7 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems

An air conditioner may be your best friend on a hot summer day, but it always seems to break down at the worst possible time, leaving you frustrated and uncomfortable. As we head into the hot summer months, we’ve armed you with this guide to the most common AC problems. Not all problems can be fixed by the homeowner, but this article will help you quickly understand the issue and properly address it– either on your own, with any easy fix, or by bringing in a licensed professional.

Issue: AC Unit Will Not Power On

First, determine if this happened as a result of a specific event, like a thunderstorm or if it happened seemingly at random. There are many possible causes for an AC unit to not power on even though the internal fan still runs. Start with the thermostat and determine if it is operating properly. Try setting the temperature 5 degrees cooler and see if the AC kicks on.

Not the thermostat? Check the circuit breakers. If any breakers to the unit have been tripped, try resetting them one time. Do not continuously flip the breaker if it trips repeatedly. Not the breaker? The likely culprit is a faulty motor or compressor, which needs to be addressed by a professional.

Issue: AC Unit Shuts On and Off Repeatedly

It seems like your AC is trying to kick in, or it may even do so temporarily, only to fail after a short while. This is almost certainly a clogged or blocked condenser unit. A skilled homeowner with a working knowledge of the AC unit might be able to give a good cleaning and fix the problem. Otherwise, schedule a quick and easy check-up appointment with Owens.

Issue: AC Unit Runs Continuously and Will Not Shut Off

Your AC runs, cools, but simply won’t STOP running. It’s possible that the AC unit is too small to cool the volume of your home. It’s also possible that your thermostat is placed in a room that isn’t cooling as well as the rest of the house. Low refrigerant or faulty relay switches are equipment issues that could cause your unit to run continuously as well. In all circumstances, it’s best to seek the help of a certified professional.

Issue: AC is Running but Not Cooling

Once again, start with the thermostat and lower the temperature setting by five degrees. Does the cool air kick in? If not, check the condenser unit for any blockages, dirt, tall grass, weeds, or anything that could be impairing the air intake. Check your air filter and replace if necessary.

Was the loss of cool air gradual, or is it minimal? It’s possible the issue is unrelated to your AC unit and instead the result of leakages in your ductwork. Owens can inspect your ductwork and seal it if necessary.

More critical issues include a stalled condenser coil or low refrigerant, both of which require a professional.

Issue: AC Unit is Making a Strange Noise

As a homeowner you know that sounds of your home, and you know when something doens’t sound right. This principal holds true with your AC unit as well. If you hear a rattling, vibration, or squealing noise that is beyond the normal range of “house sounds,” there could be an issue. Trust your gut and have it inspected by a professional before it becomes a bigger and more costly issue.

The air-handler is the part of the unit that regulates air flow to the ductwork. Some older units have air-handlers that are belt-driven. This belt can slip and cause a loud squealing noise. If this happens, shut the unit off immediately and call for help!

Issue: Drip Pan is Full of Water

Inside your home is a condensation line and drip pan designed to collect water build-up. It’s normal to have condensation, but abnormal for it not to drain. Try blowing compressed air through the line to clear obstructions. If that doesn’t work, try a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. In severe cases, you may need to call a professional to clear or replace a clogged condensation line.

When to Contact a Professional

Skilled homeowners can address minor issues such as thermostat settings, fuse replacement, and some basic cleaning. A homeowner should never go beyond their comfort level or come near the electrical components of their HVAC system. Do not address the coolant or refrigerant, either. If you’ve done basic troubleshooting and the issue persists, it is time to call Owens.

Avoiding Common Issues

Owens’ Preventive Maintenance Program can catch most issues before the start. We thoroughly inspect your HVAC unit for possible trouble shots. This is a simple and worry-free way to ensure your HVAC unit is operating efficiently and safely. Routine care is the best way to avoid catastrophic and expensive repairs later on. It extends the life of your appliances and also properly documents system care for insurance and resale purposes. Learn more about what is included and contact us via our website or by phone at 952-854-3800 to discuss these comprehensive plans and what’s best for your home.

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