Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling breaks down, you deserve to get the issue taken care of at the earliest opportunity. Annoyingly, there may be hundreds of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a few problems that are more prevalent, and determining what they are is beneficial when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is reviewing routes for fixing the problem with air conditioning repair in North America. 

Here are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioner to break down. 

1. Thermostat Problems 

Your thermostat tells your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are incorrect, your cooling might not function 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 working properly: 

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

2. Dirty Air Filter 

Old or inefficient air filters are known for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters can cause multiple problems, such as weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and higher power use. They can also make your air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil ices over. 

You can easily minimize AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing your 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 certainly time to. But for a general guideline, make sure you try to replace flat filters each 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 during the summer, ice can build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as smoothly, and in severe cases enough ice can stop the AC from running outright. 

Freezing can be linked to multiple issues, including: 

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

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

It’s recommended to check the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other issues, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will need professional assistance. 

4. Refrigerant Leak 

Your air conditioner needs refrigerant to relocate 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 seems humid 
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles 
  • Frozen evaporator coils 
  • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner noises 
  • Sweet smell around the air conditioner 

If your air conditioning system was installed prior to 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being produced because of its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to correct. 

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

We realize that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t equipped for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which offers you a new air conditioner for just one reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are covered, and you’ll get to proceed with any useful manufacturer’s rebates. 

5. Water Leak 

Your air conditioner uses a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates from the air. If you’ve skipped 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 prevent damage and contact us at 866-397-3787 for assistance. 

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker 

There can be a couple of reasons why your air conditioning system is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are a few of the most widespread ones: 

  • Dirty air filter is gravely restricting airflow. 
  • Your air conditioning system is running too hot due to inadequate refrigerant. 
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow. 
  • Condenser fan motor has broken 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 control of starting the compressor has gone out. 

Like we mentioned earlier, examine your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems should 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 air conditioner turns off before the expected temperature has reached the entire house. If you suspect your cooling is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is working before it turns off. Your ordinary air conditioner generally runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for close to an equivalent 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 vital components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of atypical cooling cycles are often a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components turn the AC off. This happens repeatedly, particularly 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 prevent air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance plan. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we provide several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and corrected with routine tune-ups. 

Occasionally repairs are unavoidable, 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 join a membership program or to arrange your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 today! 

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