Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling goes on the fritz, you want to get the situation resolved right away. Unfortunately, there can be dozens of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a few problems that are more common, and identifying what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is reviewing available choices for solving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

Here are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioner to malfunction.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat tells your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are inaccurate, your air conditioning might not function correctly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, it won’t be accessible at all. Follow this quick checklist to ensure your thermostat is receiving power and operating properly:

    • Change batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
    • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
    • Verify that it’s switched to cooling mode
    • Ensure your preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters will sometimes cause a number of problems, like reduced airflow, poorer indoor air quality and greater power usage. They can also make an air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily minimize AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know whether you should change the filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a basic guideline, make sure you try to replace flat filters every month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are essential components because they release heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as easily, and in some cases sufficient ice can stop the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be related to multiple issues, including:

    • Dirty coils caused by insufficient annual maintenance
    • Dirty air filters, which obstruct airflow
    • Clogged drain line, which can cause moisture buildup
    • Refrigerant leaks, which reduce cooling power

If your air conditioner has frozen, shut it off and let the ice melt. This can take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This blows warm air over the coils without going through a cooling cycle.

It’s recommended to inspect your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other problems, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with the support of a trained technician.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner uses refrigerant to relocate heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you could notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are some signs you’re confronting a leak:

    • Not enough cold air
    • Home feels humid
    • Longer than normal cooling cycles
    • Frozen evaporator coils
    • Dripping or hissing air conditioner noises
    • Sweet smell close to the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed earlier than 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a consequence of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to correct.

If your R-22 air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak, we suggest air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Modern air conditioners employ Puron or R-410A, which is superior for the environment.

We understand that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t equipped for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which gives you a new air conditioner for just one low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to keep any valuable manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your AC unit utilizes a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve avoided air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become plugged up with mold and cause water to stay in the drain line. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

Turn off your air conditioner to minimize damage and get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 for help.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple of reasons why your air conditioning system won’t stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most widespread ones:

    • Dirty air filter is severely limiting airflow.
    • Your cooling overheated due to a lack of refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
    • Blower motor is faulty.
    • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is defective.
    • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has broken down.

As we outlined earlier, examine your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems should be addressed by an HVAC professional like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an irritating malfunction when the air conditioner shuts off before the desired temperature has made its way through the entire house. If you suspect your cooling is short cycling, listen to how long the air is running before it switches off. Your ordinary air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is turning on and off in quick bursts.

This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of atypical cooling cycles are frequently a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components turn the AC off. This happens again and again, namely if the real cause of the overheating isn’t dealt with.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The best way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to enroll in a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we offer several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and corrected with routine service.

In some cases repairs are unavoidable, but as a maintenance member, you’ll enjoy special discounts on service, 24/7/365 priority service, no trip or overtime charges and more. Ready to sign up for a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Contact us at today!

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