Common AC Problems in Summer

May 04, 2023


Many of us fight the summertime heat with our centralized air conditioning system. When our system is working right, we can relax and enjoy a comfortable home environment. Unfortunately, sometimes your air conditioning system may malfunction. Here are some of the possible culprits.

Clogged Air Filter

A very common malfunction that homeowners face with their air conditioning systems is clogged air filters. Every home air conditioning system has an air filter that works to remove unwanted dirt and debris from the air inside of your home. When this filter reaches the end of its life span, it will become clogged with unwanted pollutants and debris.

If your air filter is past its replacement time, it could wreak havoc on the rest of your air conditioning system. You may find that your evaporator coils freeze or your energy bills are higher than usual because your system is trying to work harder to push air through the clogged filter. It’s best to replace your filter every few months. It’s not unusual to need to replace your air filter more often during the summer months.

Failed Capacitor

Your air conditioning system has a run capacitor that is responsible for starting up the air conditioning system. Unfortunately, strenuous workloads and hot temperature extremes can wreak havoc on your system’s run capacitor. Replacing this capacitor can be a DIY project. However, if you’re not overly comfortable with working on your air conditioning system, it’s advisable to contact an air conditioning professional to do the repair for you.

Low Refrigerant Charge

If you notice that your air conditioning system is not producing enough cold air and your thermostat is set at a reasonable temperature, it could be due to a low refrigerant level. Refrigerant is a necessary part of your air conditioning system that transfers the heat from the inside of your home to the outdoors.

When your refrigerant level is low, there isn’t enough of it to move enough heat outside to make a difference in the feel of the temperature inside of your home. When dealing with a refrigerant leak, it’s important to note that you won’t always see a puddle. If your refrigerant has been leaking over a lengthy period of time through pinholes in the copper tubing or coils, you may not notice any refrigerant at all. To recharge the refrigerant level, you’ll want to contact an air conditioning professional.

Water Leak

As your air conditioning system naturally works, it dehumidifies the air. The moisture that is pulled out of the air drips off the evaporator coils and down through the drainpipe to the drain. Over time, a combination of hard water, dirt, dust, other debris can create a sludge-like material that can clog the drainpipe or the drain.

It’s best to go in and try to remove any of the hard material that you can from the drainpipe or the drain. Then, use a solution of bleach and water to help flush out the remaining elements inside of the drain or the drain pipe.

Faulty Thermostat

If you go to turn your air conditioning system on and it doesn’t work, it could be due to a faulty thermostat. It’s best to head to your electrical panel that is usually located in your garage, crawl space, laundry room, or attic. Locate the circuit breaker for your air conditioning system and see if it’s tripped. If the circuit breaker isn’t tripped, then it’s an indication that your thermostat may need to be replaced.

Start by replacing the batteries in your thermostat to see if that makes a difference. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace the thermostat. Most homeowners will be able to replace a thermostat themselves as it’s only a couple of low-voltage wires. However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, it’s advisable to contact an air conditioning professional to handle the thermostat replacement for you.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

One problem that many homeowners tend to experience throughout the summer months is frozen evaporator coils. When your evaporator coils are frozen, your system won’t produce cold air. In most cases, a frozen evaporator coil is due to a dirty air filter combined with dirty evaporator coils. It’s best to go ahead and replace your air filter. You need to give your evaporator coils an hour or so to defrost before you turn your air conditioning system back on.

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Last Updated: February 22, 2024