Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s AC system goes on the fritz, you want to get the issue dealt with at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there could be dozens of reasons why your cooling isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a handful of problems that are more widespread, and determining what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is discussing available choices for solving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

Here are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioner to stop working.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat instructs your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are inaccurate, your cooling might not work correctly. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, you’ll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Try this quick 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)
    • Confirm that it’s switched to cooling mode
    • Ensure your desired temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty 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 can cause multiple problems, like reduced 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 regularly cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know when you should change your filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a basic recommendation, 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 discharge heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as easily, and in severe cases enough ice can keep the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be linked to several issues, like:

    • Dirty coils caused by a lack of 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 ice melt. This will sometimes take up to 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air across the coils without starting a cooling cycle.

It’s a good idea to examine the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it. The other issues, 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 needs refrigerant to relocate heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient refrigerant, you may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a few signs you’re dealing with a leak:

    • Not enough cold air
    • Home feels humid
    • Excessively long cooling cycles
    • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
    • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
    • Sweet smell around the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed earlier than 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being produced as a consequence of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to repair.

If your R-22 AC unit has a refrigerant leak, we advocate for 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 understand that replacing your AC system can be an emergency that you aren’t ready for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which offers you a new air conditioner for just one low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are incorporated, and you’ll get to retain any useful manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioner uses a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve avoided 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.

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

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

    • Dirty air filter is gravely constraining airflow.
    • Your air conditioner overheated caused by insufficient refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
    • Blower motor is defective.
    • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is faulty.
    • Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has gone out.

As we outlined earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems should be taken care of by an HVAC pro like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an annoying issue when the air conditioner shuts off before the expected temperature has reached the entire house. If you think your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is on before it shuts off. Your standard air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for around a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is running on and off in quick bursts.

This puts heavy strain on moving parts and key components like 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 again and again, especially if the source of the overheating isn’t resolved.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The ideal way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance agreement. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we offer several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and corrected through routine tune-ups.

Sometimes repairs are inescapable, 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 request your repair appointment? Contact us at today!

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