Top 5 Most Common Air Conditioner Problems And How to Troubleshoot Them

When your air conditioner is not working as it should, your home can quickly transform into a place of discomfort, full of sleepless nights and cranky family members. That is why Moore Home Services works its magic in households in Santa Rosa, California, with an expert team that will quickly and efficiently repair your air conditioner. Moore Home Services understands that your air conditioner doesn’t stick to office hours. So, if a repair is needed, a member of our team will be with you, no matter what day, what time, or what model you own. With our high level of expertise, our licensed techs can work on all types of air conditioning units, covering every make and model available. But how exactly do you know if there’s a problem with your air conditioner? What are the most common issues? And what do you do to troubleshoot them? In today’s helpful homeowner resource, we will explain the most common air conditioner problems, how to repair them, and how to know when it’s time to contact a professional.

The Most Common Air Conditioning Problems

  Running into a problem with your air conditioner—particularly in the middle of summer when the heat waves strike—can lead to major discomfort inside your home. That is why so many homeowners have started to act before a breakdown. Routine maintenance and services feed into prevention rather than cure, and they are a prime strategy to avoid going without your air conditioner when you need it most (as well as avoiding eye-watering repair bills!). Before your air conditioner suffers from a problem, consider booking routine tune-ups and maintenance. It is also important to know when there is a problem and how to spot it before it becomes more challenging (and expensive) to solve. So, with that in mind, here are the most common air conditioning problems and how to troubleshoot them.

1. Your Air Conditioner Is Heating Your Space Instead of Cooling It

The purpose of your air conditioner is, obviously, to cool down your home. So, when your machine is pumping out lukewarm or hot air into your space – particularly when the temperature outside is uncomfortably high – it is understandable how your household may feel frustrated.
There are two main reasons why your air conditioner might be blowing out warm air rather than cold air.
  1. Your air filters are clogged
  2. Your unit is crying out for more refrigerant
Before tinkering with your filters or inspecting your refrigerant levels, first check your thermostat. Have there been any accidental changes to the settings? This can be easy and can go unnoticed for a long time, particularly if you have children who like playing with the thermostat. If you notice any changes to the thermostat, reconfigure your settings to achieve your desired outcome and test your air conditioner. If the air coming into the room is still not cold, proceed to check your filters. Swap out the old and clogged filter with a new, clean one and assess whether the problem has been resolved. If it has not and lukewarm air continues to blast out of your air conditioner, the alternative cause could be that your refrigerant levels may be too low. You can test this by running your hand over the larger copper line connected to your unit’s condenser. If you can feel the moisture on the line and it feels cold to the touch, your levels are accurate and do not need changing. However, if the line is either dry or isn’t cold to the touch, there is a significant chance that your refrigerant levels are too low. Do not attempt to refill or repair your refrigerant reservoir yourself. Instead, contact a professional so they can get your air conditioner up and running quickly without causing additional (and costly) problems.

2. Your Air Conditioner Unit Is Leaking

Every air conditioner has been designed to cope with a specific amount of condensation and liquid. That said, if you have noticed an excess of a leak, there could be a number of problems that require a solution before the leak grows. For an issue that may have a variety of causes, it is best to contact a professional as soon as possible. They can diagnose the fault and repair it for you. A blocked condensation line could be a potential root cause of a leaky air conditioning unit. If this is the case, there is a relatively straightforward fix that, so long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, you can repair yourself at home. A clogged condensate line can happen when the lines and pipes become blocked with various debris and mold. This, in turn, means that your drain line can get backed up and will result in flooding, particularly if you have a cracked drip pan. If you have misplaced the manufacturer’s instruction manual or it is difficult to follow, do not attempt to “wing it” or rely on unreliable YouTube videos. This can lead to other costly issues that must be addressed later. Rather, contact a professional who can repair this for you and put a stop to your leaky air conditioning unit.

3. Your Air Conditioner Is Shutting Down Sporadically

If your air conditioner isn’t working at all or is shutting down without any warning, there are a few steps you can take before you need to call a professional for a repair. First, though it seems simple, check your thermostat batteries. It is all too common to forget the basics. With a busy daily life, swapping out device batteries is often forgotten about. If the batteries inside your thermostat are dead, simply replace them. Then, check your thermostat’s settings to ensure your machine is set to ‘cooling’ and is running to your desired temperature. If this does not fix the problem, you may need to reset the circuit breaker to your air conditioner.

4. Your Air Conditioner Is Making Excessive Noise

  A healthy and functioning air conditioner should be felt rather than heard.If you can hear your air conditioner struggling and making strange noises, there is a good chance that the machine is working harder than it should be, which indicates a problem. An air conditioner experiencing a fault usually makes noises to indicate an issue. However, the vast majority of homeowners are not trained to translate these noises to determine a root cause. Rattling noises, for example, coming from your air conditioner, could indicate a fault with your fans, compressors, or motor. On the other hand, screeching and/or squealing could be communicating a problem with your air conditioner’s belt. At home yourself, you can take a look at your thermostat and its settings, ensure your outdoor unit is free from leaves and debris, and change your filters. If the noises persist after taking these steps, contact a licensed and experienced professional who can diagnose and repair your noisy air conditioner.

5. Some Areas of Your Home Are Significantly Hotter or Colder Than Others

Uneven temperature distribution can be frustrating. The purpose of turning on your air conditioner is to cool your entire property, not to provide temperature relief for only certain areas. Usually, uneven temperature distribution stems from an unbalanced air system. Factors such as the following will impact the balance of attention your air conditioner provides:
  • The size of your room
  • The position of your air vent placement
  • Your windows
  • The temperature outside
With larger windows, make sure you are using sun-blocking curtains or blinds and close them. Then, you are free to assess the insulation of each individual room or install dampers to help create balance for your system. This will then allow redistribution of the airflow, resulting in equal temperature control over each space in your home.

Protect Your Air Conditioner From Costly Repairs

As mentioned previously, prevention is always better than expensive and inopportune treatment! If you are proactive, there is an extremely simple measure you can take to avoid going without your air conditioner when you need it most and the financial impact of costly repairs. By scheduling routine maintenance checks and tune-ups, problems are caught before they have time to evolve into bigger ones. Smaller tweaks, of course, are less expensive than large repairs or, in extreme cases, entire replacements. Do not forget, too, that air conditioners that receive maintenance checks can last up to 40% longer than units that are left neglected. By booking just one maintenance check per year and showing your air conditioner a little bit of love, you will extend your unit’s shelf-life, keep your energy bills low, and maintain a comfortable home for you and your family. Whether you require a non-invasive and quick repair or you are preventing future problems by booking maintenance for your air conditioner, if your home is in the Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties, Moore Home Services is here for you.