Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s cooling breaks down, you should try to get the situation taken care of right away. Annoyingly, there may be dozens of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and identifying what they are is helpful when your D.A. Bennett Service Experts Expert is discussing 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 cooling system to break down.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat tells your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are incorrect, your cooling might not work properly. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Follow this brief checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and working properly:

  • Swap out batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
  • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
  • Verify 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 infamous for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters can cause multiple problems, such as weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and excessive power use. They can also make your air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil ices over.

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know when you should change your filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely 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 crucial components because they emit 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 smoothly, and in certain cases sufficient ice can block the AC from running outright.

Freezing can be connected to several issues, like:

  • Dirty coils caused by a lack of 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 on the coils melt. This could take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This blows warm air over the coils without going through a refrigeration cycle.

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

4. Refrigerant Leak

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

  • Not enough cold air
  • Home feels humid
  • Excessively long cooling cycles
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coils
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell near the air conditioner

If your air conditioning system was installed earlier than 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant 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 repair.

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

We realize that replacing your AC system 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 affordable monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to keep any valuable manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your air conditioning utilizes 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 flood the system. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

Shut off your air conditioner to prevent damage and get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 for assistance.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a few reasons why your cooling keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • Dirty air filter is gravely constraining airflow.
  • Your air conditioner is overheating due to insufficient refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are strained or loose.
  • Blower motor is faulty.
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is malfunctioning.
  • Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has gone out.

Like we outlined earlier, check 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 D.A. Bennett Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is a frustrating issue when the air conditioner turns off before the expected temperature has made its way through the entire house. If you believe your cooling is short cycling, listen to how long the air is on before it switches off. Your average air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is turning on and off in short bursts.

This puts heavy strain on moving parts and key components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of irregular cooling cycles are often a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components switch the AC off. This happens repeatedly, namely if the real cause of the overheating isn’t addressed.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The number one way for you to minimize air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance program. At D.A. Bennett Service Experts, we promote several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Inferior wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and fixed during routine service.

Sometimes 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 enroll in a membership program or to arrange your repair appointment? Call us at 518-205-3324 today!

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