Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s AC system breaks down, you want to get the problem dealt with right away. Annoyingly, there could be dozens of reasons why your AC unit isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a number of problems that are more prevalent, and recognizing what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is going over options for resolving 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 break down.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat directs your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are wrong, your air conditioning may not function properly. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, it won’t be accessible at all. Run through this short checklist to ensure your thermostat is receiving power and working properly:

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

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What’s more, dirty filters could cause multiple problems, including weaker airflow, lower indoor air quality and greater power use. They can also make your AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily avoid AC problems by routinely cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know if you should change your filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost surely time to. But for a general recommendation, make sure you try to exchange flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are crucial components because they discharge heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as smoothly, and in certain cases sufficient ice can stop the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be related to several issues, such as:

    • Dirty coils caused by ignoring annual maintenance
    • Dirty air filters, which obstruct airflow
    • Clogged drain line, which can trigger moisture buildup
    • Refrigerant leaks, which decrease cooling power

If your air conditioner has frozen, turn it off and let the ice on the coils melt. This can take up to 24 hours, but you can quicken the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This should blow warm air across the coils without starting a refrigeration cycle.

It’s smart to inspect your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other issues, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will need the support of a trained technician.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner uses refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient refrigerant, you may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are some signs you’re dealing with a leak:

    • Not enough cold air
    • Home seems humid
    • Longer than normal cooling cycles
    • Ice on the evaporator coils
    • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner noises
    • Sweet smell close to the air conditioner

If your air conditioning system was installed before 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a consequence of its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix.

If your R-22 air conditioning system is struggling with a refrigerant leak, we advocate for air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Newer air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is better for the environment.

We understand that replacing your AC system can be an emergency that you aren’t ready for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which offers you a new air conditioner for just one affordable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are incorporated, and you’ll get to proceed with any useful manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioner uses a condensate drain line to flush water it strips from the air. If you’ve skipped 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.

Switch off your air conditioner to minimize damage and call us at 866-397-3787 for support.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a number of reasons why your air conditioning system is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most widespread ones:

    • Dirty air filter is gravely restricting airflow.
    • Your air conditioning system is overheating caused by a lack of refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are worn or loose.
    • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
    • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is malfunctioning.
    • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has broken down.

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

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is an irritating malfunction when the system shuts off before the desired temperature has made its way through the rest of the house. If you believe your air conditioner is short cycling, listen to how long the air is active before it turns off. Your ordinary air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is switching on and off in small bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and vital components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any kind of atypical cooling cycles are often caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, especially if the real cause of the overheating isn’t resolved.

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 agreement. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we promote several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and corrected during routine service.

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

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