Air conditioner relays are an important component of air conditioners that wear out and need replacement with time. Unfortunately, many such situations occur in the summer season. This is why, you must be familiar with troubleshooting tips or have the contact number of good air conditioning repair services. Let’s take a look at how you can fix a malfunctioning air conditioner relay.
What Is An Air Conditioner Relay And What Does It Do?
An air conditioner relay is a component that controls the flow of electricity to the unit. It is the relay that helps the motor turn on and off when you use the air conditioner. Almost all heating and cooling electric devices use a relay. When the air conditioner is turned on, the relay closes allowing electricity to pass through.
And when the air conditioner is turned on, the relay opens preventing electricity from passing through to the air conditioner. In most cases, the relays on air conditioners are found on the outdoor unit. As mentioned earlier, relays like other electric appliances can malfunction due to several reasons.
If the relay gets stuck, it might prevent the air conditioner from turning on as the AC fan and blower will not be able to receive the necessary power.
What Are The Common Signs Of A Faulty Relay Switch?
Spotting a faulty relay switch is relatively easier than other electrical malfunctions. The most common sign of a faulty relay switch is that the air conditioner will not cool properly. If your air conditioner is not cooling even at the highest setting, it means the compressor is not receiving enough power to compress the refrigerant.
Not only the compressor but the relay switch will also prevent the refrigerant from flowing into the evaporator coils and removing heat. Eventually, such components will not be able to work at their optimum and will lead to warm air blowing from the unit.
The next sign of a faulty relay switch is intermittent or inconsistent cooling. If the relay switch happens to be faulty, the compressor will sometimes work and other times won’t. If the air conditioner is old, it might be that the contact points inside the relay switch are worn and do not allow consistent connections.
Furthermore, it could also be that dirt and dust accumulation causes the relay contact points to lose contact. As a result, the relay simply fails to work and the air conditioner is not able to maintain its cooling.
Another common sign of a faulty relay switch is burning odors. If the relay switch has gone bad or is going bad, it will overheat and produce a burning smell. If that is the case, you should immediately turn off the air conditioner. Malfunctioning relays could heat up to the point where they can cause a fire inside the unit.
When you turn on the air conditioner, the compressor takes a few seconds to turn on. When it does, you will hear a slight clicking sound. If the relay is faulty, you will not hear the clicking sound, which means the compressor is not turning on. If you notice that the air conditioner is struggling to turn on or perform, it means there is probably a problem with the relay.
What To Do If the Relay Is Stuck?
Now that you know what an air conditioner relay is, you should know how to kickstart the troubleshooting process to prevent the heating from getting to you. If you observe that your air conditioner is constantly running without turning off, it means the relay is stuck.
You will notice that the compressor won’t turn if you have set the air conditioner to a specific temperature. It will simply keep blowing cold air and won’t shut off even if the desired temperature is achieved.
In the worst-case scenario, the air conditioner will fail to turn on altogether. In such situations, you will need to turn off the air conditioner to prevent other components from being affected.
How To Fix A Stuck Relay?
To fix a stuck relay, you will be needing some tools and basic electrical knowledge. If not, it’s better to involve AC repair services Vienna.
So, grab a screwdriver along with wire strippers and pliers to manage wires. Plus, consult the user manual to access the relay. Make sure to turn off the air conditioner before accessing the unit.
Unplug the unit from the main power supply and wait a few minutes before putting your hands on the unit. The electrical components inside can carry an electric charge, which might lead to electric shock. Wear gloves and other necessary protective equipment to avoid injuries.
Once you have accessed the ac unit, consult the user manual to identify the location of the relay and pull it out using the pliers. Install the new relay and make sure you opt for the exact replacement. Finally, turn on the air conditioner and test it.
Keep a close eye on any unusual sounds or activity. Observe if the air conditioner is turning on and off properly and is throwing cool air. Test it multiple times by turning it on and off to ensure everything is back to normal. If not, check the relay again or consult a professional.
How To Prevent The Relay From Becoming Stuck?
Although you cannot stop the relays from malfunctioning but you can surely prevent them from becoming stuck. A major reason relays tend to become stuck is usually when air conditioners are used for prolonged periods. If your air conditioner is not needed, better shut it down.
Relays can overheat and even catch fire let alone become stuck. So, make sure to save both the electricity bills and the relay by using the air conditioner only when needed.
Moreover, you should keep the condenser unit clean to prevent dust and dirt accumulation on the relay and other electronic components. Some components such as the coils tend to dissipate heat. If there is dust and dirt accumulation, heat dissipation won’t take place and the components might be permanently damaged.
Does Expert Maintenance Help?
Expert maintenance is key to maintaining and prolonging the health of the air conditioner. Most homeowners tend to save themselves the expense only to run into problems down the road. Expert maintenance should take place at least once or twice a year.
The process not only includes thorough inspection and cleaning of the unit but also identifying potential repairs and replacements before they cause trouble. This helps you avoid major problems when you least expect them to.
Imagine turning on the air conditioner only for it to shut down after a few seconds just because you ignored the annual maintenance and the relay needed to be fixed. Therefore, instead of considering it an expense, think of it as an investment.
An air conditioner relay giving up is not a major problem. All you need to do is ensure the unit is clean from the inside out. And even if the relay malfunctions, follow the tips mentioned above. To avoid the risk of problems, contact HVAC repair services Chantilly who will fix the relay and may also inspect your unit for any other problem.