Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s AC system breaks down, you deserve to get the problem taken care of right away. Annoyingly, there could be countless of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and recognizing what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Expert is discussing options for fixing the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

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

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat directs your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are incorrect, your air conditioning might not function properly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Try this brief checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and operating properly:

  • Swap out 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 preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty or inefficient air filters are infamous for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters will sometimes cause multiple problems, including weaker airflow, lower indoor air quality and higher power consumption. They can also make your air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily avoid AC problems by routinely cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know when you should change your filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost surely time to. But for a standard guideline, make sure you try to change 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 summer, ice can build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as easily, and in severe cases sufficient ice can keep the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be linked to different issues, including:

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

If your air conditioner is frozen, turn it off and let the ice melt. This will sometimes 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 beginning a refrigeration 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, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with the support of a trained technician.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner employs refrigerant to relocate heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a couple signs you’re facing a leak:

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

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

If your R-22 AC unit is dealing with a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Modern air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is superior for the environment.

We realize that replacing your cooling can be an emergency that you aren’t ready 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 proceed with any useful manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioning utilizes a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates from the air. If you’ve avoided air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become plugged up with mold and cause water to stay in the drain line. 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 couple of reasons why your air conditioning system won't stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most prevalent ones:

  • Dirty air filter is gravely constraining airflow.
  • Your cooling is running too hot caused by a lack of refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is faulty.
  • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has failed.

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

7. Short Cycling

An improper cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is a frustrating malfunction when the air conditioner shuts down before the desired temperature has covered the remainder of the house. If you think your AC unit is short cycling, listen to how long the air is active before it switches 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 running on and off in quick bursts.

This places heavy strain on moving parts and vital components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any kind of abnormal cooling cycles are routinely a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components turn the AC off. This happens repeatedly, especially if the real 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 plan. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we promote several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and solved with routine tune-ups.

Sometimes repairs are inevitable, 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? Get in touch with us at 318-588-8163 today!

chat now widget box