7 common AC issues and solutions

Nothing is worse than realizing that your air conditioner isn’t working properly. Not only is the temperature of your home affected (and not in a good way), but you can also find yourself dealing with unexpected expenses if professional repairs are needed to restore your AC to its optimal performance level. 

To help avoid such surprises, it’s a wise idea for homeowners to be aware of some of the common AC issues as well as simple solutions that can be used to address them. In this post, we provide an overview of AC problems and their respective fixes.

When your system is malfunctioning, consider professional AC service for repairs, replacements, and general maintenance.

1. Check for a dirty or clogged air filter

A dirty or clogged air filter can be one of the biggest issues that homeowners experience with their ACs. When filters become covered in dirt and debris, they can create obstructions that are detrimental to proper airflow. This, in turn, impairs the cooling power of your unit, resulting in higher energy bills and inadequate cooling performance.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Just replace the dirty filter with a clean one. Make sure to routinely change your air filter every month or two during times of heavy use for the best results.

2. Look for any disconnected ductwork

Another common issue that may be compromising your AC’s performance is disconnected ductwork. 

Ducts are responsible for carrying the cold air from the unit to the different rooms in your home, thus making it possible for each room to be sufficiently cooled. When these ducts become disconnected due to wear and tear or improper installation, they lose their ability to transport air.

To fix this problem, you need to call a professional HVAC technician. Disconnecting and reconnecting the ducts requires knowledge of AC systems that only a trained expert can provide. 

3. Check for any refrigerant leaks

Refrigerants are essential components of an AC unit, as they’re responsible for helping cool the air in your home. But over time and with regular use, these substances can start to leak — and this is definitely not a good thing. Refrigerant leaks restrict an AC’s capacity to generate cold air and may even cause it to completely malfunction.

If you smell a chemical odor or notice that your unit is struggling to achieve the desired temperature, try having a technician take a look at it. They’ll be able to spot any leaks and refill your system with the necessary refrigerants for optimal performance.

4. Check for blockages in the air ducts

In addition to problems with disconnected ducts, blockages in these passages can also impede an AC’s cooling power. These blockages may be caused by the accumulation of dust and other debris, as well as pests such as birds or rodents who may have taken up residence inside your vents. 

To clear away any obstructions, have a professional technician examine your air ducts. They’ll be able to locate and remove any blockages, allowing for more efficient cooling performance.

5. Look for worn-out parts or faulty wiring

Sometimes the issue with an AC isn’t dirt or blockages — it can be due to old and worn out parts or faulty wiring. Electrical components can corrode over time and lose their ability to deliver the power needed for an AC system to function efficiently. Wiring can also become loose, creating a short circuit that affects the machine’s performance.

If your AC is showing any signs of electrical malfunctions (such as making strange sounds or flickering lights), have a qualified technician take a look at it. They’ll be able to identify the source of the problem and replace any worn-out parts or faulty wiring for improved performance. 

6. Verify that the thermostat is set correctly

It’s important to verify that your thermostat is set correctly. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause an AC unit to run inefficiently and waste energy. 

To prevent this issue, make sure to adjust the settings on your thermostat so that they match the desired temperature. Additionally, you should try to keep the temperature in your home consistent, as abrupt changes can force the unit to work harder than necessary.

7. Ensure that all breakers are working properly

Finally, make sure that all of your circuit breakers are working properly and that none of them have tripped. Circuit breakers are designed to protect an AC system from power surges or overloads, and if one has tripped, it may be preventing your unit from running efficiently.

To reset a breaker, locate the switch for the affected circuit and toggle it to the “Off” position. Wait for a few seconds before flipping it back to the “On” setting. If this doesn’t work, call a professional technician for further assistance.

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