Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s cooling breaks down, you want to get the situation resolved right away. Annoyingly, there may be hundreds of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and identifying what they are is handy when your All American Air Service Experts Expert is discussing options for resolving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

ere are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your cooling system to malfunction.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat tells your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are incorrect, your air conditioner might not work like it should. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Run through this short checklist to make sure your thermostat is receiving power and functioning properly:

  • Replace 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 reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters could cause multiple problems, including decreased airflow, poorer indoor air quality and greater power usage. They can also make your air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily reduce the risk of 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 replace flat filters every 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 build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as precisely, and in some cases the ice can block the AC from running entirely.

Freezing can be connected to multiple issues, such as:

  • Dirty coils caused by ignoring 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, switch it off and let the ice on the coils melt. This can take up to 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air on the coils without beginning a refrigeration cycle.

It’s recommended to inspect the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other issues, like dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional help.

4. Refrigerant Leak

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

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

If your cooling was installed earlier than 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being produced 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 advocate for air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners utilize Puron or R-410A, which is superior for the environment.

We understand that replacing your AC system 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 proceed with any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioner uses a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve skipped 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 prevent damage and call us at 866-397-3787 for support.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a few reasons why your cooling keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most common ones:

  • Dirty air filter is significantly limiting airflow.
  • Your cooling is running too hot due to insufficient refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is defective.
  • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has broken down.

Like we outlined earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems should be resolved by an HVAC expert like All American Air Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an irritating malfunction when the system shuts down before the desired temperature has made its way through the remainder of the house. If you believe your air conditioner is short cycling, watch how long the air is on before it switches off. Your standard air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for close to an equivalent period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is switching on and off in short bursts.

This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any kind of atypical cooling cycles are routinely a consequence of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components turn the AC off. This happens again and again, especially if the root cause of the overheating isn’t addressed.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The number one way for you to prevent air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance agreement. At All American Air Service Experts, we provide several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and solved through routine maintenance.

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 sign up for a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 386-310-2061 today!

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