8 AC Problems Homeowners May Encounter

8 AC Problems Homeowners May EncounterPhoto from Unsplash

Originally Posted On: https://pulchra.org/business/8-ac-problems-homeowners-may-encounter/


If your home has an air conditioner, it is among the 90% of American households that use air conditioning to keep their homes cool.

You expect your AC to be working when you need it most, like during hot summers. Unfortunately, your AC may stop working, leaving you frustrated. Understanding the most common AC problems can help you troubleshoot the issues before opting for expensive repairs.

So what are the AC problems that are likely to ruin your home’s comfort? Here is a round-up of the eight most common AC issues you may encounter.

1. Clogged AC Filter

The filters in your home air conditioner ensure that the airflow is clean. However, dust and other pollutants can clog the air filter, restricting the airflow in your AC. A dirty air filter will make it difficult for your AC to cool air as you would expect.

Luckily, this is a problem you can fix without involving a professional.

If your AC’s airflow feels stuffy, try cleaning the air filters because dirt is most likely limiting the airflow. You can also make a habit of checking and cleaning the filters regularly.

2. Water Leakage

You may notice water leaking from the indoor unit of your AC or under the AC compressor outside your home.

Water may start leaking from your AC because algae have congested the condensate drains. You are also likely to notice indoor water leakage when your condensate pump malfunctions completely.

Water leakage can occur outside your house under your AC’s compressor. Various factors may be responsible for the water puddles you notice under the compressor. Examples include improper installation and poor sealing of the AC.

You can fix water leak AC issues yourself or call a technician.

For example, if the leak is indoors, you can unclog the condensate pipe by dry-vacuuming it. You can also drain the algae build-up in the pipe using vinegar. Addressing outdoor leaks is more complicated and you might need the help of a professional.

3. Frozen Evaporator Coil

An evaporator coil in your AC cools the air in your home by absorbing indoor heat. It follows that if the coil freezes, your air conditioning unit will not cool properly.

Your AC’s evaporator coil will freeze if your unit does not get adequate air. When dirt builds up on the coil, warm air cannot get to your AC’s refrigerant. As a result, the refrigerant’s temperature drops, freezing any moisture on the evaporator coil.

If the coil is covered with ice, it cannot absorb heat from your home and there is a disruption in the entire air conditioning process.

You can solve this problem by turning the AC off to allow the ice on the coil to defrost. You can wait for 24 hours or use a hairdryer to thaw the coil.

4. Thermostat Malfunctioning

Your air conditioner has a thermostat that tracks the air temperature and adjusts the cooling. If the thermostat malfunctions, your air conditioner may randomly go on and off.

The thermostat may misbehave due to internal issues like loose wires, dead batteries, or corrosion. It may also malfunction if you expose it to direct sunlight or if its calibration is incorrect.

You can solve issues with the thermostat by replacing the batteries or brushing off the dust. If the thermostat is corroded, it would be best to get professional clean-up services.

5. A Tripping Circuit Breaker

When your AC circuit breaker trips, your AC will not turn on. The circuit breaker will keep tripping when there is a power surge or compressor failure. It may also trip due to internal issues like loose wiring.

Since this is an electrical concern, the best decision is to call a technician. The professional will diagnose the problem and fix it to prevent dangerous occurrences.

6. AC Refrigerant Leak

The refrigerant will start leaking when there are cracks or holes in the coolant coil. It may leak from these perforations, interfering with the ability of your AC system to cool the air.

Refrigerant leaks are dangerous because they may damage the AC’s compressor. They may also freeze the evaporator coil and result in higher energy consumption.

Since you may lack expertise in how the refrigerant works, it is best to bring in a professional. Such professionals have experience in residential AC repair. They will determine whether to replace the entire system or add more refrigerant before mending the cracks.

7. Loud AC Noise

A loud or weird noise from your AC is a red flag for a broken AC system that needs urgent fixing. These could be grinding noises, squeals, or vibrations.

You will hear different noises for different AC issues. Grinding noises most likely signal motor failure. A squealing sound from your AC may mean that the AC belt is completely worn out.

If there is a leak in the refrigerant, you will hear a hissing sound from your AC. The noise may sometimes feel like a buzz, signaling that some electrical components are faulty.

You shouldn’t make the mistake of ignoring the above noises from your AC. Contact a technician for advice on whether it is possible to fix the issues or go for an AC replacement.

8. Strange Smell

Any odd smell coming from your AC is a sign of a problem in the air conditioning unit. Like noise, there are different smells for different AC issues.

A burning smell may imply that there are some electrical components burning inside your AC system. When the air filters clog, the system may also overheat, producing a burning smell.

Your AC system may also have a mildew smell due to moisture and mold growth.

You can solve part of this problem by cleaning your air conditioner. A professional will offer the best solution for any burning smell.

Fix Your AC Problems

Next time your AC has issues, go over the above list to determine the most likely cause of the problem. There are some AC problems you can fix on your own. For some, professional help will be the best option.

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