10 Air Conditioning Problems You Should Know About


HVAC systems are a common feature of most homes in the United States.

They keep the indoors nice and comfortable and add tremendous value to a property. However, AC units come with their own set of specific problems that all homeowners should know about.

Here is a guide to ten of the most common air conditioning issues and how to fix them if possible. Homeowners can solve many issues themselves at home, but you may need to call a professional HVAC technician in many cases.

1. Faulty Thermostat

If it feels like the AC just won’t cool the home, no matter how cool you turn the temperature on the thermostat, it could be a thermostat malfunction. If the thermostat doesn’t communicate with the AC unit for any reason, the cooling cycle may never start-up in the first place.

How to fix:

You might need to replace the batteries, or the thermostat screen may be dead. Upgrade your thermostat if it’s malfunctioning due to wear and tear. An HVAC professional may need to come in and check faulty wiring or calibrate the thermostat to solve the issue.

We recommend a shaded area out of direct sunlight for thermostat placement to avoid reading errors. Smart thermostats can save hundreds on energy bills and make diagnosing thermostat issues easier.

2. Weak Airflow

In the summer months, it’s easy to tell when your AC system has an underlying issue. If the airflow in the ducts is weak, it may be due to clogged or dirty filters.

A clogged or dirty air filter is the most common culprit of weak airflow. When dirt and debris build-up and become trapped, they block air passage into the room and cut off airflow. They can also cause chilly drafts and pressure imbalances.

How to fix:

Simply clean your air vents or replace them every 1-3 months. If you have pets or allergies, consider changing more frequently.

If the airflow does not improve upon cleaning the air vents, it will be time to call an HVAC professional because damaged components may cause weak airflow.

3. Concerning Noises

AC units often make noise as they operate during a cooling cycle. However, if you hear loud whistling, buzzing, or even a loud explosion, there’s something wrong. The damage to your HVAC system and your home could be disastrous.

Rattling or buzzing signifies that a piece of the hardware is most likely loose. A whistling sound points toward airflow problems. Clicking noises usually mean an electrical issue.

How to fix:

Call a reliable HVAC technician to diagnose the issue. Solving the problem can cause even more damage to the AC system, even if you have some HVAC knowledge.

4. Strange Odors

If your home has an unpleasant odor when you turn on the AC, it’s often a warning sign of mold caused by too much moisture. Dirty air filters and pests trapped in ducts can cause odors. If there is a burning smell, the issue is electrical. 

How to fix:

Foul odors are not something to be ignored or investigated yourself. Bacteria and mold growth can harm yourself, your family, or your property. Call an expert HVAC technician to investigate the odor and clean or repair the area.

5. AC won’t Turn on

When your AC unit will not turn on or adjust the temperature, it can be a major problem for the unit. Listen to make sure the fan blows when you turn the AC on.

How to fix:

Check to ensure that your home has power and that the AC unit is connected. You may have experienced a power outage.

A fuse or faulty wiring can cause malfunctions for an AC unit starting a cycle. If it’s an electrical issue, a technician can usually repair it. 

6. AC Blows Hot Air

The AC should have no issue adjusting to the temperature you request on the thermostat, so if you’re feeling hot air blowing, there’s something wrong. A faulty thermostat could be the culprit, or perhaps the coils have become frozen.

How to fix:

Check your thermostat to ensure the settings are correctly adjusted to cool instead of warm air. Also, clean out the air filters to prevent frozen coils. Finally, call a technician to investigate.

7. Short Cycle

A cycle is the interval of time when the AC is cooling your home. A short cycle is when air only blows for a few minutes and quits, or the AC starts and stops on its own in very short cycles. 

A short cycle can become solved by several issues like clogged filters or ducts, or it can be due to a thermostat or electrical malfunction.

How to fix:

First, check to ensure that your air filters are clear and your thermostat is working correctly. This issue can be dangerous if these two solutions are not the issue, so call an expert immediately.

8. Water Leaks

Stepping in a pool of water from a vent or AC unit can be concerning. Puddles represent a water leak somewhere in the system. There could be a buildup of moisture due to blocked air vents or filters, or the refrigerant may have an issue. 

How to fix:

Water leaks are hopefully not significant issues, and having a HAVC technician look at refrigerant levels will usually fix the problem. If you cannot find the issue on your own, call an expert to find the source of the leak. 

9. Electrical Issues

When you turn on and off your air, it wears out the condenser fan motor, compressor, and blower motor. All require an electrical connection to start. If you have a connection problem, it can prevent the motor and compressor from turning on.

How to fix:

Try to monitor the usage of your AC unit and keep from frequently adjusting the temperature. Don’t try to fix any electrical issues without the proper training and equipment. We recommend calling an electrician when dealing with any electrical issues. 

If you notice electrical problems, immediately turn off your power to prevent electrical fires or damage.

10. Drainage Issues

The drain pipeline can also become clogged with debris, vegetation and dirt. Hazardous mold, fungus, and mildew can develop if water refuses to drain properly. Thes bacteria and other growths causegasses and bad odor to filter into your home. 

How to fix:

To solve this issue, ensure your drain line is regularly maintained, cleaned, and inspected by an expert. Air conditioner systems that are not level may not drain properly and need to be adjusted or replaced.

Need AC Maintenance, Repair, or Replacement in Rock Hill?

Many problems arise most during a hot summer when you use your AC unit. This list can prepare you for the most common AC issues and whether or not you’ll be able to solve them yourself or if you’ll need expert help.

If you’re wondering how best to keep your AC unit in the best shape for the longest time, look into spring annual routine maintenance. Suppose you’re looking for the highest quality HVAC maintenance in Rock Hill; contact Panther Cooling & Heating. We’ll keep your AC in its healthiest shape for the summer. Fill out our contact form to schedule with us.

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Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at Panther Heating and Cooling.

Call us at (803) 327-2700!

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