Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling goes on the fritz, you deserve to get the problem dealt with at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there may be dozens of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a number of problems that are more common, and determining what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is going over available choices 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 stop working. 

1. Thermostat Problems 

Your thermostat instructs your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are inaccurate, your air conditioning might not function 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 confirm your thermostat is receiving power and working properly: 

  • Swap out batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models) 
  • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models) 
  • Confirm that it’s currently on cooling mode 
  • Ensure your desired temperature is below the current room temperature 

2. Dirty Air Filter 

Old or inefficient air filters are known for turning a perfectly functional and reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What’s more, dirty filters can cause multiple problems, including decreased airflow, reduced indoor air quality and excessive power consumption. 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 consistently 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 certainly time to. But for a general guideline, make sure you try to exchange flat filters each month and pleated filters every three months. 

3. Frozen Condenser Coils 

Your air conditioner’s coils are important components because they discharge heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as smoothly, and in certain cases sufficient ice can keep the AC from running at all. 

Freezing can be linked to different 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 lessen cooling power 

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

It’s smart to examine your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other challenges, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require the support of a trained technician. 

4. Refrigerant Leak 

Your air conditioner 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 some signs you’re dealing with a leak: 

  • Not enough cold air 
  • Home feels humid 
  • Extended cooling cycles 
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils 
  • Dribbling 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 refrigerant is no longer being made because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are accessible, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix. 

If your R-22 air conditioner is struggling with a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is more sustainable for the environment. 

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

5. Water Leak 

Your air conditioning uses a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates 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. 

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker 

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

  • Dirty air filter is gravely constraining airflow. 
  • Your air conditioning system is overheating caused by inadequate refrigerant. 
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow. 
  • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating. 
  • Electrical connections are worn or loose. 
  • Blower motor is defective. 
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is malfunctioning. 
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has broken down. 

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

7. Short Cycling 

A faulty cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is a frustrating issue when the air conditioner shuts off before the expected temperature has covered the entire house. If you suspect your AC unit is short cycling, watch how long the air is working before it shuts off. Your standard air conditioner generally runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for close to the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your cooling is running on and off in quick bursts. 

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and key components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of irregular 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 sign up for a preventive maintenance agreement. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we provide several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and solved through routine service. 

In some cases repairs are unavoidable, 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? Call us at 866-397-3787 today! 

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