Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s cooling breaks down, you should try to get the problem dealt with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there can be dozens of reasons why your AC unit isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a number of problems that are more common, and recognizing what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Expert is going over available choices for resolving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

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

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat directs your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are wrong, your air conditioner might not work like it should. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Try this quick 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 currently on cooling mode
  • Ensure your preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters will sometimes cause a number of problems, including weaker airflow, reduced indoor air quality and greater power usage. They can also make the AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily minimize AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know if you should change the filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a general 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 crucial components because they release heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as precisely, and in certain cases enough ice can stop the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be connected to different issues, including:

  • 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 has frozen, switch it off and let the ice on the coils melt. This will sometimes take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This should blow warm air over the coils without starting a cooling cycle.

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

4. Refrigerant Leak

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

  • Inadequate cold air
  • Home is humid
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
  • Dripping or hissing air conditioner noises
  • Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner

If your air conditioning system was installed earlier than 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being produced due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair.

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

We realize that replacing your air conditioner 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 low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are incorporated, and you’ll get to keep any useful manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioning uses a condensate drain line to flush water it strips from the air. If you’ve avoided 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 prevent damage and contact us at 866-397-3787 for assistance.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple of reasons why your cooling 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 running too hot because of 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 defective.
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is faulty.
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has failed.

Like we discussed earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems will need to be addressed by an HVAC expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is an irritating malfunction when the unit turns off before the expected temperature has reached the remainder of the house. If you believe your air conditioner is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is active before it turns off. Your average 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 cooling is switching on and off in quick bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and critical components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of abnormal cooling cycles are often a consequence of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, especially if the root cause of the overheating isn’t dealt with.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The ideal way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance agreement. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and fixed with routine tune-ups.

Occasionally 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 arrange your repair appointment? Call us at 330-236-4793 today!