Troubleshooting Common Air Conditioning Problems

Reliability is one of the most important features of your air conditioner, and even the best equipment can encounter problems over time. Before you reach for the phone, consider these troubleshooting tips to address common air conditioning problems. The issue may be simpler than you think to resolve, and knowing what to look for might just save you some money.

Problem: A/C turns on and off too frequently.

What you can do:

  • Check your condenser unit.
    A dirty or blocked condenser unit can cause this problem. Carefully clean the unit, and remove any obstructions. Make sure the area around it is clear of tall grass and weeds, shrubs and trees that drop leaves, and other debris. If you don’t know how to clean the condenser, consult your HVAC professional for help.
  • Change your filter.
    A dirty or clogged filter can also impede the performance of your air conditioner. Changing the air filter regularly is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and avoid problems.

Problem: Home not cooled adequately.

What you can do:

  • Check your filter.
    Again, regularly replacing your air filter will help you avoid a lot of problems. Dirty or clogged air filters are the most common cause of poor air conditioner performance.
  • Lower the thermostat 5 degrees.
    Lowering the thermostat 5 degrees should get the air conditioner to kick on and cool your home. If this doesn’t fix the problem, try cleaning the evaporator. If the problem persists, your air conditioner may be the wrong size.
  • Consider external factors
    Extremely high outdoor temperatures (100 degrees or more ) for an extended period can certainly impact your A/C’s ability to cool your home to the level you’d like. If you’re home has a lot of windows, or gets a lot of direct sun, this will also make cooling more of a challenge.

Problem: Air condenser isn’t running.

What you can do:

  • Check or change your filter.
    Once again, the filter is a great place to start. If you haven’t replaced it in a while, this could be the culprit.
  • Check the power.
    Make sure the condenser hasn’t inadvertently been unplugged. Then, check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
  • Check your thermostat settings.
    If the filter and the power are not causing the problem, it could be the thermostat. Make sure the settings are correct. Also try lowering the temperature five degrees. If the unit still doesn’t turn on, the problem could be the motor or the compressor.

When to call an HVAC expert

  • If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the A/C unit.
    Cleaning the unit isn’t hard to do, but it does require care and some expertise. If you aren’t sure how to do it, or just don’t feel comfortable, your HVAC professional will be glad to help. 
  • If you have to address the coolant.
    Any problems requiring you to add coolant should be referred to an expert. Call a technician if you detect any leaks.
  • If you’ve done the troubleshooting above and the unit still isn’t working.
    If you can’t determine the cause of the problem on your own, contact your HVAC company for assistance.

Regular maintenance can help you avoid many problems with your air conditioner. To schedule your routine maintenance, or for help with a specific problem, call ABE Heating and Cooling today!