Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s cooling malfunctions, you deserve to get the problem dealt with at the earliest opportunity. However, there could be dozens of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a few problems that are more common, and recognizing what they are is beneficial when your Pardee Service Experts Expert is going over available choices for resolving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.

ere are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your cooling system to stop working.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat tells your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If its settings are incorrect, your air conditioner might not function properly. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Run through 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 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 effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What's more, dirty filters will sometimes cause a number of problems, such as decreased 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 the air filter. How do you know when you should change the filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a general rule of thumb, make sure you try to exchange flat filters each month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are important 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 regulate the cooling process as easily, and in severe cases sufficient ice can block the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be connected to different 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 reduce cooling power

If your air conditioner is frozen, shut it off and let the coils thaw. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can quicken the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air over the coils without beginning a cooling cycle.

It’s smart to check your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other challenges, including dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with professional assistance.

4. Refrigerant Leak

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

  • Not enough cold air
  • Home seems humid
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed prior to 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being manufactured due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are accessible, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair.

If your R-22 air conditioner is dealing with a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners utilize Puron or R-410A, which is superior for the environment.

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

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioner utilizes a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become plugged up with mold and cause water to back up. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a number of reasons why your air conditioning system won't stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most prevalent ones:

  • Dirty air filter is severely constraining airflow.
  • Your air conditioner overheated caused by insufficient refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excess power or wiring is malfunctioning.
  • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has gone out.

As we outlined earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems will need to be taken care of by an HVAC professional like Pardee Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is an irritating issue when the unit turns off before the set temperature has made its way through the remainder of the house. If you suspect your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is working before it switches off. Your standard air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for about a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your cooling is running on and off in short bursts.

This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of atypical cooling cycles are routinely a consequence of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components turn the AC off. This happens repeatedly, namely 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 avoid air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance program. At Pardee Service Experts, we offer several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and fixed during routine maintenance.

Occasionally 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? Call us at 843-410-6103 today!

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