Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling goes on the fritz, you want to get the problem taken care of right away. Unfortunately, there can be hundreds of reasons why your cooling isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a few problems that are more widespread, and recognizing what they are is helpful when your Levy & Son Service Experts Expert is discussing routes for resolving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America. 

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

1. Thermostat Problems 

Your thermostat directs your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are incorrect, your air conditioning may not work like it should. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, it won’t be accessible at all. Try this short checklist to make sure your thermostat is receiving power and functioning 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 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 efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What’s more, dirty filters will sometimes cause lots of problems, including weaker airflow, lower indoor air quality and higher power consumption. They can also make your air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes. 

You can easily avoid AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing the 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 general 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 important components because they release heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as easily, and in severe cases enough ice can stop the AC from running entirely. 

Freezing can be linked to several issues, including: 

  • Dirty coils caused by a lack of annual maintenance 
  • Dirty air filters, which restrict airflow 
  • Clogged drain line, which can cause moisture buildup 
  • Refrigerant leaks, which decrease 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 quicken the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air on the coils without beginning a refrigeration cycle. 

It’s smart to inspect your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other challenges, like dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with professional assistance. 

4. Refrigerant Leak 

Your air conditioning system employs refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you could notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a couple signs you’re dealing with a leak: 

  • Inadequate cold air 
  • Home feels humid 
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles 
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils 
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner noises 
  • Sweet smell near the air conditioner 

If your air conditioning system was installed before 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured due to its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are accessible, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair. 

If your R-22 AC unit is struggling with a refrigerant leak, we recommend 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 recognize that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t prepared 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 proceed with 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 skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become plugged up with mold and cause water to back up. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking. 

Turn off your air conditioner to avoid 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 keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most widespread ones: 

  • Dirty air filter is gravely limiting airflow. 
  • Your air conditioning system is overheating because of insufficient refrigerant. 
  • Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow. 
  • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating. 
  • Electrical connections are damaged or loose. 
  • Blower motor is defective. 
  • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is faulty. 
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has failed. 

Like we mentioned earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems will have to be addressed by an HVAC professional like Levy & Son Service Experts. 

7. Short Cycling 

An improper cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is a frustrating malfunction when the air conditioner turns off before the desired temperature has reached the entire house. If you think your cooling is short cycling, listen to how long the air is running before it turns off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for about the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is switching on and off in short bursts. 

This places heavy strain on moving parts and vital components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of abnormal cooling cycles are routinely caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components turn the AC off. This happens over and over, particularly if the root cause of the overheating isn’t addressed. 

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs 

The ideal way for you to prevent air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance program. At Levy & Son Service Experts, we offer several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and corrected through routine service. 

Occasionally 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 enroll in a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Call us at 469-250-0932 today! 

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