6 Most Common AC Problems and How to Fix Them

January 30, 2015

There could be hundreds of reasons why your air conditioner isn’t working properly. But there are a few problems that are common. Recognizing what they are is helpful when your Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Expert is discussing routes for resolving the problem through air conditioning repair in Calgary.

Here are the top six common air conditioner problems that can cause your cooling system to break down.

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat controls your air conditioner. If its batteries are dead in programmable models or settings are incorrect, your air conditioner won’t turn on. Follow this quick checklist to make sure your thermostat is working properly:

  • Change 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 desired temperature is below the current room temperature

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty filters can cause a lot of problems, including decreased airflow, lower indoor air quality and higher power consumption. They can also make your air conditioner work harder and stop working if the coil freezes.

You can easily avoid AC problems with air filters. Make sure you change flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months.

3. Frozen Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s coils are important because they release heat from your home into outdoor air. Frozen coils impede this process.

Freezing can be linked to several issues, including:

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

If your air conditioner has frozen, turn it off and let the coils thaw. This can take up to 24 hours, but you can speed up the process by switching settings to “fan only.” This will blow warm air on the coils without going through a refrigeration cycle.

It’s a good idea to check your air filter first. If you can’t see light through it, replace it. The other issues, like dirty coils, a clogged drain line or refrigerant leaks, will require professional assistance.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioning system uses refrigerant to transfer heat. When it doesn’t have enough refrigerant, you might 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 feels humid
  • Longer than normal cooling cycles
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Bubbling or hissing air conditioner noises
  • Sweet smell near the air conditioner

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

If your R-22 air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, we recommend air conditioning installation due to age and the refrigerant being obsolete. Newer air conditioners use Puron or R-410A, which is better for the environment.

We understand that replacing your air conditioner can be an emergency that you aren’t prepared for. Ask us about our Service Experts Advantage Program ™, which gives you a new air conditioner for just one low monthly fee. Repairs and maintenance are included, and you’ll get to keep any valuable manufacturer’s rebates.

5. Water Leak

Your AC unit uses a condensate drain line to flush water it removes from the air. If you’ve skipped air conditioning maintenance, this drain can become clogged with mold and cause water to back up. If this happens, you’ll notice water leaking.

Turn off your air conditioner to avoid damage and call us at 403-279-5760 for assistance.

6. Tripped Circuit Breaker

There can be a couple 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 due to a lack of refrigerant.
  • Condenser coils are dirty and restricting airflow.
  • Condenser fan motor has broken and coils are overheating.
  • Electrical connections are worn or loose.
  • Blower motor is malfunctioning.
  • Compressor is drawing too much power or wiring is faulty.
  • Capacitor responsible for starting the compressor has gone out.

Like we mentioned earlier, check your air filter first, as that is most commonly the culprit. Any other problems will need to be addressed by an HVAC professional like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.

Trust the Experts for Your Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance Needs

The number one way for you to prevent air conditioning problems is to participate in a preventive maintenance program. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer several HVAC memberships to fit your needs and budget. Bad wiring, low refrigerant and dirty coils can be discovered and corrected during routine tune-ups.

Sometimes repairs are inevitable, 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 schedule your repair appointment? Call us at 403-279-5760 today!