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Common AC Problems & How to Fix Them

Serving Families Throughout Clackamas
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Common AC Problems & How to Fix Them

Spot the Signs of Trouble Before It’s Too Late

As summer gets underway, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your AC is up to the task. A simple way to stay on top of your cooling system and have peace of mind is to familiarize yourself with some of the most common AC problems homeowners deal with and how you can fix them when they crop up.

Below we review three common AC problems, how to spot them, and what to do when they occur. Keep reading to learn more.

#1: AC Runs but Doesn’t Cool

This is one of the most common repair calls we get at A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical. It’s also perhaps the most frustrating problem to deal with, in large part because it can be so mystifying. You hear the AC kick on, you wait for the cold air to come… and nothing. When this happens, you may not know what to do or where to look for the problem.

Reasons your AC may be running but not cooling include:

  • The thermostat is on the wrong setting or the wrong temperature
  • The condenser unit is clogged
  • Your evaporator coil frozen
  • You have a refrigerant leak

Furthermore, if you have not changed your air filters in a very long time, they could be clogged. When this happens, the airflow in your home is reduced, meaning that the cool, conditioned air is not being effectively moved throughout your home.

While adjusting your thermostat and replacing your air filter is something you can easily do yourself, if you have larger problems, you will likely need to schedule a repair appointment with an AC specialist. AC systems are incredibly complex, and it is always recommended that you work with a professional when making repairs.

#2: Thermostat Problems

Thermostats are often the source of our cooling system problems. It is not uncommon for the thermostat to mistakenly be put on the wrong setting or switched to “fan” mode instead of cooling. If this is the case, you will hear the fan come on, and you will likely feel the air being moved throughout your home, but it will not feel cool.

Another common problem with thermostats is that they are reading an incorrect temperature and therefore not signaling your AC to turn on when needed. There are several different causes of this. In some cases, the thermostat placement in your home isn’t good, and the thermostat’s sensor may be reading its immediate area correctly, but not the rest of your home. Similarly, if your thermostat is in the sun or a particularly warm room, it may trigger your AC to turn on more frequently than you want it to.

Finally, your thermostat may be malfunctioning or broken. If this is the case, replacing your thermostat is often the only option. However, before buying a new thermostat, you should speak with one of our AC specialists to ensure that you truly do need a new one.

#3: AC Refrigerant Leaks

Your air conditioner requires refrigerant to cool. Refrigerant moves through your evaporator and condenser coils, absorbing heat from inside your home and depositing it outside. If your system has a refrigerant leak, it will not effectively cool your home. Signs you have a refrigerant leak include a loss of cooling, your air conditioner running for longer periods to achieve the temperature you set, or a hissing sound coming from your system. Finding ice on your evaporator coils is another sign that you have a refrigerant leak.

How to Prevent AC Problems

While there will be times when we are surprised by air conditioning problems, there is a lot we can do to help prevent AC breakdowns and reduce the likelihood of a repair problem occurring. The best way to do this is to schedule routine AC maintenance every spring. Our technicians will inspect your entire system during your maintenance visit, looking for signs of trouble.

These inspections are crucial to keeping your system in tip-top shape, and our technicians leave nothing to chance. During your maintenance appointment, we will also replace air filters, check coolant levels, and note any potential issues we see so that you can take care of them before they create a problem.

Other ways to prevent AC repair issues include:

  • Keeping your outdoor AC unit clean and clear of debris
  • Familiarizing yourself with your thermostat settings so that you are in control of your system
  • Replace your air filters every three months, or more often if you have pets
  • Pay attention to any decreases in performance or potential problem signs

If you are having trouble with your air conditioner or are seeing signs of a repair problem, reach out to A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical for help. We will send a repair technician to your home to diagnose your problem. If we discover a repair problem, we will provide you with your repair options. Send us a message online to schedule an AC repair inspection.