August 3, 2022
When your home’s AC system breaks down, you deserve to get the issue dealt with at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there may be dozens of reasons why your AC unit isn’t functioning 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 handy when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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 cooling system to stop working.
1. Thermostat Problems
Your thermostat instructs your AC system when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are incorrect, your air conditioner might not run correctly. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, you won’t be able to use it at all. Try this short checklist to ensure your thermostat is receiving power and working properly:
- Replace 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
Dirty or inefficient air filters are notorious for turning a perfectly functional and reliable air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In fact, dirty filters can cause a number of problems, including reduced airflow, lower indoor air quality and greater power use. They can also make your air conditioner 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 when you should change the filters? If you can’t think back to the last time you changed them, it’s almost surely 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 discharge heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the middle of the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as smoothly, and in certain cases the ice can keep the AC from running at all.
Freezing can be related to multiple issues, like:
- Dirty coils caused by ignoring 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 coils thaw. This will sometimes take up to 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air across the coils without going through a cooling cycle.
It’s recommended 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 need professional help.
4. Refrigerant Leak
Your air conditioning system employs refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a couple signs you’re dealing with a leak:
- Not enough cold air
- Home is humid
- Extended cooling cycles
- Ice forming on the evaporator coils
- Dripping or hissing air conditioner noises
- Sweet smell close to the air conditioner
If your air conditioning system was installed prior to 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being made due to its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled supplies are available, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to correct.
If your R-22 AC unit is struggling with a refrigerant leak, we advocate for air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Newer air conditioners utilize Puron or R-410A, which is better for the environment.
We recognize that replacing your AC system 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 included, and you’ll get to proceed with any useful manufacturer’s rebates.
5. Water Leak
Your AC unit uses a condensate drain line to flush water it strips from the air. If you’ve avoided air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become blocked 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 contact us at 866-397-3787 for support.
6. Tripped Circuit Breaker
There can be a few reasons why your air conditioning system is repeatedly tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most widespread ones:
- Dirty air filter is severely limiting airflow.
- Your cooling overheated due to a lack of refrigerant.
- Condenser coils are dirty and restraining airflow.
- Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
- Electrical connections are damaged or loose.
- Blower motor is faulty.
- Compressor is drawing excessive power or wiring is defective.
- Capacitor in charge of starting the compressor has failed.
As we discussed earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems should be taken care of by an HVAC expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
7. Short Cycling
An improper cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is an annoying error when the unit shuts off before the set temperature has covered the entire house. If you believe your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is running before it switches off. Your standard air conditioner generally runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for close to the same period of time. But when it’s short cycling, your cooling is turning on and off in quick bursts.
This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any form of atypical cooling cycles are often caused by overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components switch the AC off. This happens over and over, particularly if the real cause of the overheating isn’t addressed.
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 agreement. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we provide several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and solved with routine tune-ups.
Sometimes repairs are inescapable, 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 request your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 587-404-0790 today!