Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling goes on the fritz, you want to get the issue resolved right away. Annoyingly, there may be hundreds of reasons why your cooling isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and identifying what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is discussing options 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 tells 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 died in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Run through this short 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)
    • Check that it’s in cooling mode
    • Ensure your desired temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty or inefficient air filters are infamous for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What’s more, dirty filters will sometimes cause a number of problems, including weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and higher power usage. They can also make an air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing the 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 rule of thumb, make sure you try to change 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 in the middle of the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as precisely, and in severe cases sufficient ice can keep the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be linked to different issues, like:

    • 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 freezes, switch it off and let the coils thaw. This can take up to 24 hours, but you can quicken the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This should blow warm air across the coils without beginning a refrigeration cycle.

It’s recommended to examine your 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, are best handled with professional assistance.

4. Refrigerant Leak

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

    • Inadequate cold air
    • Home feels humid
    • Longer than normal cooling cycles
    • Ice on the evaporator coils
    • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner noises
    • Sweet smell close to the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed prior to 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being produced as a consequence of its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix.

If your R-22 AC unit is struggling with a refrigerant leak, we suggest air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners employ Puron or R-410A, which is better for the environment.

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

5. Water Leak

Your AC unit 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 help.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

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

    • Dirty air filter is significantly limiting airflow.
    • Your air conditioner overheated caused by inadequate refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
    • Blower motor is defective.
    • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is malfunctioning.
    • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has failed.

As we discussed earlier, check 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 responsible. Short cycling is a frustrating malfunction when the air conditioner shuts off before the desired temperature has covered the entire house. If you think your cooling is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is working before it shuts off. Your standard air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for about the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is switching on and off in small bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and key components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of abnormal cooling cycles are routinely a consequence of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components shut the AC off. This happens again and again, 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 minimize air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we offer several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and fixed with routine tune-ups.

Occasionally repairs are unavoidable, but as a maintenance member, you’ll benefit from 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 today!

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