Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s air conditioner malfunctions, you want to get the problem resolved right away. However, there can be hundreds of reasons why your AC unit isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a handful of problems that are more widespread, and recognizing what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is going over routes for resolving the problem with 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 instructs your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are inaccurate, your air conditioner may not run like it should. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, you’ll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Run through this brief checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and operating properly:

    • Change batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
    • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
    • Confirm 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 multiple problems, such as decreased airflow, lower indoor air quality and excessive power use. They can also make your AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil ices over.

You can easily avoid AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know whether 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 basic recommendation, 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 in the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as precisely, and in certain cases enough ice can keep the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be connected to several issues, like:

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

If your air conditioner is frozen, turn 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 on the coils without going through a cooling cycle.

It’s a good idea to check the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other challenges, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with professional help.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your cooling uses refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have enough 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 seems humid
    • Excessively long cooling cycles
    • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
    • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
    • Sweet smell around the air conditioner

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

If your R-22 air conditioner is dealing with a refrigerant leak, we advocate for 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 recognize that replacing your cooling can be an emergency that you aren’t prepared for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which offers you a new air conditioner for just one low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to proceed with any useful manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your AC unit needs a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates from the air. If you’ve overlooked air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become blocked with mold and cause water to stay in the drain line. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

Shut off your air conditioner to prevent damage and get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 for support.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple of reasons why your air conditioner keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most widespread ones:

    • Dirty air filter is significantly limiting airflow.
    • Your air conditioner is overheating 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 strained or loose.
    • Blower motor is faulty.
    • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is malfunctioning.
    • Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has broken down.

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

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an irritating malfunction when the system shuts off before the set temperature has reached the remainder of the house. If you suspect your AC unit is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is working before it turns off. Your average air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for around the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is running on and off in quick bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and critical components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of abnormal cooling cycles are frequently a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, particularly if the source 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 plan. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we promote several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and fixed with routine maintenance.

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 join a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at today!

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