August 3, 2022
When your home’s air conditioner goes on the fritz, you deserve to get the problem resolved as soon as possible. Annoyingly, there can be hundreds of reasons why your AC unit isn’t working properly. How do you know which one is impacting you? There are a handful of problems that are more prevalent, and determining what they are is helpful when your Norrell Service Experts Expert is going over available choices for resolving the problem through air conditioning repair in North America.
ere are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your cooling system to break down.
1. Thermostat Problems
Your thermostat tells your cooling when to start and for how long to run. If the thermostat settings are inaccurate, your air conditioning may not work properly. And if the batteries died in a programmable thermostat, it won't be accessible at all. Run through this brief 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)
- Check 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 efficient air conditioner into a slow and inefficient one. What's more, dirty filters will sometimes cause a number of problems, like weaker airflow, poorer indoor air quality and excessive power usage. They can also make an air conditioning work harder and stop working if the coil ices over.
You can easily minimize AC problems by consistently cleaning or replacing the air filter. How do you know whether you should change the filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed them, it’s almost certainly time to. But for a basic recommendation, make sure you try to change 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 during the summer, ice can develop on the coils. Frozen coils won’t be able to manage the cooling process as easily, and in certain cases sufficient ice can keep the AC from running at all.
Freezing can be linked to multiple issues, such as:
- Dirty coils caused by a lack of annual maintenance
- Dirty air filters, which obstruct airflow
- Clogged drain line, which can result in moisture buildup
- Refrigerant leaks, which lessen cooling power
If your air conditioner freezes, 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 should blow warm air across the coils without going through a refrigeration cycle.
It’s smart to examine your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, change it out. The other challenges, 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 may notice you’re getting a lot of hot air. Here are a few signs you’re confronting a leak:
- Inadequate cold air
- Home is humid
- Longer than normal cooling cycles
- Ice forming on the evaporator coils
- Dribbling or hissing air conditioner sounds
- Sweet smell nearby the air conditioner
If your air conditioning system was installed before 2011, it likely uses Freon® or R-22. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured as a consequence of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Only recycled portions of Freon are obtainable, which makes refrigerant leaks more costly to fix.
If your R-22 AC unit is dealing with a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. New air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is better 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 low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are covered, and you’ll get to keep any valuable manufacturer’s rebates.
5. Water Leak
Your AC unit needs a condensate drain line to flush water it eliminates 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 minimize damage and call us at 866-397-3787 for help.
6. Tripped Circuit Breaker
There can be a number of reasons why your air conditioner keeps tripping its circuit breaker. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Dirty air filter is severely limiting airflow.
- Your air conditioner is overheating caused by a lack of refrigerant.
- Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
- Condenser fan motor has stopped working and coils are overheating.
- Electrical connections are strained or loose.
- Blower motor is malfunctioning.
- Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is faulty.
- Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has failed.
Like we mentioned earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most often the culprit. Any other problems should be resolved by an HVAC pro like Norrell Service Experts.
7. Short Cycling
An improper cooling cycle can also cause problems. Short cycling is an annoying malfunction when the air conditioner shuts off before the set temperature has reached the rest of the house. If you suspect your air conditioner is short cycling, pay attention to how long the air is working before it shuts off. Your ordinary 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 running on and off in small bursts.
This places heavy strain on moving parts and key components like the blower motor. Short cycling or any kind of abnormal cooling cycles are often a result of overheating. The internal chamber gets too hot and then safety components turn the AC off. This happens over and over, particularly if the root cause of the overheating isn’t resolved.
Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs
The number one way for you to prevent air conditioning problems is to enroll in a preventive maintenance plan. At Norrell Service Experts, we promote several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and fixed with routine tune-ups.
In some cases repairs are unavoidable, 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 sign up for a membership program or to schedule your repair appointment? Get in touch with us at 205-267-0023 today!