10 Common Air Conditioner Problems You Should Look For

As a home owner, it’s important to stay on top of the performance of your air conditioner. You don’t want to be caught off guard when your air conditioner goes out and you’re stuck with costly repair bills. It’s a good idea to be able to recognize common air conditioner problems.

Aside from the added expense of repairs, losing the service of your air conditioner during the summer months can be extremely uncomfortable for you and your family.

In addition to regular upkeep by AC professionals, you should know what problems to look out for. Knowing the symptoms will help avoid unexpected breakdowns.

Let’s go over ten common air conditioner problems you should look out for.

A Dirty Air Filter

Lucky, this is one of the easiest problems to detect and remedy yourself. If your air conditioner’s air filter is a mess, the unit will not run at maximum efficiency.

A dirty air filter also means poorer air quality, especially if you have cats, dogs or other pets. It’s a good idea to check your air filter regularly. As a rule, the filter should be changed about once a month.

Refrigerant Leakage

One of the most common air conditioner problems is refrigerant leakage.

Refrigerant is what cools the air coming from the unit. If your air conditioner is not cooling properly, it may not contain enough refrigerant. This could be a result of the unit not being charged properly or from a leak.

If a leak is present, a technician will need to fix the leak and then charge the unit with the correct amount of refrigerant. It’s important that a certified technician perform the work, as refrigerant is harmful to the environment.

The Unit Is Leaking Water

If your AC unit begins leaking water, this could be caused by a clogged drain pipe or pan. Air conditioners create large amounts of condensation that must be drained properly and consistently. A condensate pump helps get rid of this condensation.

If you notice a leak, the pump may be dirty and clogged with algae or other material. This will need to be cleaned regularly in order for water to be filtered out of the unit without leaking.

Strange Noises

Air conditioners make all sorts of noises when something is wrong. A high pitched, squeaking noise could indicate a problem with the belt. Pops and cracks could mean that something has come loose in the duct system.

Grinding sounds usually point to a problem with the motor.  These are all common air conditioner problems that a qualified AC technician will need to diagnose and repair.

Thermostat Malfunction

Thermostats can run into a number of issues. If you’ve set your thermostat for a certain temperature but it never feels correct, the electronics may be old and malfunctioning. It may need to be calibrated or simply replaced with a new model.

It’s important to keep the thermostat clean and, if possible, away from sunlight. Even other appliances like televisions should be kept away from the thermostat. They could possibly raise the temperature and activate the thermostat prematurely.

The AC Unit Will Not Turn On

If your unit will not turn on, first check the thermostat to make sure it is properly set. You’ll also need to check to make sure the thermostat’s battery is working.  If the battery dies, it will not activate the unit.

Another common issue is the circuit breaker. If it has tripped a fuse, the air conditioner will not work. Reactivating the proper circuit breaker should fix the problem.

Air Is Not Cooling Properly

If the air in your home suddenly stops cooling properly, there could be a number of issues. Your AC unit could simply need a refrigerant recharge. You should also check the outdoor unit to make sure it’s not blocked with debris.

Other possible issues could include a faulty compressor or a dirty air filter that is in need of changing. If you’re not able to detect the problem yourself, you’ll need to have a technician diagnose the problem.

The Unit Does Not Turn Off

If you notice that the air is not automatically turning off when the room temperature reaches the desired setting, it’s possible that there is an issue with the thermostat. Check the thermostat to make sure the numbers are being displayed. You may just need a new thermostat.

There could also be an electrical problem with the outside unit that is causing the AC to continue running. You can turn off the air conditioner by flipping the breaker, but a service technician will need to come evaluate the problem. Flipping the breaker is not a permanent solution.

Your Utility Bills Are Suddenly Much Higher

An unexpected increase in your utility bills, especially during the summer, could be the result of a problem with your air conditioner. One of a number of different air conditioner problems could be the culprit.

The condition of the air ducts in your home could be the issue. Blockages such as torn insulation or holes could be causing poor air flow into your home. A dirty air filter could also be the problem.

As a general rule, yearly quality checks and maintenance should be performed in order to keep your utility bills consistent.

Air Conditioner Frequently Turns On and Off

This is referred to as “short cycling,” and is associated with a number of different problems. Dirty condenser coils, which release heat from the refrigerant, could cause the unit to turn off and on.

A refrigerant leak or dirty air filter could also be causing the unit to work harder than normal. If your thermostat is near a window or appliance, it could be getting too hot and causing the unit to turn back on prematurely.

Let a Quality Technician Diagnose Your Common Air Conditioner Problems

If you’re experiencing one of the common air conditioner problems listed above and need an air conditioner technician to diagnose the issue, we can help. We provide air conditioning and heating repair throughout the Indianapolis area. Contact us today!