Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s air conditioner malfunctions, you should try to get the problem resolved as soon as possible. However, there can be dozens of reasons why your AC unit isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a few problems that are more common, and determining what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is going over available choices for fixing the problem through 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 directs your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are wrong, your air conditioner might not work properly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, it won’t be accessible at all. Follow this brief checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and functioning properly:

    • Change 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 desired temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters will sometimes cause multiple problems, such as reduced airflow, lower indoor air quality and greater power consumption. They can also make the 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 the air filter. How do you know if you should change your filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a standard recommendation, make sure you try to change flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are essential components because they emit heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as precisely, and in some cases enough ice can keep the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be connected to several issues, such as:

    • Dirty coils caused by insufficient 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 has frozen, switch it off and let the coils thaw. 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 starting a refrigeration 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, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional assistance.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your cooling needs 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 couple signs you’re facing a leak:

    • Inadequate cold air
    • Home is humid
    • Excessively long cooling cycles
    • Ice on the evaporator coils
    • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner noises
    • Sweet smell close to the air conditioner

If your air conditioning system was installed before 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being made due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix.

If your R-22 AC unit 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 superior for the environment.

We recognize that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t prepared for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which provides you a new air conditioner for just one reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are covered, and you’ll get to keep any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioner utilizes a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve overlooked air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become plugged up 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 minimize 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 conditioner won’t stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most common ones:

    • Dirty air filter is gravely restricting airflow.
    • Your air conditioning system overheated due to inadequate refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
    • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
    • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is malfunctioning.
    • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has broken down.

As we mentioned earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems will have to be resolved by an HVAC professional like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

7. Short Cycling

An improper cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is an irritating error when the system shuts down before the expected temperature has covered the remainder of the house. If you suspect your AC unit is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is active before it turns off. Your standard air conditioner generally 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 small bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and vital components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of atypical cooling cycles are frequently a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components switch the AC off. This happens again and again, especially if the real cause of the overheating isn’t resolved.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The number one way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance plan. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we promote several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and corrected with routine maintenance.

In some cases repairs are inescapable, but as a maintenance member, you’ll enjoy 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 request your repair appointment? Contact us at today!

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