A man wiping sweat off his forehead as he adjusts a thermostat.

We rely on our air conditioners to keep us cool and comfortable, so it’s important to understand what can go wrong with them and how to fix these issues. In this blog, we’ll cover the top ten common air conditioner problems and their solutions. Whether you’re dealing with minor AC issues or more significant air conditioning problems, having the right knowledge can help you manage them effectively.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks are one of the more common air conditioner problems. When your AC system is low on refrigerant, it can’t cool your home properly. Signs of a refrigerant leak include ice buildup on the evaporator coils, reduced cooling efficiency, and higher energy bills.

How to Identify and Fix a Refrigerant Leak

To identify a refrigerant leak, look for ice on the coils, listen for a hissing sound, or check for reduced cooling output. Because handling refrigerants requires special training and certification, it’s crucial to call a professional for repair. A technician will fix the leak and recharge the refrigerant to the proper levels.

One of the most frustrating air conditioner issues is when it blows warm air instead of cool air. This can make your home uncomfortable, especially during the summer. If you think a refrigerant leak is to blame, don’t hesitate to turn to an expert for help.

Dirty or Clogged Filters

Dirty or clogged air filters are a frequent cause of air conditioner issues. When air filters are clogged, they reduce airflow, causing the AC unit to work harder and less efficiently. This can lead to higher energy consumption and even system failure.

Steps for Replacing or Cleaning a Dirty Air Filter

To keep your AC running efficiently, replace or clean the filters regularly. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off the AC unit.
  2. Locate the filter (usually found behind the return air grille, inside the blower compartment, or in a slot on the side of the unit).
  3. Remove the old filter.
  4. If it’s a reusable filter, clean it with water and let it dry completely before reinstalling. If it’s disposable, replace it with a new one.
  5. Insert the clean or new filter back into the unit, following the arrows for proper airflow direction.

Thermostat Issues

Thermostat problems can lead to improper temperature readings and cause your AC to cycle on and off incorrectly. This is one of the common AC problems that can be frustrating and lead to discomfort in your home.

Troubleshooting Thermostat Problems

Do you think thermostat troubles could be at the root of your air conditioner issues? First, check that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature. If the problem persists, try recalibrating or resetting it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the thermostat is old or malfunctioning, consider replacing it with a newer, programmable model for better accuracy and energy efficiency.

Electrical Control Failures

Electrical control failures are common air conditioner problems that manifest as frequent cycling or the system not turning on at all. These issues are often due to wear and tear on electrical connections and contacts within the unit.

How to Address Electrical Issues Safely

It’s best to call an HVAC professional to handle electrical control failures. They can safely inspect and repair electrical components, guaranteeing your system operates correctly. Regular maintenance can also help prevent these problems by catching issues early.

Drainage Problems

Proper drainage is essential for air conditioning units to function correctly. When the condensate drain line is clogged, it can cause water leaks and damage to the system.

Clearing Clogged Condensate Lines

Are you concerned about your air conditioner leaking water? To prevent drainage problems:

  1. Turn off the AC unit.
  2. Locate the condensate drain line (a PVC pipe usually connected to the indoor unit).
  3. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear any blockages in the line.
  4. Flush the drain with a mixture of water and vinegar to remove any remaining debris. Regularly checking and cleaning the condensate drain can prevent clogs and water damage.

Capacitor Problems

Capacitors are vital components in your air conditioning unit, providing the necessary energy to start the motor and keep it running. When capacitors fail, it can cause hard starting, frequent system shutdowns, or even total system failure.

Diagnosing and Replacing Capacitors

Is your AC not turning on? Check your electrical panel for a tripped circuit breaker. If that’s not the problem, the issue could be with the thermostat or the power supply.

If you suspect a capacitor problem, listen for clicking sounds from the unit. Because capacitors store electrical energy, handling them can be dangerous. It’s best to call a professional to diagnose and replace a faulty capacitor.

Compressor Troubles

The compressor is the heart of your AC system, responsible for circulating refrigerant and maintaining pressure. Compressor problems can lead to warm air blowing from your vents or unusual noises from the outdoor unit.

Repairing or Replacing a Malfunctioning Compressor

If you suspect compressor issues, it’s essential to call a technician immediately. They can determine whether the compressor can be repaired or if it needs replacement. Regular maintenance can help prevent compressor failure by keeping the system clean and properly charged with refrigerant.

Fan Malfunctions

Fans in your AC system are responsible for moving air over the evaporator coils and blowing it into your home. When fans malfunction, it can reduce air circulation and cooling efficiency.

Inspecting and Repairing Fan Issues

To inspect a fan problem:

  1. Turn off the AC unit.
  2. Remove the access panel to locate the fan.
  3. Check for loose or damaged blades and listen for unusual noises.
  4. Tighten any loose screws or replace damaged blades. If the motor is the issue, contact an HVAC professional to replace it.

Coil Blockages

Coils in your AC system can become blocked with dirt and debris, reducing efficiency and causing the system to overheat. This is one of the common air conditioner problems that can be easily avoided with regular maintenance.

Cleaning Coils to Restore Efficiency

To clean the coils:

  1. Turn off the AC unit.
  2. Remove the access panel to locate the evaporator and condenser coils.
  3. Use a soft brush or vacuum to remove dust and debris.
  4. For deeper cleaning, use a coil cleaner spray, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Regularly cleaning the coils can prevent blockages and keep your system running efficiently.

General Wear and Tear

Over time, wear and tear on your AC system can lead to various issues, from reduced efficiency to component failure. Regular maintenance is key to preventing these problems and extending the life of your system.

Benefits of Professional HVAC Inspections and Tune-Ups

Having your AC system professionally maintained at least once a year can help catch potential issues before they become major problems. A professional can inspect, clean, and tune up your system, making sure it operates at peak efficiency and reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns.

Schedule Your AC Services With JJ&A Mechanical!

Understanding common air conditioner problems and their solutions can help you keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Regular maintenance, timely repairs, and professional inspections are crucial to extending the life of your AC system and avoiding inconvenient breakdowns.

If you’re experiencing any of these air conditioning problems or need a professional to inspect your system, don’t hesitate to schedule your HVAC repair with JJ&A Mechanical. Our experienced technicians can diagnose and repair any air conditioner issues, keeping your home cool and comfortable when you need it most.

Now that you know the most common AC problems and solutions, why wait to get the assistance you need? Contact us today to book your air conditioner repair service and keep your system running smoothly all season long!