5 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems and Repairs

Air conditioning is pivotal, especially during the scorching summer months. It's the unsung hero that is most air conditioning systems and keeps us cool, comfortable, and productive.

Yet, like any other mechanical system, air conditioners are not invincible. They require attention and care.

In this blog, we’ll explore the five most common severe air conditioning systems with problems and their repairs, highlighting the vital role of regular maintenance and timely fixes in ensuring your AC unit functions efficiently.

Common Problem #1: Lack of Cooling

Explanation of the issue: It’s a sweltering summer day, and you turn on your air conditioner in hopes of a refreshing oasis of cool air coming in, but all you get is warm, stagnant room temperature from ducted air conditioners. This frigid air is a widespread air conditioner problem.

Possible causes and signs: Lack of cooling can result from various issues, including low refrigerant levels, excessive moisture, a few dirty or clogged air filters, a malfunctioning thermostat, or a faulty compressor. Signs include warm air blowing from the vents. This AC unit runs constantly without achieving the desired temperature, clogged air filters, AC refrigerant leak or even ice forming on the evaporator coils.

Repair and Solution:

Repairing a lack of cooling in an air conditioner requires a professional HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technician to diagnose and fix the problem. Here’s how professional help can assist you in both cooling properly and repairing your air conditioner:

Inspection and Diagnosis:

The technician will start by inspecting your air conditioning system. They will check for visible signs of damage, such as leaks, clogs, or worn-out components.

Using specialised tools and equipment, they will measure the cold air temperature from the vents, assess the refrigerant levels, and check the electrical connections.

Refrigerant Level Check:

Low refrigerant levels are a common cause of insufficient cooling. The technician will check the refrigerant levels and, if necessary, add more refrigerant to keep cool air flowing through the system. They will also check for any leaks in the refrigerant lines and repair them if needed.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

Dirty or otherwise clogged filters or components, such as the evaporator and condenser coils, can reduce the efficiency of your AC. The technician will clean these components thoroughly and replace air filters if necessary.

They will also inspect the dirty air filter and clean the condensate drain to ensure it is not blocked, as a blocked drain can cause issues with cooling.

air conditioning problem

Common Problem #2: Air Conditioner Leaking Water

Explanation of the issue: Discovering water leaking or pooling in air ducts around your AC unit can be alarming.

Possible causes and signs: Leaking water can occur due to a clogged condensate pump drain line, a damaged condensate pan, or a frozen evaporator coil. Symptoms include water puddles near the condenser unit, damp walls or ceiling, or reduced cooling cycle efficiency.

How It Can Be Repaired:

You require professional assistance to repair an air conditioner leaking water, especially if you lack experience in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems. Here are the steps a professional might take to diagnose and repair the issue:

  • Turn off the system: Ensure you turn off the air conditioner as the first step. It is crucial for safety reasons.
  • Assessment: A professional HVAC technician will inspect the unit and the surrounding area to determine the source and extent of the leak. Common causes of water leakage in air conditioners include:
  • Clogged drain line: Water can back up and leak from the unit if the condensate drain line is blocked.
  • Frozen evaporator coil: A frozen evaporator coil can sometimes cause excess condensation and leaks when it thaws.
  • Cracked or damaged drain pan: The drain pan under the evaporator coil can break or damage, causing leaks.
  • Improper installation: Incorrect air conditioner installation may cause it to drain incorrectly.
  • Clearing blockages: If a clogged drain line is the issue, the technician will use specialised tools or methods to clear the blockage. It often involves using a vacuum or a chemical solution to remove debris.
  • Thawing the evaporator coil: If the evaporator coil is frozen, the technician may turn off the AC and allow it to melt. They will then investigate and fix the underlying problem, such as low refrigerant levels or poor airflow.
  • Repair or replace damaged parts: If the drain pan or other components are damaged, they will be repaired or replaced as necessary.

Common Problem #3: Strange Noises from the AC Unit

Explanation of the issue: Unusual noises emanating from your AC unit can cause concern and discomfort.

Possible causes and signs: Strange noises can result from loose or damaged parts, a malfunctioning fan motor, or debris trapped in the unit. Symptoms include grinding, squealing, rattling, or banging sounds.

How to Repair It:

If you’re experiencing strange noises from your AC unit, addressing the issue is essential, as it could be a sign of a potential problem. While some minor noises might not require professional help, an experienced HVAC technician should inspect and repair more severe or persistent noises. Here’s how professional service can assist you in improving strange noises from your AC unit:

Inspection and Diagnosis:

HVAC technicians to identify and diagnose various issues with air conditioning systems. When you call a professional, they will thoroughly inspect your AC unit to determine the source of the strange noises. They will listen to the sounds and visually inspect components to identify the problem.

Identifying Common Issues:

Different types of noises can indicate other problems. Common AC unit issues that can cause strange noises include:

Loose or Damaged Fan Blades

  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Compressor problems
  • Electrical issues
  • Blocked or dirty air filters
  • Damaged or worn-out components

Repairs and Maintenance:

Once the technician identifies the issue, they will provide you with a detailed explanation of the problem and the necessary repairs. It may involve replacing or repairing components, tightening loose parts, cleaning coils, or refilling refrigerant.

Common Problem #4: Poor Airflow

Explanation of the issue: When your AC struggles to circulate hot or cold air effectively.

Possible causes and signs: Poor airflow can be a typical air conditioning problem caused by a clogged air filter, blocked ducts, a malfunctioning or blower fan or motor, or issues with electrical connection with the air conditioner turns or handler. Signs include weak or used air conditioning units, inconsistent airflow and rooms that don’t cool evenly.

Ways to Repair It:

Professional help is often essential when addressing poor airflow from a fan controls an air conditioning (AC) unit, as this issue can have various causes that require technical expertise to diagnose and repair. Here’s how professionals can assist you in resolving this problem:

Inspection and Diagnosis:

The first step is to assess the overall condition of your AC system. Professionals will inspect the unit, including the wiring repairs, the air handler, evaporator coil, condenser, and ductwork, to identify the root cause of the poor airflow.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in various parts of the AC system, causing airflow restrictions. Professionals will clean or replace air filters, evaporator and condenser coils, and other components that may be clogged or dirty.

Ductwork Inspection:

Ductwork plays a crucial role in distributing conditioned air throughout your home. Technicians will inspect ducts for leaks, blockages, or disconnections. They may recommend sealing leaks, repairing damaged ducts, or cleaning the duct system to improve airflow by blowing cold air.

Common Problem #5: Electrical Issues

Explanation of the issue: Electrical issues can disrupt your AC’s performance or pose safety hazards.

Possible causes and signs: Electrical problems can result from faulty wiring, a malfunctioning or off-circuit breaker, a faulty thermostat part, a blown capacitor, or circuit breaker issues. Signs include the AC not turning on, frequently tripped circuit breakers, or erratic thermostat settings or behaviour.

air conditioning problem

How to Repair It

Generally, trained and licensed professionals should handle the repair of electrical issues in an air conditioner, as working with electricity can be dangerous without experience.

Here’s how professional help can assist in repairing electrical issues with your air conditioner:

  • Diagnosis: The first step is to identify the specific electrical issue causing problems with your air conditioner. Professional technicians will use diagnostic tools and their expertise to pinpoint the exact problem, whether it’s a faulty capacitor, a damaged wiring connection, a malfunctioning thermostat, or another electrical component.
  • Safety: Safety is a top priority when dealing with electrical systems. Professionals trained to handle electrical equipment safely, reducing the risk of electrical shock or fire hazards.
  • Proper tools and equipment: HVAC professionals have access to specialised tools and equipment required for troubleshooting and repairing electrical issues in air conditioners. It ensures that we perform the repair work correctly and efficiently.
  • Compliance with codes and regulations: Professionals must ensure that all repairs meet local building codes and regulations, as they are familiar with them and will ensure compliance with them in electrical work.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few tips on keeping your air conditioner in top shape:

  1. The importance of regular maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent common AC problems, extend the lifespan of your unit, and maintain energy efficiency. Schedule annual professional maintenance to keep your AC units in top shape.
  2. Checklist for routine AC maintenance: A typical maintenance checklist includes cleaning or replacing the air conditioning coils and filters, checking refrigerant levels, cleaning the air conditioning unit and coils nicely, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting electrical connections.
  3. Keep the area clean: In addition to professional maintenance, keep the areas around your indoor and outdoor units clean and free of debris, and ensure proper insulation in your home to reduce the load on the air conditioning unit itself.

Solve Your Air Conditioning Problems Now

In conclusion, understanding the five most common air conditioning problems and their potential solutions can save you from discomfort and costly repairs.

In contrast, simple troubleshooting can tackle some issues with air conditioners. It’s essential to recognise when to call a professional HVAC technician.

Regular maintenance of home air conditioners remains the cornerstone of a reliable and efficient AC system. Taking good care of your air conditioner’s filters keeps you cool and comfortable, even during the hottest summer days.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.