Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

When your home’s AC system malfunctions, you want to get the issue resolved right away. However, there may be countless of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a few problems that are more prevalent, and determining what they are is handy when your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Expert is reviewing routes for resolving 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 tells your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are inaccurate, your air conditioner may not function properly. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, it won’t be accessible at all. Follow this quick checklist to ensure 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)
    • Check that it’s currently on cooling mode
    • Ensure your set 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 fact, dirty filters could cause multiple problems, such as decreased airflow, reduced indoor air quality and greater power use. They can also make the AC unit work harder and stop working if the coil ices over.

You can easily minimize AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know when you should change your filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a general guideline, make sure you try to replace flat filters each 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 middle of the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as smoothly, and in certain cases the ice can block the AC from running entirely.

Freezing can be linked to different issues, including:

    • Dirty coils caused by ignoring annual maintenance
    • Dirty air filters, which obstruct airflow
    • Clogged drain line, which can result in moisture buildup
    • Refrigerant leaks, which lessen cooling power

If your air conditioner freezes, shut 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 starting a cooling cycle.

It’s recommended to check your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other issues, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will need the support of a trained technician.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your cooling employs refrigerant to convert heat. When it doesn’t have adequate refrigerant, you could notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a couple signs you’re confronting a leak:

    • Insufficient cold air
    • Home feels humid
    • Longer than normal cooling cycles
    • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
    • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
    • Sweet smell close to the air conditioner

If your air conditioning system was installed earlier than 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured because of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair.

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

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

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioner uses a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates 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 call us at 866-397-3787 for help.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple of reasons why your air conditioner keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most common ones:

    • Dirty air filter is severely restricting airflow.
    • Your cooling is running too hot caused by a lack of refrigerant.
    • Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow.
    • Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
    • Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
    • Blower motor is faulty.
    • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is defective.
    • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has gone out.

As we discussed earlier, examine your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems will have to be taken care of by an HVAC professional like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an annoying issue when the unit shuts down before the desired temperature has reached the rest of the house. If you think your cooling is short cycling, listen to how long the air is running before it turns off. Your standard air conditioner generally runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is turning on and off in short bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and critical components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of abnormal cooling cycles are frequently a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, especially if the root cause of the overheating isn’t resolved.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The best way for you to prevent air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance plan. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we provide several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and fixed through routine service.

In some cases repairs are inescapable, 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 join a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Call us at today!

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >

$50 OFF Any Repair

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!

$50 OFF HVAC Tune-up Special

There’s no reason to skip your seasonal maintenance that saves energy and helps ensure your air conditioner and heater will work reliably all season long.

  • Regularly $129, now only $79
  • Save up to 30% on energy bills
  • Written Expert Service Guarantee

© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.