Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s cooling goes on the fritz, you want to get the problem dealt with at the earliest opportunity. Annoyingly, there could be hundreds of reasons why your AC unit isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a handful of problems that are more widespread, and recognizing what they are is handy when your Bob Brown Service Experts Expert is reviewing available choices for resolving 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 cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are wrong, your air conditioner might not run properly. And if the batteries ran out in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Run through this short checklist to confirm 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 in cooling mode
  • Ensure your preferred temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What's more, dirty filters will sometimes cause a number of problems, such as reduced airflow, lower indoor air quality and excessive power consumption. They can also make an air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily minimize AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know if you should change the filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a general guideline, make sure you try to exchange flat filters every month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are essential components because they emit heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even during the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as precisely, and in some cases enough ice can keep the AC from running entirely.

Freezing can be connected to multiple issues, including:

  • 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 has frozen, switch it off and let the ice on the coils melt. This will sometimes take up to 24 hours, but you can quicken the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air on the coils without starting a refrigeration cycle.

It’s smart to examine your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other challenges, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional assistance.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your cooling needs refrigerant to relocate heat. When it doesn’t have adequate refrigerant, you could notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a few signs you’re dealing with a leak:

  • Insufficient cold air
  • Home is humid
  • Extended cooling cycles
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
  • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell close to the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed before 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being produced as a consequence of its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are accessible, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix.

If your R-22 air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak, we advocate for air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Newer air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is more sustainable 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 retain any valuable manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

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

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 cooling is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most prevalent ones:

  • Dirty air filter is significantly constraining airflow.
  • Your air conditioning system is running too hot caused by a lack of refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has failed and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is faulty.
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has failed.

Like we discussed earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems should be taken care of by an HVAC pro like Bob Brown Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

An improper cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an irritating issue when the unit shuts off before the set temperature has reached the rest of the house. If you suspect your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is active before it turns off. Your ordinary air conditioner generally 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 conditioner is switching on and off in short bursts.

This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of irregular cooling cycles are routinely a consequence of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components shut the AC off. This happens again and again, namely if the real cause of the overheating isn’t dealt with.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The best way for you to prevent air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance program. At Bob Brown Service Experts, we provide several HVAC memberships to suit your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and corrected through routine service.

In some cases repairs are inevitable, 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 join a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 623-243-4517 today!

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