Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s air conditioner goes on the fritz, you want to get the problem dealt with at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there could be countless of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a few problems that are more common, and identifying what they are is handy when your Broad Ripple Service Experts Expert is going over options for solving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

ere are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your cooling system to malfunction.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat instructs your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are wrong, your air conditioner may not function properly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Follow this brief checklist to ensure your thermostat is receiving power and operating properly:

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

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty or inefficient air filters are known for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What's more, dirty filters could cause a number of problems, like weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and greater power consumption. They can also make an air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily avoid AC problems by routinely cleaning or replacing your 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 guideline, 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 release heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as easily, and in certain cases sufficient ice can stop the AC from running entirely.

Freezing can be related to multiple issues, like:

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

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

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

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner employs refrigerant to convert heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient 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 is humid
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
  • Dripping or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell near the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed before 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being produced due to its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair.

If your R-22 air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we suggest 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 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 reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to retain 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 overlooked 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.

Turn 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 won't stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most common ones:

  • Dirty air filter is significantly limiting airflow.
  • Your air conditioner is overheating caused by a lack of refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is malfunctioning.
  • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has failed.

Like we mentioned earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems should be taken care of by an HVAC pro like Broad Ripple Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an irritating error when the unit shuts down before the set temperature has made its way through the entire house. If you think your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is active before it turns off. Your average air conditioner generally runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about an equivalent period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is running on and off in quick bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and vital components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of abnormal cooling cycles are frequently caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components turn the AC off. This happens over and over, especially if the real cause of the overheating isn’t addressed.

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 agreement. At Broad Ripple Service Experts, we offer several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and solved during routine maintenance.

In some cases 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 join a membership program or to arrange your repair appointment? Call us at 317-527-0271 today!

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