Seven Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

August 3, 2022

When your home’s AC system breaks down, you want to get the problem dealt with as soon as possible. Annoyingly, there may be dozens of reasons why your cooling isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is affecting you? There are a few problems that are more widespread, and recognizing what they are is helpful when your BW/Cook Service Experts Expert is discussing routes for fixing the problem with 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 cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are incorrect, your air conditioner might not run like it should. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Run through this short checklist to confirm your thermostat is receiving power and functioning properly:

  • Swap out batteries if the screen is blank (programmable models)
  • Make sure your thermostat has power (smart models)
  • Confirm that it’s switched to cooling mode
  • Ensure your set temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Old or inefficient air filters are known for turning a perfectly functional and efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters could cause lots of problems, including weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and greater power usage. They can also make your 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 your filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a general guideline, make sure you try to change flat filters every 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 build up on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as easily, and in some cases enough ice can stop the AC from running at all.

Freezing can be linked to multiple issues, such as:

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

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

It’s recommended to check the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other problems, such as dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, are best handled with the support of a trained technician.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner uses refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have sufficient 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
  • Extended cooling cycles
  • Ice on the evaporator coils
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner noises
  • Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner

If your cooling was installed before 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being made due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to repair.

If your R-22 AC unit is struggling 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 understand that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t ready for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which gives 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 air conditioning uses 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.

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

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple of reasons why your cooling is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most widespread ones:

  • Dirty air filter is severely restricting airflow.
  • Your air conditioner is running too hot because of 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 malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is defective.
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has gone out.

Like we discussed earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems will need to be taken care of by an HVAC pro like BW/Cook Service Experts.

7. Short Cycling

A faulty cooling cycle can also be part of the problem. Short cycling is an irritating error when the air conditioner turns off before the expected temperature has made its way through the entire house. If you think your air conditioner is short cycling, watch how long the air is active before it switches off. Your ordinary air conditioner usually runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays off for close to an equivalent period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your air conditioner is switching on and off in small bursts.

This adds heavy strain on moving parts and key components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of atypical cooling cycles are frequently caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot before safety components switch the AC off. This happens again and again, especially if the source of the overheating isn’t addressed.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The ideal way for you to minimize air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance plan. At BW/Cook Service Experts, we offer several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and corrected through routine maintenance.

Occasionally 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 enroll in a membership program or to arrange your repair appointment? Call us at 574-218-6404 today!

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