Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s air conditioner breaks down, you want to get the situation dealt with as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there can be hundreds of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a handful of problems that are more widespread, and identifying what they are is handy when your Teays Valley Service Experts Expert is reviewing options for solving the problem with air conditioning repair in North America.

ere are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioning to break down.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat directs your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are incorrect, your air conditioner may not function correctly. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, you'll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Follow this quick checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and functioning properly:

  • Change 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 preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are infamous for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters could cause multiple problems, like decreased airflow, reduced 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 avoid AC problems by routinely cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know when you should change the filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost surely time to. But for a standard guideline, make sure you try to exchange flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are essential 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 manage the cooling process as precisely, and in certain cases enough ice can stop the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be connected to different issues, such as:

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

If your air conditioner has frozen, switch 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 should blow warm air on the coils without starting a refrigeration cycle.

It’s smart 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, are best handled with the support of a trained technician.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner uses refrigerant to convert 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
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell nearby 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 due to its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix.

If your R-22 air conditioner is struggling with 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 AC system can be an emergency that you aren’t equipped 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 useful manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioning uses a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates from the air. If you’ve avoided 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.

Switch off your air conditioner to avoid damage and call us at 866-397-3787 for help.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

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

  • Dirty air filter is severely restricting airflow.
  • Your air conditioner is running too hot caused by insufficient refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are worn or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is faulty.
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has gone out.

Like we mentioned earlier, examine your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems will need to be taken care of by an HVAC professional like Teays Valley Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is an annoying issue when the system shuts down before the set temperature has made its way through the remainder of the house. If you suspect your AC unit is short cycling, watch how long the air is running before it turns off. Your standard air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for close to a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is turning 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 atypical cooling cycles are routinely caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components turn the AC off. This happens over and over, namely if the root 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 minimize air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance agreement. At Teays Valley Service Experts, we provide several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and corrected through routine tune-ups.

Sometimes repairs are unavoidable, but as a maintenance member, you’ll enjoy 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 arrange your repair appointment? Call us at 304-760-5088 today!

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