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Your Place: 5 Reasons Your Air Conditioner Is on the Fritz

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By Alan J. Heavens

sweating_businessman(MCT)—The sun is ablaze in the bright-blue sky above. The Weather Channel promises several days of hot and humid weather to come. As beads of perspiration appear on your forehead, you make your way to the thermostat and throw the switch to turn on the central air-conditioning for the season. Nothing.

According to Fred Hutchinson of Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling in Cherry Hill, N.J., here are five reasons for a non-operating system:

1. Inadequate maintenance. Dirty filters and air-conditioning coils can cause the machine to underperform.

2. Refrigerant leaks. Air conditioners work most effectively and efficiently when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specifications and is neither undercharged nor overcharged.

3. Drainage problems. This is a frequent issue with city residents who have window air conditioners.

4. Electric control failure. The compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner cycles on and off frequently, common when a system is oversize.

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