Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling breaks down, you deserve to get the situation taken care of as soon as possible. However, there may be countless of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a number of problems that are more common, and recognizing what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is discussing routes for resolving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America. 

Here 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 its settings are inaccurate, your air conditioning might not work properly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, you’ll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Try this short checklist to ensure 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) 
  • Check that it’s in cooling mode 
  • Ensure your preferred 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. What’s more, dirty filters will sometimes cause lots of problems, including weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and excessive power use. They can also make an air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil ices over. 

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know when you should change the 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 replace 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 during the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as easily, and in some cases sufficient ice can block the AC from running outright. 

Freezing can be connected to different 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, switch it off and let the ice melt. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This should blow warm air over 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, change it. The other challenges, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional assistance. 

4. Refrigerant Leak 

Your air conditioning system uses refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have adequate refrigerant, you might notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a few signs you’re dealing with a leak: 

  • Insufficient cold air 
  • Home feels humid 
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles 
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils 
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner noises 
  • Sweet smell around the air conditioner 

If your cooling was installed before 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured because of its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to repair. 

If your R-22 air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Newer air conditioners employ Puron or R-410A, which is superior for the environment. 

We understand that replacing your AC system 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 reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to retain any worthwhile 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 skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become blocked with mold and cause water to back up. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking. 

Turn off your air conditioner to minimize damage and contact us at 866-397-3787 for assistance. 

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker 

There can be a number of reasons why your cooling is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most common ones: 

  • Dirty air filter is gravely limiting airflow. 
  • Your cooling overheated due to inadequate refrigerant. 
  • Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow. 
  • Condenser fan motor has malfunctioned and coils are overheating. 
  • Electrical connections are worn or loose. 
  • Blower motor is defective. 
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is faulty. 
  • Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has broken down. 

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

7. Short Cycling 

An insufficient cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is a frustrating malfunction when the unit shuts off before the expected temperature has reached the entire house. If you believe your cooling is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is on before it shuts off. Your ordinary air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for close to a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is running on and off in short bursts. 

This puts heavy strain on moving parts and vital components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of abnormal cooling cycles are frequently a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components switch the AC off. This happens repeatedly, particularly if the real cause of the overheating isn’t dealt with. 

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs 

The best way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to enroll in a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we provide several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and corrected through routine tune-ups. 

Sometimes repairs are unavoidable, but as a maintenance member, you’ll enjoy special discounts on service, 24/7/365 priority service, no trip or overtime charges and more. Ready to join a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Call us at 866-397-3787 today! 

  • Zoning Systems: Customized Comfort in Every Room

    Central heating and air systems have revolutionized home comfort and made it possible to stay perfectly comfy in any season or climate. However, while centralized systems are a handy way to manage the temperature, they in some cases fall short when it comes to evenly distributing heated or cooled... Continue reading

  • Eight Ways to Upgrade Your HVAC System

    During the chilly days and nights in the U.S., there’s no better way to improve your home’s comfort than with a few effective upgrades. It’s not just about keeping the house toasty warm as the snow begins to fall—it’s about enhancing efficiency and improving the very air you breathe.... Continue reading

  • How to Find a Suitable HVAC System

    When it comes to keeping your home comfortable all year, nothing is more essential than picking out the right heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This choice impacts your daily comfort, monthly utility bills and general home efficiency. Then again, with so many system types,... Continue reading