Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s cooling malfunctions, you want to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible. However, there could be dozens of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and determining what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is reviewing available choices for resolving the problem with air conditioning repair in North America.

Here are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioner to break down.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat instructs your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are incorrect, your air conditioning might not work properly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, it won’t be accessible at all. Try this short checklist to ensure 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)
    • Verify 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 notorious for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters could cause a number of problems, like weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and greater power usage. They can also make your air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily minimize AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know if you should change your filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a standard rule of thumb, 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 discharge heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even during 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 sufficient ice can keep the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be linked to several issues, including:

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

If your air conditioner freezes, switch it off and let the coils thaw. This will sometimes take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air across the coils without going through a refrigeration cycle.

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

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioning system employs refrigerant to relocate heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient refrigerant, you may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are some signs you’re confronting a leak:

    • Not enough cold air
    • Home is humid
    • Extended cooling cycles
    • Ice on the evaporator coils
    • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
    • Sweet smell around 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 manufactured because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to repair.

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

We understand that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t equipped for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which gives you a new air conditioner for just one reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are covered, 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 overlooked air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become clogged with mold and cause water to back up. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

Switch off your air conditioner to minimize damage and call us at 866-397-3787 for assistance.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a few reasons why your cooling won’t stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are a few of the most widespread ones:

    • Dirty air filter is severely constraining airflow.
    • Your air conditioner is running too hot due to a lack of 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 faulty.
    • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is malfunctioning.
    • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has gone out.

Like we outlined earlier, examine 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 & Plumbing.

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an annoying error when the unit shuts down before the desired temperature has covered the rest of the house. If you think your air conditioner is short cycling, listen to how long the air is active before it switches off. Your standard air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for close to a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is running on and off in short 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 frequently caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components shut the AC off. This happens again and again, namely if the root cause of the overheating isn’t resolved.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The ideal 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 promote several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and corrected 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 arrange your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at today!

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