Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s cooling malfunctions, you should try to get the situation taken care of at the earliest opportunity. However, there can be dozens of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a handful of problems that are more common, and determining what they are is helpful when your Freschi Service Experts Expert is discussing routes for fixing 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 break down.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat directs your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are inaccurate, your air conditioner may 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 brief checklist to confirm 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)
  • Verify that it’s currently on cooling mode
  • Ensure your preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters will sometimes cause lots of problems, such as weaker airflow, reduced indoor air quality and higher power use. They can also make your AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

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 general recommendation, make sure you try to change 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 emit 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 severe cases enough ice can keep the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be linked to different issues, such as:

  • 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 has frozen, shut 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 should blow warm air on the coils without going through a cooling cycle.

It’s smart to examine your 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 professional help.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioning system uses refrigerant to transfer 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 confronting a leak:

  • Inadequate cold air
  • Home is humid
  • Extended cooling cycles
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner

If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured due to its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to correct.

If your R-22 air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we advocate for air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is better 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 covered, and you’ll get to proceed with any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

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

Switch off your air conditioner to minimize damage and get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 for assistance.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple of reasons why your air conditioner keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are a few of the most prevalent ones:

  • Dirty air filter is severely limiting airflow.
  • Your air conditioning system is running too hot because of inadequate refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is defective.
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has broken down.

As we outlined earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems should be addressed by an HVAC professional like Freschi Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

An improper cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is a frustrating error when the system shuts off before the expected temperature has reached the rest of the house. If you think your AC unit is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is on before it switches off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is running on and off in short bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and vital components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any kind of irregular cooling cycles are routinely caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components shut the AC off. This happens repeatedly, namely 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 enroll in a preventive maintenance plan. At Freschi Service Experts, we provide several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and solved through routine service.

In some cases 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? Contact us at 925-384-1303 today!

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