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Ask Art: What Are The Most Common AC Problems?

common ac problems
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If you had to ask any Florida resident what their most valuable appliance was, the unanimous answer would probably be the air conditioner. In Florida’s hot and humid climate, life would be unbearable without an air conditioner.

Unfortunately, like any appliance, things can go wrong with the AC. Here are a few of the common ac problems we come across, and what you can do about them.

Common Problems With Air Conditioners

An air conditioner is made up of various parts, each playing a vital role in allowing it to function as it should. If any of these parts are faulty or broken, the unit as a whole will either cease to function effectively or stop working altogether.

The Filter

The most common problems occur because the filter is clogged or dirty. A dirty filter restricts airflow and eventually causes the air conditioner to seize. Check the filter, if it does not allow light through, then it’s time for it to be cleaned or changed.

The Thermostat

The thermostat controls the temperature of the air that the air conditioner blows into the room. If the air temperature is not what you have set it to be:

  • Make sure the thermostat is turned on
  • Check and make sure it is clean
  • The thermostat needs to be level
  • Check that you have set it to the correct temperature
  • Make sure that the thermostat is not in direct sunlight, as that could cause it to register the wrong temperature

If you cannot find anything wrong with the above, then the problem is one that requires an HVAC technician.


This compound, when combined with components like compressors and evaporators. absorbs heat and cools the air from the environment. If the coolant starts leaking, the air temperature will be affected. The location of the leak will determine the cost of repair, and this needs to be carried out by an HVAC technician.

The Drainage Line

This line can become clogged with dirt, dust, and lint. If the drain pan is full, the water pours out and could damage the area around the pan or the unit itself.

Breakers & Fuses

Breakers and fuses safeguard the air conditioner compressor/motor from overheating. When the motor malfunctions, the first thing the technicians will check are the breakers and fuses.

The Capacitor

The capacitor powers the compressor and fans by sending a jolt to activate the motor, followed by a series of jolts to keep the motor working. If either of these burn out, the air conditioner will cease to function, and you will need to contact an air conditioner technician.

The Compressor

For heat exchange to take place, the compressor needs to apply energy to the refrigerant and propel it through the coils. If it is not working, the air conditioner will not be able to keep the room cool. For the compressor to function as it should, there needs to be the correct amount of refrigerant in the system. If there isn’t enough, the compressor will run hot and seize, but too much refrigerant will return to the compressor and cause it to malfunction.

Evaporator Coils

The first of two coils, evaporator coils (located inside) send cold air into the room by using a series of ducts to absorb the heat in the air. These coils can become corroded, so regular maintenance, at least every three years, is required.

Condenser Coils

The condenser coils, unlike the evaporator coils, are situated outside with the compressor and are very prone to attracting dirt. They can be cleaned with a hose, but if they are very dirty, an air conditioner technician should clean them with a chemical cleaner.

The Contactor

The contactor, an electrical relay that controls the flow of electricity to the required components of the air conditioner, is very prone to arching or pitting. When this happens, the flow of electrical current is disrupted, and the air conditioner cannot function effectively. In this situation, an air conditioner technician will need to be contacted.

How To Prevent Air Conditioner Problems?

With regular inspection and maintenance, air conditioners can function effectively for many years. Here are a few ways you can keep your unit in tip-top condition:

  • Adhere to the maintenance plan according to the instruction manual.
  • Regularly check, clean, and replace dirty filters.
  • Inspect the ducts regularly and repair any holes as soon as they appear.
  • Ensure the thermostat is not in direct sunlight or it will register the wrong temperature.
  • Ensure that the outdoor compressor has adequate airflow and is not overcrowded by plants. It needs 5-ft clearance on the top and 2-ft to 3-ft of clearance in front.
  • Inspect and clean the outdoor units regularly.
  • Contact an expert HVAC technician if you have eliminated the obvious reasons for malfunction, do not attempt to “do it yourself.”

AC Service Solutions In Coral Springs

We’re the last HVAC company you’ll ever need! For all your air conditioner maintenance and repairs, contact Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric at 1-800-475-1504, Monday to Saturday 8 am to 8 pm and Sunday 8 am to 5 pm, with no extra charge on weekends during normal business hours. Don’t let ac problems make your home uncomfortable to be in, call us today.


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