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 taken care of at the earliest opportunity. Annoyingly, there could be countless of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a few problems that are more prevalent, and identifying what they are is helpful when your R & M Climate Control Service Experts Expert is going over routes for solving the problem with air conditioning repair in North America.

ere are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your air conditioner to malfunction.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat tells your air conditioner when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are inaccurate, your cooling might not run correctly. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, you'll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Follow this short checklist to ensure your thermostat is receiving power and operating properly:

  • Replace batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
  • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
  • Check that it’s switched to 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 efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters can cause multiple problems, including decreased airflow, reduced indoor air quality and excessive power usage. They can also make an air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil freezes up.

You can easily reduce the risk of AC problems by regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know whether you should change the filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a standard guideline, 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 essential components because they release heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even during the summer, ice can build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as easily, and in severe cases sufficient ice can stop the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be connected to different issues, including:

  • Dirty coils caused by ignoring annual maintenance
  • Dirty air filters, which reduce airflow
  • Clogged drain line, which can trigger moisture buildup
  • Refrigerant leaks, which lessen cooling power

If your air conditioner has frozen, switch it off and let the coils thaw. This will sometimes take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This should blow warm air across the coils without starting a cooling cycle.

It’s smart to inspect your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other problems, like dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with professional help.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your cooling uses refrigerant to relocate 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 facing a leak:

  • Insufficient cold air
  • Home seems humid
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Dribbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
  • Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner

If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This coolant is no longer being made 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 conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we advocate for air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Modern air conditioners employ Puron or R-410A, which is more sustainable for the environment.

We recognize 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 incorporated, and you’ll get to retain any worthwhile manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your AC unit needs a condensate drain line to flush water it strips from the air. If you’ve overlooked 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.

Turn 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 number of reasons why your air conditioning system keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • Dirty air filter is significantly constraining airflow.
  • Your air conditioner overheated because of a lack of 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 malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is faulty.
  • Capacitor in control of starting the compressor has broken down.

As we outlined earlier, examine your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems should be taken care of by an HVAC professional like R & M Climate Control Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

An insufficient cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an annoying error when the air conditioner shuts down before the set temperature has covered the rest of the house. If you believe your cooling is short cycling, listen to how long the air is working before it switches off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about a similar period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is turning on and off in small bursts.

This puts heavy strain on moving parts and vital components including the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of atypical cooling cycles are frequently a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components shut the AC off. This happens repeatedly, particularly if the real cause of the overheating isn’t resolved.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The best way for you to minimize air conditioning problems is to sign up for a preventive maintenance plan. At R & M Climate Control Service Experts, we offer several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be found and solved during routine tune-ups.

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 enroll in a membership program or to arrange your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 865-229-6176 today!

chat now widget box