Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s air conditioner breaks down, you deserve to get the issue resolved at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there can be countless of reasons why your cooling isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a few problems that are more widespread, and identifying what they are is beneficial when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is going over routes for solving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

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

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat directs your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are wrong, your cooling might not run like it should. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, it won’t be accessible at all. Follow this brief checklist to make sure 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)
    • Confirm that it’s currently on cooling mode
    • Ensure your set temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are infamous for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters will sometimes cause multiple problems, like reduced airflow, reduced indoor air quality and greater power usage. They can also make an air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know when you should change the filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a basic guideline, make sure you try to exchange flat filters each 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 form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as easily, and in severe cases the ice can keep the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be related to different issues, such as:

    • Dirty coils caused by a lack of 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, shut it off and let the coils thaw. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can quicken 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 inspect your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other problems, like dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will need professional help.

4. Refrigerant Leak

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

    • Insufficient cold air
    • Home seems humid
    • Longer than normal cooling cycles
    • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
    • Dripping or hissing air conditioner noises
    • Sweet smell near the air conditioner

If your air conditioner was installed before 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being produced due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are accessible, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to repair.

If your R-22 AC unit is struggling 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 better for the environment.

We understand that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t equipped for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which provides you a new air conditioner for just one affordable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to keep any worthwhile 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 skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become clogged with mold and cause water to stay in the drain line. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

Switch off your air conditioner to avoid 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 conditioning system keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are a few of the most widespread ones:

    • Dirty air filter is severely limiting airflow.
    • Your air conditioning system is running too hot due to a lack of refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are worn or loose.
    • Blower motor is defective.
    • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is faulty.
    • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has failed.

Like we discussed earlier, check 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

An improper cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an annoying error when the air conditioner shuts off before the desired temperature has reached the rest of the house. If you suspect your cooling is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is running before it shuts off. Your average air conditioner generally runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for about the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your cooling is switching on and off in short bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and critical components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of abnormal cooling cycles are often caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components shut the AC off. This happens again and again, 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 minimize air conditioning problems is to enroll in a preventive maintenance agreement. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we provide several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and solved through routine service.

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 sign up for a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Call us at today!

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