Troubleshooting Common AC Issues
July 9, 2021
Air conditioners are used in about 75% of homes in the United States and are highly effective at regulating air temperature, humidity, and air quality. Regardless of where you live or how much you use your AC, a variety of common issues may occur. Your first step should be to troubleshoot the problem, then determine whether you can resolve it or need a technician.
Troubleshooting Common AC Issues
If the AC doesn’t turn on:
- Check the power supply cord.
- Reset the circuit breaker is tripped
- Examine the power cord for damage or fraying.
- Test the outlet by plugging in another high-voltage appliance (if it doesn’t work, the outlet if faulty).
- A faulty thermostat, blown fuse, or failed motor are other possible causes.
To address weak airflow, the issue typically stems from a dirty air filter.
- Change or clean the filter if it is dusty.
- Change AC filters every three months.
Other issues include:
- Damaged fan blades
- A faulty compressor
- A weak, malfunctioning motor
The AC Does Not Cool
If you’re getting heat from the unit instead of cool air it’s best to examine your thermostat:
- Check to see if it was accidentally put into “heat” mode.
- Turn thermostat off of “auto” mode, this setting won’t allow the AC to provide cool air.
- If set to cool, but the air blows warm, a faulty compressor may be to blame.
- There may be a refrigerant leak (if your AC uses R-22/Freon, this could be dangerous).
If your AC turns on and off too frequently, it can use more power and strain components. If you notice this happening:
- Clean or replace a clogged air filter, which can overheat the unit.
- Check for a frozen evaporator coil in the air handler (if so, turn the system off to let the coil defrost).
- Check the thermostat; improper room temperature readings can cause the system to short-cycle, and the room won’t become cool or warm enough.
- Look for system issues such as low refrigerant or an electrical/control board problem (best handled by a professional).
Specific HVAC Issues to Look For
Here is a condensed list of the issues that you should concentrate on when troubleshooting your HVAC system:
- Dirty Filters: Clean/replace the filter regularly to ensure the system runs reliably and to extend its operating life.
- Pilot Light/Ignition Problem: Dirty pilots, faulty flame sensors, or burner problems can disable your furnace.
- Faulty Thermostat: Wrong temperature settings, improper use, dead batteries, or electrical problems can lead to issues.
- Noise: Shrieking, squealing, whining, rattling, or loud humming can indicate a mechanical problem.
- Wear and Tear: Worn belts, bearings, and other parts or a lack of lubrication can affect mechanical components.
- Tripped Breakers: If the system is overworked, energy consumption increases, which often triggers the circuit breaker.
- Dirty Coils: Condenser and evaporator coils can be come dirty or clogged, causing increased wear.
- Faulty Blower: If the furnace blower runs continuously, check the fan switch; the fan relay, limit switch, or safety setting may cause trouble too.
- Leak: ACs and furnaces produce condensate, but a clogged or cracked drain line, heat exchanger problem, or damaged evaporator drain pan can cause a leak.
Contact Fix-It 24/7
If your cooling or heating troubles can’t be fixed with a simple solution, we can help. Fix-It 24/7 can provide any type of HVAC repair in the Denver area. For professional service day, night, on weekends, and holidays, call 303-214-0277.
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