Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them
August 3, 2022
When your home’s air conditioner malfunctions, you deserve to get the issue dealt with right away. Unfortunately, there could be countless of reasons why your cooling isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a handful of problems that are more common, and recognizing what they are is helpful when your Becht/Givens Service Experts Expert is reviewing available choices 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 conditioner to break down.
1. Thermostat Problems
Your thermostat tells your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are inaccurate, your air conditioning might not function correctly. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Try this brief checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and operating properly:
- Swap out batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
- Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
- Check 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 reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What's more, dirty filters will sometimes cause a number of problems, such as weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and higher power usage. They can also make the air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.
You can easily avoid AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing your air filter. How do you know if you should change your filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a standard guideline, make sure you try to replace flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.
3. Frozen Condenser Coils
Your air conditioner’s coils are important components because they discharge heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to regulate the cooling process as precisely, and in severe cases the ice can block the AC from running entirely.
Freezing can be related to different issues, such as:
- Dirty coils caused by insufficient annual maintenance
- Dirty air filters, which restrict airflow
- Clogged drain line, which can result in moisture buildup
- Refrigerant leaks, which reduce cooling power
If your air conditioner freezes, switch it off and let the ice melt. 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 on the coils without beginning a refrigeration cycle.
It’s recommended to examine the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it. The other issues, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will need professional assistance.
4. Refrigerant Leak
Your air conditioning system needs refrigerant to convert heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you might notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a few signs you’re confronting a leak:
- Inadequate cold air
- Home is humid
- Longer than normal cooling cycles
- Ice forming on the evaporator coils
- Dribbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
- Sweet smell near the air conditioner
If your air conditioner was installed before 2011, it most likely uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being made because of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to correct.
If your R-22 air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Modern air conditioners employ Puron or R-410A, which is superior 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 included, and you’ll get to retain any valuable 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 overlooked air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become clogged 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 minimize damage and contact us at 866-397-3787 for support.
6. Tripped Circuit Breaker
There can be a couple of reasons why your air conditioning system won't stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most widespread ones:
- Dirty air filter is gravely restricting airflow.
- Your cooling is running too hot because of a lack of 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 malfunctioning.
- Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is faulty.
- Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has gone out.
As we outlined earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems will have to be taken care of by an HVAC pro like Becht/Givens Service Experts.
7. Short Cycling
A faulty cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is a frustrating issue when the system turns off before the set temperature has covered the entire house. If you suspect your AC unit is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is working before it turns off. Your ordinary air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for around a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is switching on and off in quick bursts.
This places heavy strain on moving parts and vital components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any kind of abnormal cooling cycles are frequently caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components turn the AC off. This happens over and over, namely if the source of the overheating isn’t resolved.
Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs
The ideal way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance agreement. At Becht/Givens Service Experts, we provide several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and solved during 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 sign up for a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Contact us at 502-785-8230 today!