Beat the Heat: Typical Air Conditioner Problems to Watch Out for This Summer

As the sweltering summer heat approaches, a dependable cooling system becomes paramount for homeowners. Familiarizing yourself with prevalent air conditioner problems and their corresponding preemptive measures can significantly alleviate concerns and elevate overall comfort throughout the season. Here, we highlight the key concerns to be aware of:

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Top Ten Summer Air Conditioning Challenges

Dive into the most common air conditioner issues you might encounter this summer, offering insights and solutions to keep your cooling system running smoothly.

1. Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

circuit breaker depicting resetting ac unit circuit breaker

If your AC refuses to kick into action, check if the circuit breaker tripped. If it has, reset it before retrying. Examine the plug as it may have gotten loose, and re-plug it if necessary to establish a secure connection. If the thermostat batteries are depleted, swap them out promptly. Should the issue persist, don’t hesitate to contact an HVAC technician for a thorough diagnosis and expert repair.

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2. Air Conditioner Doesn’t Blow Cold Air

The primary task of a central air conditioner is to cool your home. However, if it falls short, it’s time to investigate. Start by examining the air filter; if it’s clogged with dirt, it hinders proper airflow through the system. Additionally, a frozen condenser can impair the cooling efficiency. To prevent these problems, consider regular filter replacements.

3. Outdoor AC Unit Freezing Up

frozen AC unit

Several factors could be at play when your outdoor AC unit starts to freeze. It might be due to a coolant leak resulting in low refrigerant levels or plummeting outdoor temperatures. Inadequate airflow or a malfunctioning blower motor could also contribute to the issue. Schedule a professional inspection to pinpoint the exact cause and ensure a swift resolution.

4. AC Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant serves as the lifeblood of your cooling system. If it leaks, your AC’s performance and efficiency suffer. Increased power consumption, uneven cooling, and frozen coils become noticeable issues. It can also potentially lead to compressor damage. To safeguard against these disruptions, prioritize regular inspections to promptly detect and address possible refrigerant leaks.

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5. Electric Control Failure

Air conditioners operate most efficiently when maintaining a consistent state. Frequent cycling can expedite wear and tear, notably impacting the compressor, fan motor, and blower motor controls. This wear and tear may culminate in electric control failure, rendering the affected components unresponsive.

6. The Air Conditioner Makes Noises

homeowner listening to air conditioner noises

While a steady, low hum is expected, unusual noises should raise concerns. Take a moment to attentively listen to your AC unit, as each distinct sound signals a specific issue. Clicking noises are often linked to relay problems, hissing may indicate a refrigerant leak, rattling can typically be attributed to the motor assembly, and buzzing often suggests electrical faults. HVAC experts can swiftly identify and address these concerns upon hearing your air conditioning unit, ensuring efficient and quiet operation.

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7. Frozen Evaporator Coil

Sustained airflow is crucial to ward off a frozen evaporator coil. If you face this issue, inspect the entire pathway for blockages. A malfunctioning fan, clogged vents, or dirty air filters could be the culprits. Regular cleaning and upkeep are vital to preventing this problem and ensuring your system runs smoothly. 

8. Air Conditioner Leaking Water Outside

clogged condensate drain for air conditioner

Moisture can build up in your AC coils on humid days. Typically, it should flow out through specially designed drain channels. However, leaks may occur if these channels are blocked or damaged. Causes could range from blocked drain pipes and a damaged condensate pan to improper installation. Fortunately, cleaning the interior swiftly resolves the issue.

9. Drainage Issues

Suboptimal drainage can result in stagnant water within your air conditioning unit, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. This can cause air conditioner problems such as unpleasant and unhealthy odors infiltrating your home as time passes. Regular professional inspections and maintenance can effectively prevent the formation of foul smells within your unit. 

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10. Sensor Issues

Thermostat sensors play a crucial role in monitoring room temperature, enabling your AC to switch on when it’s too hot and turn off when it’s too cold. However, incorrect sensor placement can result in inaccurate readings and air conditioner problems. Professional technicians can rectify their positioning and conduct calibrations to ensure they function optimally, maintaining your desired comfort level. 

Simple Steps to Prevent Air Conditioning Issues

Here are several easy measures you can do to keep air conditioning problems at bay:

Inspect the HVAC Filter

dirty hvac filter

Many AC problems can be traced back to dirty filters. Heed the manufacturer’s recommendations and make a habit of regularly replacing your air filters. Typically, filter replacements are conducted every one to three months, but it’s wise to let the filter’s condition be your guide. If it’s clogged before the scheduled replacement date, don’t hesitate to install a new one. 

Clean the Condensing Unit

The air conditioner’s outdoor unit is continuously exposed to dirt and debris, which can hinder its ability to transfer heat outside efficiently. To address dirty coils, regularly clean the unit’s surfaces. You should also remove fallen leaves, branches, trash, and any other debris that may accumulate around it. 

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Keep Vents Clear

Ensure that vents are always open to allow air to circulate freely. There are times when restricted airflow may occur due to the furniture, curtains, or other items blocking these vents. Vigilantly monitor vents likely to have obstructions and promptly address any issues to ensure efficient airflow whenever needed.

Upgrade with a Programmable Thermostat

smart thermostat depicting energy savings from programmable thermostat

Consider replacing outdated thermostats with newer models that offer improved calibration and performance. If feasible, opt for a programmable thermostat. Configure the timers to match your preferred schedule and temperature settings. This upgrade enhances precision in climate control while simultaneously reducing energy usage.

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Cooling systems can falter at the most inconvenient times. The key to preventing this is proactive monitoring and regular cleaning. Homeowners should adhere to a consistent maintenance schedule, allowing experts to conduct comprehensive inspections and tune-ups. When repairs are needed, promptly enlist the expertise of professional HVAC technicians, as they possess the skills and experience necessary to pinpoint the root causes of problems. You can expect exceptional results at reasonable rates with their services, ensuring comfort and peace of mind.

Call Lake Region Energy For Exceptional HVAC Solutions

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Lake Region Energy stands out as the top choice for heating and cooling services in Maine and New Hampshire. Our team comprises professionally certified technicians who excel in providing exceptional HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each technician possesses the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system precisely.

At Lake Region Energy, we take pride in offering the region’s most competitive heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services enhance your comfort and boost energy efficiency while lowering home cooling expenses. If you find yourself in need of HVAC repair or a replacement system, count on us to recommend the best solution for your home without exceeding your budget. We stand behind all our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, contact Lake Region Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.

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For more information about our fuel deliveries and HVAC services, be sure to contact Lake Region Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (207) 839-5500 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations. Click the link to view our service area.

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