Common air conditioner problems

August 22, 2020


Just like any electronic device, air conditioners need regular care and maintenance to work properly. However, in reality, not all air conditioners receive this kind of care. What can happen is that you’re in an area with unbearable heat and humidity, and all of a sudden, you realize that your air conditioner is not blowing cold air. Since repairs can be quite expensive, you should be familiar with common air conditioner problems and how to solve them.

Let’s imagine the following situation – you’ve moved to your new home. You’ve had help from Cross Country Moving Group and managed to move all of your belongings safely. However, when you try to turn on your air conditioner, you realize that it’s not working properly. Or even worse, if you didn’t turn on the AC immediately after you move, but got a nasty surprise on a hot summer day.

You Should Be Familiar with Common Problems with Air Conditioners

These are all reasons to be aware of some common issues with air conditioners. That way, you will know how to react when they occur. You’ll be able to fix some of these issues yourself. However, for others, you’ll need to contact an experienced technician.

Clogged Filter

One of the common reasons air conditioners don’t work properly is a dirty filter. A clogged filter will restrict airflow and decrease the efficiency of your air conditioner. Some filters are reusable and can be cleaned when they’re clogged. You just need to remember to check up on them and clean them regularly.

However, there are filters that need to be changed every once in a while. Usually, they can last from 3 months to a year. To be on the safe side, you should check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Did you know that a dirty filter can even lead to your air conditioner freezing?

Frozen Evaporator Coils

Why is there ice on your air conditioner? This is a legitimate question to ask when faced with ice on evaporator coils. Evaporator coils are filled with a refrigerant that absorbs the heat from the air. However, these coils require warm air, in order to work properly. In case that evaporator coils get too cold, the ice can build up and something will go wrong with the airflow.

What about ice on your air conditioner?

Low Refrigerant

The refrigerant or coolant is necessary. It’s used by air conditioners in order to remove the heat from the air. That’s why the AC won’t work properly if there’s no refrigerant in the unit or the level is low. But, it’s not enough to simply refill the refrigerant. There’s a good chance that there are leaks in the refrigerant lines. For this reason, you’ll need to call the technician to solve your problem.

The location of your leaks and the number of leaks will affect the price of the repair costs. This is exactly why you should have your AC checked once a year. Keep in mind that the refrigerant should not be overcharged nor undercharged. The level of refrigerant should match the manufacturer’s recommendation for the air conditioner to work at its most efficient level.

Condenser Coils

Condenser coils have the job of getting rid of all the heat and release it outside. However, as they are placed outside, they can easily get dirty, and as a result, the coil won’t work well. Because of this, the unit will have to work harder and it might lead to system failure. This is one of the common air conditioner problems in areas with a lot of pollution. Once or twice a year, you want to clean the condenser coil, with water, or even a chemical solution.


The refrigerant needs to be propelled through the coals so that the heat can get exchanged, and it’s the job of the compressor. So, if your compressor is not working, your ACU won’t work properly either.

Electric Control Failure

If the AC gets turned on and off very frequently, fan controls and the compressor can wear out. You should call a technician to check your wires and terminals for potential corrosion.
Problems with the thermostat

Behind the control panel, there’s a thermostat sensor. When the air gets into the evaporative coil, the thermostat measures the temperature of the air. If there’s something wrong with the thermostat, your ACU will behave unexpectedly. Here are some of the common AC problems that have to do with the thermostat:

  • the thermostat is out of the position
  • it’s exposed to direct sunlight
  • incorrectly calibrated or set incorrectly
  • thermostat interior is not clean
  • other.

In case of an issue with the thermostat, you should check if it doesn’t touch the coils, if the interior is clean and recalibrate it or set it up properly. If nothing works, you can change the thermostat. Assuming, of course, that you’re sure that the problem is with the thermostat and not something else.

Leaking Ducts

If you have ductwork running through your ceiling and walls, you could also have a hole in the ducts. Normally, cooled air gets carried through the ductwork to your room. However, if the ductwork is not installed or insulated properly, or if you have a rodent, then holes can appear. As a result, the air will not go to the place you want, but probably somewhere inside your walls. You’ll be overworking your AC and your bills will tell you that there’s something wrong.

Clogged Drainage

Dust or dirt can clog the drain line, just like the filter. After the drain pan fills up, you could get water leaking which can potentially damage your AC unit.

Prevent Most Common Air Conditioner Problems

Even these common problems with air conditioners can become serious. To avoid this, it’s good to have a professional inspect your ACU and catch issues before they get worse. These professionals will check the moving parts and see if the refrigerant needs recharging.

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