Common Reasons for AC Failure

April 03, 2024


Common Reasons for AC Failure

You rely on air conditioning to keep your Omaha-area home comfortable all summer. If your air conditioner is broken, everything else goes on hold until you can get the cold air flowing again. Learn the eight most common causes of AC failure and use these tips to help you troubleshoot the problem.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Cause: A circuit breaker can trip if your air conditioner draws too much power or a short circuit occurs in the electrical system.

Symptoms: You may have a tripped circuit breaker if the AC refuses to turn on or shuts off suddenly.

Solution: Find your main electrical panel and reset the circuit breaker. Flip it fully off, and then back to the on position. If the circuit breaker trips again, you may need a licensed electrician to fix the underlying issue.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Cause: A faulty or poorly calibrated thermostat can cause the air conditioner to cycle on and off frequently, not turn on at all, or run for extended periods.

Symptoms: Watch out for uneven cooling, increased energy bills, and thermostat readings that don’t match the indoor temperature.

Solution: You’ll need to either replace the thermostat or hire a technician to recalibrate it.

Clogged Air Filter

Cause: A clogged air filter can lead to air conditioning failure because it restricts airflow, causing the air conditioner to work harder and increasing wear and tear.

Symptoms: The filter may be clogged if you notice reduced airflow, higher energy bills, and poor indoor air quality.

Solution: Check the air filter and replace it if it appears dirty. To prevent this problem from recurring, make a habit of checking the filter once a month and changing it as needed.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Cause: A frozen evaporator coil is a common reason for AC failure. This indoor air conditioning component absorbs heat from the air as it blows past the refrigerant-filled coil. If the coil becomes too cold due to poor airflow or a low refrigerant charge, it can freeze.

Symptoms: Signs of a frozen evaporator coil include decreased airflow, warm air blowing from the vents, and water leaking around the AC as the ice melts.

Solution: Call a professional to diagnose and fix the underlying cause. In the meantime, turn off the air conditioner to avoid damaging the compressor and let the ice melt. Feel free to use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

Low Refrigerant Charge

Cause: Refrigerant is the key to air conditioning. If the system is leaky or undercharged, your AC will not function properly.

Symptoms: Weak airflow, warm air blowing from your vents, or hissing sounds coming from the AC unit could signal a low refrigerant charge.

Solution: Call an HVAC technician to fix the leak, if present, and recharge the system. If you have an older air conditioner running on a phased-out refrigerant, now may be the time to replace your AC.

Dirty or Blocked Condenser Coil

Cause: The condenser coil is located in the outdoor AC unit, where it releases heat collected from the indoor air. This heat transfer can’t occur efficiently if the coil is dirty or blocked.

Symptoms: Watch for comfort problems, high energy bills, and a dirty outdoor condensing unit.

Solution: Maintain your condenser by clearing away loose debris around the unit and hosing it down to remove dirt, cobwebs, and grass clippings. Then, keep surrounding vegetation trimmed back at least two feet to promote proper airflow.

Damaged Internal Components

Cause: A damaged compressor, fan motor, or condenser coil can lead to reduced efficiency or a complete AC unit breakdown.

Symptoms: Internal components could be damaged if you notice reduced cooling capacity, higher energy costs, and strange noises or smells coming from your air conditioner.

Solution: Turn off the AC and call a professional to diagnose and fix the problem. Your technician will inspect the equipment thoroughly and recommend the most cost-effective repair.

Electrical Issues

Cause: Damaged wiring, faulty capacitors, or malfunctioning relays can cause AC failure. These electrical issues may reduce efficiency or cause the air conditioner to stop functioning altogether.

Symptoms: The signs of electrical issues include strange noises, burning odors, reduced cooling capacity, and an AC that won’t turn on.

Solution: Electrical issues require professional attention. Call an HVAC technician to check the electrical system and perform the necessary repairs.

Schedule AC Repair in Omaha, NE

If your AC unit is broken, turn to Aksarben ARS for professional AC repair in Omaha and La Vista. Our team of experienced HVAC technicians can diagnose and fix any cooling problem, from a low refrigerant charge to a faulty thermostat. With 24/7 emergency services available, you can count on us when you need us most. We also provide preventative maintenance to help you avoid future air conditioner problems. Call us today at 402-401-4960 or contact us online to request AC services.

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Last Updated: May 13, 2024