Common AC Problems

Common Air Conditioner Problems

Learn About the Most Common AC Problems and Solutions

You rely on your air conditioning system to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round. HVAC systems include complex machinery, accessories, and vents that extend throughout the home, so there is a chance for this complex system to stop working properly. Here are some of the most common air conditioning problems and how you can fix them yourself when you find your air conditioning is not working as expected:

The Unit Will Not Turn On'If you try turning your unit on and it doesn’t kick in, try these troubleshooting steps and you could have your unit running in minutes.

  • Make sure the unit is plugged in correctly. Then, check your breakers to make sure they are not tripped.

  • Examine the pan under your unit to see if there is standing water. If there is, the cause could be a clogged drain. Try emptying the pan and flushing the drain line to see if that allows your system to work again.

  • If you have an automatic thermostat, look at it to see if it's been improperly set. After a power outage, it might have reset itself and could need adjusting.

The Unit Shuts Off Unexpectedly

When your unit suddenly stops working, it could be caused by filter problems.

  • Check your air filter to see if it is clogged. It might simply be time to replace it. Changing your filter on a regular basis will avoid this problem.

  • Check the fit of your air filter. If it does not fit the system well and restricts airflow, it could cause your air conditioner to shut off. Using a filter that's designed to fit the unit and your needs will ensure that the air will flow through the system easily and the unit will run without problems.

The Furnace or Air Conditioner is Whistling

When your furnace or air conditioner is working correctly, you should only hear a gentle blowing. If you hear whistling, something may be wrong.

  • You could have a problem with the fit or current condition of your air filter. If the filter has not been changed in a while, the filter shape could have become warped, causing the whistle.

  • If you are changing your filter regularly, it could be that you are using the wrong size filter. Measure the actual dimensions of the space where your filter sits to get the perfect fit for your unit. If you can't access that space, ask a professional for assistance.

The Condenser Isn't Running Smoothly

The condenser is the portion of your HVAC unit that is outside your home. One common problem with the condenser is that it gets blocked by leaves, grass and other residues.

  • Make sure the area surrounding your condenser is clear of all debris by trimming grass around your condenser and raking or blowing leaves away from the unit.

  • There may be residue inside the condenser. If you need to get to the inside of the condenser, make sure the unit is completely off and unplugged to keep it – and yourself – safe.

There are certainly other issues that may crop up with your AC system. However, being able to fix these common air conditioning problems yourself will save you money and help you keep your system in good shape for a long time.

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