Top 10 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems (and How to Solve Them)

Learn how to know if your AC is broken. Oftentimes, it’s easy to tell when something is wrong with your air conditioner. However, occasionally an issue will take you by surprise, and throw a wrench (and blow hot air) into your blissful summer days.

Being aware of potential issues is the first step into avoiding the cost and pain of a repair or replacement. Check out the top 10 most common air conditioning problems we see, and how you can solve them. 

1. Cool Air Isn’t Flowing

This is perhaps the most common air conditioning issue we hear from our customers. While you may hear the AC running, there’s no air coming out of the ducts. Or you may feel some air, but it isn’t cool whatsoever.

Problem: This is typically caused by a tripped circuit breaker. However, it’s possible that the blower belt is torn and needs a replacement. Low refrigerant levels can also affect cooling.

Solution: An experienced HVAC technician can repair this issue by looking for wear and tear, and also prevent future breaks from happening in the first place.

2. AC Won’t Turn On

Nothing is more frustrating than waking up in the middle of the night in a sweat, only to realize that your AC has turned off without warning.

Problem: Common causes of this issue include a tripped circuit breaker, faulty thermostat, or loose wiring.

Solution: You should never try repairing wiring solo. Our certified HVAC team can diagnose any of these issues with special equipment. 

3. AC Won’t Stop Running

While it’s normal for your air conditioner to run more often in hot weather, it should still periodically turn off. Fixing an AC that won’t stop running helps protect vital parts, while also preventing your energy bill from skyrocketing.

Problem: This is a common AC issue that has multiple causes. It could be a result from a problem with the thermostat, compressor, air filters, or electrical parts. 

Solution: Try turning off the thermostat fan first to see if that shuts off the air conditioner. If not, contact a technician to diagnose and solve the problem quickly. 

4. Hot Air Coming Out of AC

Sometimes, you may discover that your AC unit is blowing out hot air instead of cold air. The last thing you need in the summer is your house being as hot as the air outside.

Problem: This can be caused by multiple factors, such as a dirty air filter, a duct obstruction, or debris that are causing the compressor to overheat. Your AC’s refridgerant levels could also be low.

Solution: To prevent this, you should replace air filters every 1-2 months to prevent obstructions and schedule duct cleaning at least once per year. However, to save money in the long run, you should always have a certified HVAC technician check for leaks before adding refrigerant to AC units.

5. Leaky AC

Since most leaks appear in coolant lines, homeowners are often unaware of most refrigerant leaks. However, bright colored stains near the AC unit are always a sign of problems. While it’s normal for some condensation to collect outside the air conditioner, excessive moisture can very well be a sign of leaking water.

Problem: Over time, lines and connections in your AC system tend to degrade, which leads to refrigerant leaks. Additionally, blocked drainage pipes and faulty condensate pumps typically cause water leaks.

Solution: Turn off your AC unit as soon as you notice it leaking. Then, contact our team right away. Low refrigerant levels can severely damage the compressor, which ends up becoming one of the most costly parts to replace. Regular system tune-ups can detect this issue before it becomes too expensive.

6. Unit Repeatedly Turning On and Off

Known as short cycling, this is when the AC starts up over and over instead of completing a full cooling cycle. This is a serious issue that can lead to the costly replacement of the compressor.

Problem: This may sound silly, but it’s possible that your air conditioner is too powerful for your home. However, the problem could be as simple as a clogged air filter or miscalibrated thermostat.

Solution: Contact our team today to measure your home’s cooling needs. This can help you choose an air conditioner and thermostat that provides optimal cooling and energy bill savings.

7. The Condenser Coil Appears Frosted

If you notice ice around the AC coil and/or copper line set, it means your system is working overtime to keep your home cool. Taking care of this immediately can save you a lot of money on your electricity bill.

Problem: Of course, it’s normal for air conditioners to work harder in summer weather. However, it’s not normal for the system to freeze. Dirty condenser units or air filters make the AC work twice as hard for the same cooling effect.

Solution: Hire an expert HVAC technician to check your AC’s blower fan, condenser, and ducts for any debris.

8. AC Unit Repeatedly Tripping the Circuit Breaker

Is your AC unit tripping a fuse every time it turns on, constantly interrupting your daily activities?

Problem: A common reason for this issue is poor AC installation. Hiring the cheapest person to install your air conditioner is never a good idea. Typically, you’ll run into this issue if your circuit breaker or wiring isn’t suited for the HVAC unit’s output.

Solution: Luckily, you can hire an experienced HVAC contractor to fix a poor installation job and perform a thorough wiring inspection.

9. AC Unit Emitting Strange Smells

If you smell a burning or musty smell coming from the vents or the AC unit itself, it’s time to turn the AC off right away.

Problem: Burning odors typically reveal a wiring issue in the AC’s motor or clogged air filters. On the other hand, mildew smells are caused by improper drainage. 

Solution: After turning off your AC, check the air filters. If they look dirty, then replace them. This is why scheduling regular maintenance of your home’s ducts and AC unit is a foolproof way to prevent unpleasant odors. 

10. Weird Noises Coming from AC Unit

Hearing odd sounds, such as grinding noises, strange vibrations, or squealing coming from your AC unit is always a sign of an urgent problem.

Problem: These noises typically have different causes. Squealing noises are usually the result of a worn or misaligned belt. However, grinding noises often indicate issues with motor bearings, which is an especially dangerous AC problem.

Solution: Fixing the underlying problem will stop these loud and irritating noises. Our experienced technicians will check belts and lubricate the bearings, which protects the compressor motor. 

Stressed About Repairing Your AC Unit Before Summer? Contact the Expert HVAC Team at Supreme Today!

It’s important to know how to tell if your AC is broken. If you experience any of the above issues, you need someone to help immediately to avoid costly (and dangerous) consequences. 

Supreme is proud to be the best team in Wabash Valley to handle all of your home’s air conditioning needs. From new AC installation, to repair, replacement and maintenance, we stand ready to help you with 24-hour emergency service and financing options. 

Contact our team to learn about how we can help you stay cool today!