Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s AC system breaks down, you should try to get the situation taken care of at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there may be hundreds of reasons why your AC unit isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a few problems that are more common, and recognizing what they are is beneficial when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is reviewing routes 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 air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are inaccurate, your cooling might not function correctly. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, you’ll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Follow this quick checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and working 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 preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are infamous for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What’s more, dirty filters can cause lots of problems, including reduced airflow, lower indoor air quality and higher power use. They can also make the air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily minimize AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know when 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 standard rule of thumb, make sure you try to exchange flat filters once a 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 during the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as smoothly, and in severe cases enough ice can keep the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be connected to different issues, including:

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

If your air conditioner has frozen, turn it off and let the coils thaw. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This blows warm air over 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. The other issues, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will need the support of a trained technician.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your cooling needs refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have adequate refrigerant, you may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a couple signs you’re dealing with a leak:

    • Not enough cold air
    • Home is humid
    • Longer than normal cooling cycles
    • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
    • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
    • Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner

If your air conditioner was installed before 2011, it most 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 supplies are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to fix.

If your R-22 AC unit has a refrigerant leak, we suggest air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners employ Puron or R-410A, which is better for the environment.

We understand that replacing your cooling can be an emergency that you aren’t prepared 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 retain any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioning needs a condensate drain line to flush water it strips from the air. If you’ve overlooked air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become blocked with mold and cause water to back up. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple of reasons why your air conditioner is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most widespread ones:

    • Dirty air filter is gravely constraining airflow.
    • Your cooling is overheating caused by inadequate refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
    • Blower motor is defective.
    • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is malfunctioning.
    • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has broken down.

As we discussed earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems should be resolved by an HVAC pro like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

7. Short Cycling

An improper cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an irritating issue when the air conditioner shuts off before the desired temperature has made its way through the remainder of the house. If you suspect your air conditioner is short cycling, watch how long the air is working before it shuts off. Your average 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 air conditioner is switching on and off in short bursts.

This places heavy strain on moving parts and vital components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of atypical cooling cycles are routinely caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components shut the AC off. This happens over and over, particularly 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 program. 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 corrected during routine service.

Sometimes repairs are inevitable, 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 join a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Contact us at today!

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