Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s AC system breaks down, you should try to get the issue taken care of as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there can be countless 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 common, and recognizing 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 malfunction. 

1. Thermostat Problems 

Your thermostat instructs your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are wrong, your air conditioner might not run like it should. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Follow this quick checklist to confirm 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 currently on cooling mode 
  • Ensure your set temperature is below the current room temperature 

2. Dirty Air Filter 

Dirty 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, such as weaker airflow, lower indoor air quality and excessive power consumption. They can also make your air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil ices over. 

You can easily avoid AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know whether you should change your filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost surely time to. But for a basic 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 essential components because they discharge 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 precisely, and in certain cases sufficient ice can block the AC from running outright. 

Freezing can be connected to different issues, like: 

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

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

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

4. Refrigerant Leak 

Your cooling employs refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient refrigerant, you could notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are some signs you’re confronting a leak: 

  • Inadequate cold air 
  • Home feels humid 
  • Extended cooling cycles 
  • Frozen evaporator coils 
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner noises 
  • Sweet smell close to the air conditioner 

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

If your R-22 air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Newer air conditioners utilize Puron or R-410A, which is more sustainable for the environment. 

We realize that replacing your AC system 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 reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to retain any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates. 

5. Water Leak 

Your air conditioning 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 flood the system. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking. 

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker 

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

  • Dirty air filter is severely limiting airflow. 
  • Your cooling is overheating caused by insufficient refrigerant. 
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow. 
  • Condenser fan motor has malfunctioned and coils are overheating. 
  • Electrical connections are worn or loose. 
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning. 
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is defective. 
  • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has broken down. 

As we outlined earlier, examine your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems will have to be taken care of by an HVAC professional like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. 

7. Short Cycling 

A faulty cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is an irritating error when the system turns off before the expected temperature has covered the remainder of the house. If you suspect your AC unit is short cycling, listen to how long the air is on before it turns off. Your average air conditioner usually 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 turning on and off in quick bursts. 

This places heavy strain on moving parts and critical components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of irregular cooling cycles are routinely a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components shut the AC off. This happens repeatedly, particularly if the real cause of the overheating isn’t dealt with. 

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs 

The number one way for you to minimize air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we promote several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and fixed with routine maintenance. 

Occasionally 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 enroll in a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 today! 

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