration, which is perfect for those suffering from allergies or sensitivities to particles in the air.

The efficiency comes from the air being treated with an electrostatic charge (hence the name) as it moves through the filter, forcing dirt to collect in the filter instead of being blown through your air ducts. These filters have a lifetime guarantee, and should be cleaned monthly. They are a very important appliance accessory for those with asthma, severe allergies, and sensitivities to particles in the outside air.

   
What precautions should I take when replacing parts in my A/C?

Important Precautions When Repairing Your Air Conditioning

Installing replacement appliance parts in Emerson air conditioners, Hampton Bay air conditioners, Amana air conditioners, etc. can be relatively simple so long as you remember a few simple rules that all air conditioning professionals follow.

1. The first step is so important that maintenance manuals capitalize all the letters: Disconnect All Power, or DAP for short. Never attempt to install appliance parts in any air conditioning unit that is still plugged in.

2. Wear insulated gloves and safety goggles. If you are installing a fan motor, for example, you will come in contact with sharp edges such as coil fins.

3. When installing appliance parts, you may be required to move or adjust coils and tubes. Never break or bend these tubes, as they contain refrigerant. If you do accidentally release some refrigerant, the gloves and goggles will help protect you from it.

4. You may need to refer to your original schematic or owner's manual in order to properly install appliance parts in your air conditioning unit. If you don't have these items, do a keyword search online for your make and model number and the phrase "owner's manual" or schematic.

   
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