Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s air conditioner breaks down, you want to get the issue taken care of right away. Annoyingly, there could be dozens of reasons why your cooling isn’t working 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 beneficial when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is going over available choices 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 malfunction. 

1. Thermostat Problems 

Your thermostat tells your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are inaccurate, your air conditioning might not work properly. 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 ensure your thermostat is receiving power and functioning properly: 

  • Swap out 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 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 efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What’s more, dirty filters could cause a number of problems, like reduced airflow, reduced indoor air quality and higher power consumption. They can also make your AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil freezes. 

You can easily avoid AC problems by routinely cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know if 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 basic 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 release 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 manage the cooling process as easily, and in certain cases the ice can block the AC from running at all. 

Freezing can be connected to different issues, including: 

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

If your air conditioner is frozen, shut it off and let the coils thaw. This can 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 cooling cycle. 

It’s a good idea to check your 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 professional help. 

4. Refrigerant Leak 

Your air conditioning system needs refrigerant to convert heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient refrigerant, you may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are some signs you’re facing a leak: 

  • Inadequate cold air 
  • Home feels humid 
  • Excessively long cooling cycles 
  • Frozen evaporator coils 
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner noises 
  • Sweet smell around the air conditioner 

If your cooling was installed earlier than 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a consequence of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are accessible, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix. 

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

We realize that replacing your AC system can be an emergency that you aren’t prepared for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which gives you a new air conditioner for just one reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to retain any valuable manufacturer’s rebates. 

5. Water Leak 

Your AC unit needs a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve avoided 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 prevent damage and call us at 866-397-3787 for support. 

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker 

There can be a few reasons why your air conditioning system keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most common ones: 

  • Dirty air filter is significantly limiting airflow. 
  • Your air conditioner overheated because of inadequate refrigerant. 
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow. 
  • Condenser fan motor has malfunctioned and coils are overheating. 
  • Electrical connections are damaged or loose. 
  • Blower motor is defective. 
  • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is faulty. 
  • Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has broken down. 

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

7. Short Cycling 

An improper cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is an irritating error when the air conditioner shuts down before the desired temperature has covered the remainder of the house. If you suspect your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is working before it shuts off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for about an equivalent period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is switching on and off in quick bursts. 

This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of abnormal cooling cycles are routinely a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components switch the AC off. This happens again and again, namely if the root cause of the overheating isn’t resolved. 

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs 

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

Occasionally repairs are inevitable, 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 enroll in a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Call us at 866-397-3787 today! 

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