August 3, 2022
When your home’s cooling breaks down, you want to get the problem resolved at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, there can be hundreds of reasons why your cooling isn’t functioning properly. How do you know which one is causing trouble? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and determining what they are is beneficial when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Expert is discussing options 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 conditioning to break down.
1. Thermostat Problems
Your thermostat tells your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the settings are inaccurate, your cooling may not work correctly. And if the batteries have died in a programmable thermostat, you'll have to charge the batteries before you can use it. Try this short checklist to ensure 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)
- 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 notorious for turning a perfectly functional and effective air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. In addition, dirty filters can cause lots of problems, such as decreased airflow, poorer indoor air quality and excessive power consumption. They can also make an air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil ices over.
You can easily avoid AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know whether you should change your filters? If you can’t recall the last time you changed them, it’s almost definitely time to. But for a basic rule of thumb, make sure you try to exchange 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 emit heat from your home into the outdoor air. But even in the summer, ice can form on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to handle the cooling process as easily, and in some cases sufficient ice can stop the AC from running at all.
Freezing can be linked to several issues, such as:
- Dirty coils caused by ignoring annual maintenance
- Dirty air filters, which obstruct airflow
- Clogged drain line, which can trigger moisture buildup
- Refrigerant leaks, which reduce cooling power
If your air conditioner has frozen, shut it off and let the ice on the coils melt. This can take up to 24 hours, but you can accelerate the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air across the coils without beginning a refrigeration cycle.
It’s a good idea to examine the air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other challenges, including 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 few signs you’re facing a leak:
- Insufficient cold air
- Home feels humid
- Excessively long cooling cycles
- Frozen evaporator coils
- Dribbling or hissing air conditioner noises
- Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner
If your air conditioning system was installed before 2011, it probably uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured because of its detrimental effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to correct.
If your R-22 air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners utilize Puron or R-410A, which is more sustainable for the environment.
We understand that replacing your AC system can be an emergency that you aren’t equipped for. Ask us about our Advantage Program™, which gives you a new air conditioner for just one low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are incorporated, and you’ll get to proceed with any useful manufacturer’s rebates.
5. Water Leak
Your air conditioner uses a condensate drain line to flush water it strips from the air. If you’ve avoided air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become clogged with mold and cause water to stay in the drain line. 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 support.
6. Tripped Circuit Breaker
There can be a couple of reasons why your cooling won't stop tripping its circuit breaker. Here are several of the most common ones:
- Dirty air filter is gravely restricting airflow.
- Your air conditioning system is overheating because of a lack of refrigerant.
- Condenser coils are dirty and restraining 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 defective.
- Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has gone out.
Like we discussed earlier, inspect your air filter first, as that is most likely to be the culprit. Any other problems will need to be resolved by an HVAC pro like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
7. Short Cycling
A faulty cooling cycle can also be responsible. Short cycling is a frustrating malfunction when the system turns off before the set temperature has covered the remainder of the house. If you believe your cooling is short cycling, watch how long the air is active before it shuts off. Your average air conditioner typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes and stays inactive for about an equivalent 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 critical components such as the blower motor. Short cycling or any type of abnormal cooling cycles are often a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components shut the AC off. This happens repeatedly, especially if the source of the overheating isn’t resolved.
Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs
The ideal way for you to avoid air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance agreement. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer several HVAC memberships to accommodate your needs and budget. Faulty wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be uncovered and fixed during routine service.
Occasionally repairs are unavoidable, but as a maintenance member, you’ll enjoy 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 request your repair appointment? Call us at 925-364-5427 today!