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FAQ’s – Refrigerated Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Systems

T&K Airpower has worked with many leading Real Estate Property Management companies in Adelaide. This working relationship is based around our belief that air conditioning service and repairs should be hassle free for the Property Manager, Landlord and the Tenant. This FAQ came about after reviewing the common issues found with air conditioning systems when attending Real Estate air conditioning jobs in Adelaide. We also created a blog explaining the differences between reverse cycle air conditioning systems and Evaporative systems, click here to read up!

Note to reader – Please refer back to this post whenever you need clarification or information. I recommend using the keyboard shortcut CMD + F (this is for Mac, not sure about PC?) and then search this post by keywords such as water leak, not cooling, Hi-Wall etc

Low airflow from vents

Check the filter is clean. Check the zones are switched ‘on’ in the rooms that require airflow. If this is ok, the problem could be the indoor fan motor, ducting, zone motor failure or an air balancing issue. For more information on air balancing click here for our blog post on air balancing. Place a service call to an air conditioning specialist to diagnose.

No display on the controller

Try turning on the unit. If nothing operates, check the circuit breaker in the fuse box is switched on. If this is off switch it back on. Check the outdoor unit for an isolation switch. This can be switched off accidentally by children or pets. Switch back on if found to be off. Turn the unit on at the controller and check for operation. If the circuit breaker is on but there is no display there might be a broken wire or a faulty component in the unit, such as a burnt wire. If the circuit breaker trips again, place a service call to an air conditioning specialist.

Broken/burnt wire connection

AC runs but does not heat/cool

Check the unit is set correctly, heating for Winter and Cooling for Summer. Check the temperature is set lower than the room temperature on Cooling and higher on Heating. Check the filter is clean. Reset the unit by switching off the circuit breaker for 5 minutes and then switch it back on. Run the system for 1 hr and see if the temperature drops in the room. If the unit is still not heating/cooling, place a service call to an air conditioning specialist.

Lights flicker/dim when the AC starts

There are 2 main causes of this issue we find in Adelaide:

Faulty capacitor or burnt wire in the outdoor unit.
Low voltage to the unit.
Place a service call to an air conditioning specialist to determine the cause. SA Power Network may also need to attend to check voltage drop at the property if low voltage is a problem. Poor voltage is particularly an issue in rural areas around Adelaide.

Blown compressor capacitor

Burnt capacitor wire

Water leaking from Hi-Wall indoor unit during operation (cooling)

Check the filters are clean. Check indoor unit is not clogged with dirt or grime. The blower wheel, or fan blade, could be blocked. This will need to be cleaned professionally. If the unit is clean the drain could be blocked and will need to be blown out with high pressure air or nitrogen. Specialist Hi-Wall cleaning companies can thoroughly clean the air conditioning unit, including drains, which will help prevent water leaks during operation. Place a service call to an air conditioning specialist to rectify.

Dirty blow wheel

Cleaned blower wheel

Water is pooling around outdoor unit (heating)

This is normal operation of the unit when running on the heating cycle. Installing a drain or drain pan can allow this water to be drained from the outdoor unit to a downpipe or garden bed. This can be useful if the property has white ant or salt damp issues.

Bad odour from AC during operation

Reverse cycle air conditioning units recirculate air and can pick up smells from within the property. Clean the air filter to help reduce odours. The filter may need to be replaced or the entire indoor unit cleaned to remove odours completely. Mould can grow within an air conditioner, especially if the weather is humid. This will need to be cleaned and treated professionally. If the property is home to pets or smokers, the air conditioner will take on these odours and distribute them throughout the conditioned space.

Mould growing in hi-wall unit

Electrical burning smell from AC during operation

Check filter is clean. Reduced airflow can make the fan motor hot and this can produce a burning odour. If the smell persists after the filter is cleaned, the indoor fan motor or the motor mounts have probably failed. Switch off the unit immediately and place a service call to an air conditioning specialist to rectify.

Melted fan motor mount

Allergies and Asthma

Allergies and Asthma are ever present in today’s society. With so much time spent in air conditioned environments such as the home, car and office, there is little wonder these problems persist. The air conditioning unit sucks up air, heats or cools it and then distributes it throughout the property. If there are allergens such as pet hair, dust, pollen etc floating in the air, the air conditioning system will distribute these too. Good filtration is important to ensure these pollutants are captured before entering the AC unit and ducting.

  • Ensure the filter is regularly cleaned or replaced (if disposable).
  • Install a better quality filter. A good filter for allergies is the HealthEair filter.
  • Clean Hi-Wall units regularly including wiping down the indoor unit and cleaning the coil.
  • We recommend specialist cleaning at least every 2 years using mould preventative cleaning agents. This is can be between $150.00 – $300.00, per clean; money well spent.

Clean material filter

Clean HelathEair filter 

Completely blocked filter

Need more help?

Adelaide air conditioning repairs, diagnostics and service is T&K Airpower’s specialty. If you have an issue with an air conditioning system at a rental property that you manage feel free to give us a call. Have a question about an existing air conditioning problem? Our friendly office team will be more than happy to help, even if you are not a current customer! Stay tuned for more Tech Talk blog posts as we delve deeper into brands, common problems and more.

T&K Airpower work regularly with some of the best Real Estate Property Managers in Adelaide. From service and diagnostics to repairs and new unit installations we have every base covered. Our preference is to maximise the lifespan of air conditioning products rather than just replacing them when they stop working. With 20 years experience, you will have peace of mind we know how to look after our Real Estate air conditioning customers in Adelaide.