Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s air conditioner malfunctions, you deserve to get the problem dealt with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there can be countless of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a few problems that are more prevalent, and identifying what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Expert is going over routes 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 the thermostat settings are incorrect, your air conditioning might not run properly. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Try this short checklist to confirm 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)
  • Confirm that it’s in cooling mode
  • Ensure your set 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. In addition, dirty filters could cause multiple problems, including weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and excessive power usage. They can also make your air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily avoid AC problems by routinely cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know whether you should change the filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a standard rule of thumb, 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 during the summer, ice can build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as easily, and in some cases enough ice can block the AC from running entirely.

Freezing can be related to several issues, including:

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

If your air conditioner freezes, 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 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 professional help.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioning system 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 a couple signs you’re confronting a leak:

  • Inadequate cold air
  • Home seems humid
  • Extended cooling cycles
  • Ice on the evaporator coils
  • Dripping or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell around the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed earlier than 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being made because of its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair.

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

We realize that replacing your AC system can be an emergency that you aren’t ready for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which offers you a new air conditioner for just one low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are incorporated, and you’ll get to keep any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your AC unit utilizes 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.

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

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

  • Dirty air filter is severely restricting airflow.
  • Your air conditioning system overheated because of insufficient refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has malfunctioned and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is defective.
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has broken down.

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

7. Short Cycling

An improper cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is a frustrating issue when the system shuts off before the desired temperature has made its way through the remainder of the house. If you believe your air conditioner is short cycling, listen to how long the air is working before it turns off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your cooling 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 kind of abnormal cooling cycles are often caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components shut the AC off. This happens again and again, namely if the source of the overheating isn’t addressed.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

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

Sometimes 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 sign up for a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Call us at 901-235-1196 today!

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