August 3, 2022
When your home’s AC system breaks down, you want to get the situation resolved right away. However, there can be dozens of reasons why your AC unit isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a handful of problems that are more widespread, and determining what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Expert is reviewing available choices for fixing 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 malfunction.
1. Thermostat Problems
Your thermostat instructs your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are inaccurate, your cooling may not run like it should. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Run through this quick 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)
- Confirm that it’s currently on cooling mode
- Ensure your preferred temperature is below the current room temperature
2. Dirty Air Filter
Dirty or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters can cause lots of problems, including weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and higher power consumption. They can also make the air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.
You can easily avoid AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing the 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 certainly time to. But for a general recommendation, make sure you try to change flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.
3. Frozen Condenser Coils
Your air conditioner’s coils are crucial 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 handle the cooling process as smoothly, and in severe cases the ice can keep the AC from running at all.
Freezing can be linked to multiple issues, like:
- 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 reduce cooling power
If your air conditioner has frozen, switch it off and let the ice melt. This will sometimes take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air over the coils without starting a refrigeration cycle.
It’s a good idea to examine the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other challenges, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional assistance.
4. Refrigerant Leak
Your air conditioner needs refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you could notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are some signs you’re dealing with a leak:
- Not enough cold air
- Home seems humid
- Excessively long cooling cycles
- Ice on the evaporator coils
- Dripping or hissing air conditioner sounds
- Sweet smell near 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 manufactured due to its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more expensive to repair.
If your R-22 air conditioner is dealing with a refrigerant leak, we suggest air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Modern air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is superior for the environment.
We recognize that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t ready 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 proceed with any worthwhile 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.
Shut off your air conditioner to minimize damage and get in touch with us at 866-397-3787 for support.
6. Tripped Circuit Breaker
There can be a few reasons why your cooling keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Dirty air filter is gravely restricting airflow.
- Your air conditioner overheated caused by inadequate refrigerant.
- Condenser coils are dirty and reducing airflow.
- Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
- Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
- Blower motor is faulty.
- Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is malfunctioning.
- Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has failed.
As we outlined earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems will need to be resolved by an HVAC expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
7. Short Cycling
An insufficient cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is an irritating issue when the air conditioner turns off before the desired temperature has covered the rest of the house. If you believe your cooling is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is on before it shuts off. Your average air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for around a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioning is switching 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 routinely caused by 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 minimize air conditioning problems is to enroll in a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we promote several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and fixed during routine service.
In some cases repairs are inevitable, 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 join a membership program or to request your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 954-736-4314 today!