What Does It Mean When Your Air Conditioner Is Still Making Noise While Off?
If you have an air conditioning system with an outdoor compressor, you may have recently noticed that your fan keeps running even after the air conditioner itself is no longer running. Besides being noisy and distracting, a constantly running fan can damage your compressor, run up your electricity bills and indicate a serious problem within your system. Once you realize your fan is running when it shouldn't be, walk through these four steps to begin diagnosing the issue.
Adjusting Your Settings
Many air conditioning systems have separate settings for the primary fan. This is usually set to 'automatic,' meaning the fan kicks on or off whenever the air conditioner does. However, this setting may have accidentally been switched to 'on,' meaning it won't turn off again until manually switched. If you are lucky, this is all you will need to do to put your fan and overall system back in working order.
Checking the Accuracy of Your Thermostat
Another minor problem that can impact your fan is the thermostat, which communicates with your air conditioning system as the temperatures shift in your home. If your thermostat is sending or receiving faulty signals because of a shorted wire, your fan may never receive instructions to shut down. Try tuning your thermostat to its hottest setting; if the fan is still blowing after a few minutes, you likely need to replace the thermostat. Otherwise, you will need to start investigating problems with the system itself.
Replenishing Your Refrigerant
In some cases, your whole system may be running because it is unable to cool your home adequately. This is typically caused by low refrigerant levels, impeding your system's ability to chill air before pumping it into the house. Contact your local HVAC contractors or repairmen to top off the refrigerant in your system and make sure there are no leaks. Refrigerant is dangerous to handle, so don't attempt to check or replace it on your own.
Examining the Contactor Switch
After you have tried all of the above steps, your most likely culprit is the contactor switch that sits between your indoor and outdoor units. This switch is what translates signals from your thermostat and controls the flow of electricity to its various components. If one of the wires attached to the contactor shorts, your fan may be left spinning permanently. A mechanical failure that locks the contactor switch in place can also cause this issue. Whenever you suspect that your air conditioning system has a broken component, you may be better off relying on professional contractors to make the repairs for you. Not only will this guarantee your own safety, but it can also maintain the validity of your warranty and ensure that your system has no other underlying problems that will surface later.
If none of these solutions seem to help, contact a professional company like Advanced Heating & Cooling to diagnose the issue for you.