Air Conditioner Troubleshooting: A Quick Guide to Common HVAC Problems

air conditioner troubleshooting

Did you know that your AC airflow problems could reduce the system efficiency by as much as 15%? Air conditioner troubleshooting is a part of maintaining the efficiency of your system. Dirty coils, low or high refrigerant levels, faulty electrical wires, and dirty burners can all compromise your HVAC system.

As a homeowner, saying that you depend on your HVAC system to provide you a comfortable environment would be an understatement. This means you can’t afford to neglect it, and if you feel that it’s not operating to maximum efficiency, you need to go through our air conditioner troubleshooting guide.

We have talked to industry experts and brought you this comprehensive guide about the most common HVAC problems, and what to do about them. Some problems require simple solutions, while others will need professional attention. The one thing you can be sure about is that if not fixed on time, most of these problems will only get worse, and compromise the entire system, so you need to fix them as soon as possible.

Your AC Is Not Working

This is among the most common HVAC problems. Most often than not, it’s a simple matter, like changing the batteries in the thermostat. If your AC just stopped and won’t turn on again, you could be facing electrical problems or other underlying issues, so you need to get to the bottom of it.

Your troubleshooting tips should start by ensuring the AC is receiving power. Check whether the thermostat batteries are dead and that your temperatures are set right. If it still doesn’t start, investigate at the main power panel or the secondary circuit panels.

You may encounter a tripped breaker or some blown fuse, which you can reset or replace, respectively. If that’s not the case, the issue may be within the AC system, like a dirty fuse, loose wires, or a bad capacitor. If you can’t fix any of these, the best course of action is to hire a professional HVAC technician from

A Clogged Condenser Unit

Air conditioning systems are designed with condenser units that could be located outside. If yours is located outside your home, it is especially prone to obstruction due to foliage and debris that could accumulate around it. If yours is located in a mechanical room, other items and equipment in the room may block the system.

Obstruction usually restricts airflow around the condenser unit, which drastically affects its efficiency. It can also cause overheating as the system is trying to work harder, and this will lead to other issues.

The best air conditioner troubleshooting tip here is to clean and clear the area surrounding the condenser unit. Trim or move all plants and foliage blocking airflow and remove debris with a vacuum cleaner. Going forward, any plants, items, furniture, or equipment should be placed about three feet away from the unit on all sides to ensure optimum efficiency.

Low Refrigerant Level

Low refrigerant levels are one of the most common air conditioner problems. The refrigerant is an essential part of your system because once it runs low, the compressor overheats and could eventually stop. If your air conditioner is not cooling your home, or the air feels sticky due to humidity, then chances are the refrigerant level is low.

The low levels may be due to undercharged refrigerant liquid or a leakage. If the refrigerant is leaking, the system will cool too much, and the evaporator coils may free up, causing other problems.

For this HVAC problem, you need to hire a professional technician to perform the air conditioner troubleshooting process. The technician will check for leaks and know what amount to add to the system. If they find multiple leaks, they advise about fixing or replacing the system.

Clogged and Dirty Filters

If you have noticed a hike in your utility bills, the air filters in your HVAC system may be the culprit. Filters serve the purpose of removing dust from your AC and keeping the system and ducts clear. Still, dust accumulates over time, and they need to be cleaned or replaced regularly,

If not, the dirt and debris block the airflow, and the system works harder than it should. This is the reason why your energy bills are going up, and if it’s not fixed immediately, the dust will compromise and shorten the life of your HVAC system. The air conditioner troubleshooting process for this issue involves cleaning or replacing your filters regularly or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Clogged and Leaky Ducts

Clogged AC filters could be the reason why you have clogged ducts, and when dust and debris accumulate in the ducts, it causes an overflow in the drain pan. This can damage the system components. Over time, the ducts also crack, and if you notice some holes, they may be causing an air leak.

When this happens, the efficiency is compromised, causing an improper airflow. You may have noticed that some rooms are cooler than others, and in this case, the whole system will overwork to compensate, increasing your power bills in the process.

The air conditioner troubleshooting process involves checking the drain pan for any water, emptying the pan, and flashing the drain line. Beyond that, it’s vital for you to hire a technician for HVAC repair as they will clean everything, from the ducts to the coils, and filters thoroughly.

Faulty Heat Pumps

In extremely cold settings, the indoor coil may freeze up, which may cause freezing in the pumps as well. This will decrease performance and efficiency, and if the ductwork sweats in the process, it may damage your walls and ceiling.

To troubleshoot this issue, you need to maintain the appropriate level of temperature in your home. You can also have a technician install a low ambient kit to ensure heat pumps are operations during cold seasons.

A Noisy HVAC System

Plenty of things could cause air conditioner noises, and they can make different sounds depending on the cause. For instance, if your system has a refrigerant leak, it could produce a hissing sound while rattling, thumping, and banging noises could mean problems in the motor or blower.

Faulty electrical components could produce a buzzing sound, while a relay problem could cause clicking sounds. Regardless of the noise, hiring a professional HVAC repair technician is the best solution as they have a better understanding of these noises and will know where the problem is.

Air Conditioner Troubleshooting: Common HVAC Problems Solved

These are some of the most common HVAC problems you may encounter, and the best air conditioner troubleshooting solutions. You can avoid most of these issues by following an HVAC system maintenance schedule so that issues are caught and fixed before they cause problems.

What other issues do you have in your home? Would you like to know how to identify mold problems? Or maybe you need septic tank maintenance tips?

How about roofing repairs? If so, we would like to invite you to our blog section, where we have all these, and so much more just for you!


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