Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling malfunctions, you want to get the situation taken care of as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there can be countless of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and identifying what they are is handy 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 cooling system to break down.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat instructs your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are incorrect, your cooling might not function properly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Follow this short checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and working properly:

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

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty 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 could cause multiple problems, including decreased airflow, reduced indoor air quality and higher power use. They can also make the AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know whether you should change the filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a general recommendation, make sure you try to replace flat filters once a 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 build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as smoothly, and in severe cases the ice can stop the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be linked to multiple issues, like:

    • Dirty coils caused by a lack of annual maintenance
    • Dirty air filters, which restrict airflow
    • Clogged drain line, which can result in moisture buildup
    • Refrigerant leaks, which decrease cooling power

If your air conditioner freezes, turn it off and let the ice melt. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This should blow warm air on the coils without going through a cooling cycle.

It’s smart to examine the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it. The other challenges, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional assistance.

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 a couple signs you’re confronting a leak:

    • Not enough cold air
    • Home is humid
    • Extended cooling cycles
    • Frozen evaporator coils
    • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner noises
    • 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 due to its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are accessible, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair.

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

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

5. Water Leak

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

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a few reasons why your air conditioner won’t stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most prevalent ones:

    • Dirty air filter is significantly constraining airflow.
    • Your air conditioner overheated due to a lack of refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
    • Blower motor is faulty.
    • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is defective.
    • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has broken down.

As we mentioned earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems will have to be resolved by an HVAC expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is an irritating error when the unit shuts down before the desired temperature has covered the remainder of the house. If you suspect your AC unit is short cycling, listen to how long the air is active before it switches off. Your average air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for around a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your cooling is switching on and off in small bursts.

This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of atypical cooling cycles are often caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, particularly if the source of the overheating isn’t addressed.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The best way for you to minimize air conditioning problems is to participate 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 discovered and solved through routine tune-ups.

Occasionally repairs are unavoidable, but as a maintenance member, you’ll receive 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 today!

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