Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling goes on the fritz, you deserve to get the problem dealt with as soon as possible. However, there can be countless of reasons why your AC unit isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a handful of problems that are more widespread, and recognizing what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is discussing available choices for fixing the problem with air conditioning repair in North America. 

Here are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioning to break down. 

1. Thermostat Problems 

Your thermostat tells your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are wrong, your cooling may not work like it should. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Run through this brief checklist to make sure your thermostat is receiving power and functioning properly: 

  • Replace batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models) 
  • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models) 
  • Check that it’s currently on cooling mode 
  • Ensure your preferred temperature is below the current room temperature 

2. Dirty Air Filter 

Old or inefficient air filters are infamous for turning a perfectly functional and reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters will sometimes cause multiple problems, such as reduced airflow, poorer indoor air quality and greater power use. They can also make an air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up. 

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know if you should change your filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a basic guideline, make sure you try to change flat filters each month and pleated filters every three months. 

3. Frozen Condenser Coils 

Your air conditioner’s coils are important components because they emit heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even during the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as smoothly, and in certain cases sufficient ice can block the AC from running outright. 

Freezing can be connected to multiple issues, including: 

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

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

It’s a good idea to check your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it. The other problems, like dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will need the support of a trained technician. 

4. Refrigerant Leak 

Your cooling uses refrigerant to relocate heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient refrigerant, you might 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 
  • Ice on the evaporator coils 
  • Dripping or hissing air conditioner sounds 
  • Sweet smell around the air conditioner 

If your air conditioning system was installed earlier than 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being manufactured because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly 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. Newer air conditioners employ Puron or R-410A, which is better for the environment. 

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

5. Water Leak 

Your air conditioner needs a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become blocked with mold and cause water to flood the system. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking. 

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker 

There can be a number of reasons why your cooling is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most common ones: 

  • Dirty air filter is significantly constraining airflow. 
  • Your cooling overheated due to inadequate refrigerant. 
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow. 
  • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating. 
  • Electrical connections are damaged or loose. 
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning. 
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is faulty. 
  • Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has failed. 

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

7. Short Cycling 

An insufficient cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is an irritating error when the air conditioner turns off before the set temperature has covered the entire house. If you think your air conditioner is short cycling, listen to how long the air is on before it switches off. Your ordinary air conditioner generally runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for close to a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is running on and off in small bursts. 

This puts heavy strain on moving parts and vital components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of abnormal cooling cycles are frequently a consequence of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, particularly if the root 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 participate in a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we provide several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and fixed during routine service. 

Sometimes repairs are inevitable, 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 enroll in a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Contact us at 866-397-3787 today! 

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