Common A/C Problems You May Encounter

Published on: September 15, 2014
Technician fixing unit | AC Southeast®

Even the most common A/C problems are fairly uncommon. The reliability ratings of today’s central air conditioners are high, assuming the systems are professionally installed and regularly maintained. When issues do occur, however, most require the training and experience of a qualified cooling and heating contractor. Still, the average homeowner can perform a few preliminary DIY steps to rule out obvious causes for these common A/C problems.

Common A/C Problems

  • Air conditioner doesn’t run. Check the thermostat and verify that the system is turned on. Try turning the temperature setting down at least 5 degrees below room temperature. If nothing happens, check the circuit breakers in the main electrical panel. If one is tripped, reset it and see if the A/C starts. Still no response? Time to call in a professional.
  • Not cooling enough. Do-it-yourself options include verifying that the thermostat setting is correct. Then, check the outdoor temperature. Air conditioners are generally rated to provide adequate cooling up to about 100 degrees outside. If the current temperature’s around that range, don’t expect optimum cooling performance indoors. Still uncomfortable? Call your HVAC contractor. He’ll probably want to check your refrigerant level, clean the coils and measure system airflow.
  • Blowing warm air. It’s a no-brainer, but make sure the system is set to the “Cool” setting at the thermostat, not “Fan Only.”  Then take a look at the outdoor compressor/condenser. If vegetation has grown up and is blocking air circulation through the vents, try cutting it back to allow at least two feet of air space on all sides of the unit. No luck? A qualified A/C technician can take over from there.
  • A/C cycles on and off rapidly. Again, check for any obstructions to the outdoor coil vents or fan grille. Also look at the indoor air handler for any signs of ice build-up or water overflow. Still getting on and off performance? Short cycling puts wear and tear on your compressor—schedule a service call now.

When you’re ready for professional help solving common A/C problems, contact AirConditioningSouthEast.com for help finding a contractor in your area.