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Common AC Problems (and Solutions to Them)

Updated on March 10, 2017

Having air conditioning here in Florida is not only a blessing and a God send; it’s pretty much a requirement. With summers that can reach 100+ degrees and an average summer temp in the 90’s, having A/C that not only works but cools efficiently is paramount. But what happens when you’re A/C fails in the middle of the 100+ heat wave? If this has ever happened, you know how quickly your house will heat up. The good news is that there are a couple of things that you can do before you call in your local A/C Repair person.


Most of the time, the problems are of the “failure” kind, basically meaning the unit is no longer cooling your office or home. The machine is running, but no air is moving or circulating. One of the most common symptoms of this problems is sounds. A/C units are designed to be remotely quiet, and if your machine is making loud, squealing noises, then you need to look at it. Usually, these noises are going to come from the fan belt. Turn off the power, check the belt, and if is in good repair, make sure that the pulley’s turn properly. If not, it’s time to lubricate the bearings. This should stop the problem. If the belt is worn, loose, or off, simply replace with a good belt, and/or place the belt back onto the pulleys.

Frozen Units

Another common problem is frozen coils. Frozen coils are easily recognizable because the pipes and unit will usually be frozen solid in a block of ice. This causes circulation problems. The good news is that if you turn off your system and use a hair dryer or hot air gun, you can melt the ice and pipes quickly, and this should restore A/C to your building. To fix this problem if it happens often, getting a calibration of your system will be needed.

Leaky A/C Units

If you’re A/C unit leaks water inside, and you have determined that your unit is not frozen, then you probably have a bad drain on your unit, or the drain is simply clogged. Check to make sure that the condensation pan isn’t rusted out, and then move your way down the drain checking for clogs and obstructions.

Dirty A/C Units

One of the most common causes of A/C failure is that the grills are blocked. After turning off the power, disassemble the unit, and clean well, taking care not to get electronics wet. After reassembly, see if that fixes the problem. Dirty A/C units wont operate at peak efficiency, and simple cleaning like this can help restore a unit back to like new status.

Harder To Spot Problems

Other problems are not as easy to identify, such as Freon leaks, a broken thermostat, or even short circuts in the A/C machine itself. IF your Freon gas levels are low, even after recharging the unit, then have the system checked by a HVAC specialist for leaks. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping on you’re A/C unit, then odds are you probably have a short circuit, and will need to call in a repair person to fix.

When All Else Fails...

When you’re A/C unit isn’t working, and you can’t figure out why, sometime diagnostic tools are needed. Identifying the problem specifically is important so that when you call the repairman, he will know what to bring to fix your problem right the first time. Letting him or her know things such as if the fan or compressor are running without each other, or if service is sporadic, or if it’s simply not cooling enough or too much. Letting them know things like this and more can help the technician zero in on possibly problems before they even get to your home, and once they arrive, will be able to fix your problem faster and more efficiently.

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