Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them
August 3, 2022
When your home’s AC system malfunctions, you want to get the situation taken care of at the earliest opportunity. However, there could be hundreds of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a few problems that are more prevalent, and determining what they are is beneficial when your Coastal Service Experts Expert is going over available choices for solving the problem with 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 directs your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are incorrect, your cooling might not work like it should. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, you'll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Run through this short 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 switched to 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 can cause a number of problems, such as reduced airflow, reduced 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 minimize AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know whether you should change your filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost surely time to. But for a general recommendation, 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 release heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as smoothly, and in some cases sufficient ice can stop the AC from running outright.
Freezing can be linked to several issues, like:
- Dirty coils caused by ignoring annual maintenance
- Dirty air filters, which reduce airflow
- Clogged drain line, which can cause moisture buildup
- Refrigerant leaks, which lessen cooling power
If your air conditioner is frozen, turn it off and let the ice on the coils melt. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air over the coils without going through a refrigeration cycle.
It’s recommended to examine your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other problems, like dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional help.
4. Refrigerant Leak
Your air conditioner needs refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you could notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a few signs you’re facing a leak:
- Insufficient cold air
- Home is humid
- Excessively long cooling cycles
- Ice forming on the evaporator coils
- Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
- Sweet smell close to the air conditioner
If your air conditioning system was installed earlier than 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured due to its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to repair.
If your R-22 air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we recommend 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 AC system can be an emergency that you aren’t equipped for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which provides you a new air conditioner for just one reasonable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to proceed with any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.
5. Water Leak
Your air conditioner needs a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates from the air. If you’ve skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become blocked with mold and cause water to flood the system. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.
Shut off your air conditioner to minimize damage and contact us at 866-397-3787 for assistance.
6. Tripped Circuit Breaker
There can be a couple of reasons why your cooling keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most prevalent ones:
- Dirty air filter is gravely constraining airflow.
- Your air conditioner is running too hot because of inadequate refrigerant.
- Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow.
- Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating.
- Electrical connections are strained or loose.
- Blower motor is faulty.
- Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is malfunctioning.
- Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has failed.
Like we mentioned earlier, examine your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems should be taken care of by an HVAC professional like Coastal Service Experts.
7. Short Cycling
An insufficient cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is a frustrating malfunction when the air conditioner shuts down before the expected temperature has made its way through the rest of the house. If you believe your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is running before it turns off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for close to a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is running on and off in short bursts.
This adds heavy strain on moving parts and key components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of irregular cooling cycles are often a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components turn the AC off. This happens again and again, especially if the real cause of the overheating isn’t dealt with.
Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs
The ideal way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance agreement. At Coastal Service Experts, we offer 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 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 enroll in a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 912-208-2399 today!