Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them
August 3, 2022
When your home’s cooling malfunctions, you want to get the problem resolved at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there can be countless of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a number of problems that are more prevalent, and determining what they are is beneficial when your Peitz Service Experts Expert is reviewing options for solving 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 instructs your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are incorrect, your cooling might not function correctly. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Run through this quick checklist to ensure your thermostat is receiving power and working properly:
- Change batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
- Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
- Confirm that it’s currently on cooling mode
- Ensure your preferred 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 a number of problems, such as weaker airflow, lower indoor air quality and greater power usage. They can also make the AC unit 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 if 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 basic rule of thumb, make sure you try to change flat filters each month and pleated filters every three months.
3. Frozen Condenser Coils
Your air conditioner’s coils are crucial components because they emit 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 handle the cooling process as precisely, and in severe cases enough ice can block the AC from running at all.
Freezing can be linked to multiple issues, like:
- Dirty coils caused by ignoring annual maintenance
- Dirty air filters, which restrict airflow
- Clogged drain line, which can cause moisture buildup
- Refrigerant leaks, which lessen cooling power
If your air conditioner is frozen, shut it off and let the coils thaw. This can take up to 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This should blow warm air across the coils without starting a refrigeration cycle.
It’s smart to examine the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it. The other problems, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with the support of a trained technician.
4. Refrigerant Leak
Your cooling employs refrigerant to relocate heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you might notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a couple signs you’re dealing with a leak:
- Insufficient cold air
- Home seems humid
- Excessively long cooling cycles
- Frozen evaporator coils
- Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
- Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being manufactured as a consequence of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to correct.
If your R-22 air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Newer air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is better for the environment.
We recognize 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 affordable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to proceed with any valuable manufacturer’s rebates.
5. Water Leak
Your AC unit uses a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become blocked with mold and cause water to stay in the drain line. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.
Turn off your air conditioner to prevent damage and call us at 866-397-3787 for support.
6. Tripped Circuit Breaker
There can be a couple 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 significantly constraining airflow.
- Your air conditioning system is overheating caused by insufficient refrigerant.
- Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
- Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
- Electrical connections are strained or loose.
- Blower motor is defective.
- Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is malfunctioning.
- Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has broken down.
Like we discussed earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems will have to be addressed by an HVAC expert like Peitz Service Experts.
7. Short Cycling
An improper cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is a frustrating issue when the unit shuts off before the expected temperature has covered the remainder of the house. If you suspect your cooling is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is active before it switches off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for close to an equivalent period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is switching on and off in quick bursts.
This adds heavy strain on moving parts and vital components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any kind of atypical cooling cycles are routinely caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, 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 prevent air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance plan. At Peitz Service Experts, we promote several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and fixed through routine service.
In some cases repairs are inevitable, 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 arrange your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 605-223-0307 today!