Common Air Conditioning Problems and How to Fix Them

Few things are more frustrating than your air conditioner breaking down during a hot day. Fortunately, many common AC issues can be resolved with some troubleshooting and basic DIY solutions. In this blog, we’ll explore these problems and provide you with guidance on how to fix them.

Symptoms: The air conditioner is running, but it doesn’t cool your home as it should.

DIY Solution:

  • Check and replace dirty or clogged air filters.
  • Clean debris around the outdoor unit and ensure proper airflow.
  • Verify that your thermostat is set to the correct temperature and mode (cooling).
  • Ensure windows and doors are closed tightly to prevent warm air from entering.

Symptoms: The air conditioner is running, but it’s blowing warm or room-temperature air.

DIY Solution:

  • Double-check that your thermostat is set to cooling mode.
  • Inspect for ice on the evaporator coils; if present, turn off the AC and let the ice melt.
  • Clean or replace dirty air filters.
  • If the problem persists, it may be due to a refrigerant issue or a malfunctioning compressor, which requires professional assistance.

Symptoms: Your air conditioner doesn’t start when you adjust the thermostat.

DIY Solution:

  • Make sure the thermostat’s batteries are functioning and replace them if needed.
  • Check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure the AC circuit is not tripped.
  • Examine the condensate drain pan for clogs; if it’s overflowing, the safety switch may prevent the AC from running.

Symptoms: Your AC unit produces unusual or loud noises, like banging, hissing, or clanking.

DIY Solution:

  • Rattling sounds could be due to loose screws or parts; tighten them.
  • Hissing may indicate a refrigerant leak; contact a professional immediately.
  • If you hear clicking sounds, the issue could be a failing capacitor, which requires professional repair.

Symptoms: Some rooms in your home are cooler than others.

DIY Solution:

  • Ensure all vents are open and unobstructed.
  • Check for leaks in the ductwork, sealing them to prevent conditioned air from escaping.
  • If the problem persists, consider upgrading to inverter mini-split systems for zone cooling and improved efficiency.

Symptoms: Ice forms on the AC’s indoor or outdoor unit.

DIY Solution:

  • Turn off the AC to let the ice melt.
  • Inspect and clean dirty or clogged air filters.
  • Make sure there are no obstructions around the unit that restrict airflow.
  • If freezing continues, there may be a refrigerant issue, so contact a professional.

Symptoms: You notice water pooling around the indoor unit.

DIY Solution:

  • Check the condensate drain line for clogs or blockages and clear them if present.
  • Inspect the condensate drain pan for cracks or damage and replace it if necessary.
  • If you can’t identify the source of the leak, seek professional help to prevent water damage.

Symptoms: Unpleasant odors are emitted from the AC.

DIY Solution:

  • Change or clean dirty air filters.
  • If the odor persists, it may be mold or mildew growth in the ducts. Consider professional duct cleaning.

When in Doubt, Call an Air Conditioning Contractor

While many common air conditioning issues can be resolved with DIY solutions, it’s important to recognize your limits. When faced with complex problems, or if your attempts to fix the issue are unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced air conditioning contractor. They have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and repair any AC problem, ensuring your home remains cool and comfortable during the hottest days of the year.

Check out the Turbo Aire LLC blog for tips and tricks to resolve AC issues. The guidance from our expert heating and cooling contractors will help keep your home cool and cozy