Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s cooling goes on the fritz, you want to get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there may be hundreds of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a handful of problems that are more common, and identifying what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Expert is discussing available choices for fixing the problem with air conditioning repair in North America.

ere are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioner to stop working.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat tells your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are wrong, your cooling may not run properly. 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 ensure your thermostat is receiving power and functioning properly:

  • Replace batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
  • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
  • Verify that it’s switched to cooling mode
  • Ensure your preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters can cause multiple problems, including reduced airflow, reduced indoor air quality and higher power use. They can also make an AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know when you should change your filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a basic guideline, make sure you try to exchange flat filters every month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are crucial components because they discharge heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as precisely, and in certain cases the ice can stop the AC from running entirely.

Freezing can be connected to different issues, like:

  • Dirty coils caused by a lack of annual maintenance
  • Dirty air filters, which reduce airflow
  • Clogged drain line, which can result in moisture buildup
  • Refrigerant leaks, which lessen cooling power

If your air conditioner freezes, switch it off and let the ice melt. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can quicken the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air on the coils without beginning a cooling cycle.

It’s smart 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 require professional assistance.

4. Refrigerant Leak

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

  • Inadequate cold air
  • Home seems humid
  • Extended cooling cycles
  • Ice on the evaporator coils
  • Dripping or hissing air conditioner noises
  • Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner

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

If your R-22 air conditioning system is dealing 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 more sustainable for the environment.

We realize that replacing your cooling 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 incorporated, and you’ll get to keep any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your AC unit utilizes 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.

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

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

  • Dirty air filter is gravely limiting airflow.
  • Your cooling 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 damaged or loose.
  • Blower motor is faulty.
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is faulty.
  • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has failed.

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

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is a frustrating issue when the air conditioner shuts down before the expected temperature has reached the entire house. If you believe your air conditioner is short cycling, listen to how long the air is working before it switches off. Your standard air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about an equivalent period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is turning on and off in short bursts.

This puts heavy strain on moving parts and critical components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of abnormal cooling cycles are often a result of 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 addressed.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The number one way for you to prevent air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and corrected with routine tune-ups.

In some cases repairs are inevitable, 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 schedule your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 today!

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