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Troubleshooting Central Air Conditioning Problems

6 Typical Air Conditioner Problems With Possible Solutions

Central Air Conditioning is one of those things that you miss the most only have you don’t have it. This is especially true on the first few hot and humid spring and summer days when you first try to turn on your system and nothing happens! A typical central air conditioner will only last between 12 to 15 years, so if your AC unit is about this old you may want to start budgeting for a new one. However, before you call a professional HVAC technician here are six typical Air Conditioner problems with possible solutions:Troubleshooting Central Air Conditioning Problems

Problem #1: Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On.

Possible Solutions:

  • Make sure the thermostat is set to “Cool” not “Heat” or “Off”.
  • Be sure the thermostat is set below the current room temperature.
  • Check the circuit breaker that controls the air conditioning unit and the one that controls the furnace. Reset any popped fuses or replace damaged ones. If the problem persists, call a professional HVAC technician to take a look.
  • Turn all the switches around the cooling unit to the ‘on’ position, including the external safety switch. This is usually located on an outside wall next to the condenser.
  • Check the overflow tray. Sometimes if there’s too much water in this tray the unit will automatically shut off.
  • Check the blower door on the air handler; it should be closed securely.

Problem #2: Air Flow From The Cooling Vents Is Poor.

Possible Solutions:

  • Make sure the air filter is clean. Replace it or clean it if it’s dirty.
  • Visually inspect ductwork to make sure everything’s properly connected. Check ducts in attics, crawlspaces, basements, and other hard to reach spots.
  • Make sure registers in each room are open.

Problem #3: Air Conditioner Doesn’t Dehumidify Adequately.

Possible Solutions:

  • The only real solution to this problem is to replace your AC unit with one that’s properly sized for your home. A unit that’s not pulling moisture from the air is likely too large for your space. You could try increasing the load on the system by expanding ductwork into your garage, basement or attic.

Problem #4: Air Conditioner Doesn’t Dehumidify Adequately, And It Is The Right Size.

Possible Solutions:

  • If you know your AC unit is the right size for your home but you’ve still got excess moisture in the house, you may be dealing with excessive humidity caused by open windows, water leaks, or a lack of proper condensation drainage from the furnace’s evaporator coil.
  • Ensure all windows are closed so humid air can’t get into your house.
  • Make sure the drainage system is working.
  • Boost dehumidifying power with a portable dehumidifier in areas that are particularly susceptible to excess moisture.

Problem #5: AC Doesn’t Provide Adequate Cooling With A Long “On” Cycle.

Possible Solutions:

  • If your compressor is running a long ‘on’ cycle but isn’t doing much in the way of cooling, it’s likely that the compressor is worn out and has lost the ability to process refrigerant effectively.
  • Call a professional HVAC technician to take a look and probably replace the worn part.

Problem #6: Air Conditioner Runs A Very Short “On” Cycle.

Possible Solutions:

  • Make sure there’s nothing blocking the thermostat.
  • Condensing fins that are bent, dirty or otherwise obstructed can interfere with the cooling cycle. Check the outside condensing unit and fix bent fins with a fin comb.
  • Check the air filter and replace it if it’s dirty.
  • Call a service technician to check the refrigerant charge, to look for refrigerant leaks, or to replace a condensing unit that’s too large for your home.

Contact Horizon Services

So, if you are ready to install or replace your home’s air conditioner or heater system, please contact Horizon Services. Our friendly and experienced team of Home Comfort Consultants knows air conditioning and heating systems inside and out. They’ll take the time to study your home, understand your cooling and heating requirements, show you all of your options and assist you with finding the quality home comfort system that best meets your family’s needs and budget.


Additional Information from Horizon Services…




(11) Comments

  1. Annapolis Heating and Air May 4th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    It’s great for homeowners to know they don’t have to be calling a technician every time they have a problem with their AC unit. These tips are helpful to run through and double check if there are problems, allowing the owner to make the corrections on his own. And if these don’t work, he can safely call a technician, knowing he’s not asking him out for a minor issue.

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  2. Troubleshooting HVAC May 10th, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Very nice blog article.

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    Feedback: 1 positive
  3. Miami Air Conditioning Companies May 10th, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Nice blog, I would like to tell you that you have given me much knowledge about it. Thanks for everything.

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    Feedback: 1 positive
  4. Tallin May 30th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    What a great troubleshooting blog article.

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  5. Central Air Conditioning September 6th, 2012 at 7:20 am

    This is a great article.

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  6. Jared Lehn December 13th, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Thank you for your valuable tips and advice.

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    Feedback: 1 positive
  7. NameAir Temperature Specialists February 16th, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Excellent piece of information. I will certainly take note of these useful tips.

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  8. Air Conditioning October 17th, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Troubleshooting Central Air Conditioning Problems in your Horizon Comfort Zone.

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  9. San Francisco Air Conditioning January 29th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Hello! Would you mind if I share youur blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Cheers.

    Horizon Services Note: Yes, please feel free to share our blog with your Twitter group.

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  10. Name June 22nd, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Unit out back freeze up after a couple days, then we reset and couple days later it does it again. Does anyone know what is causing this?

    Horizon Services Note: There are several common problems that can cause an air conditioner to freeze-up, including Insufficient Air Flow, Problems With The System’s Refrigeration, and or Outdoor Temperature.

    For more information, please visit: http://www.horizonservicesinc.com/reference/tips-articles/frozen-air-conditioner.

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  11. Troubleshooting July 30th, 2014 at 2:09 am

    You can definitely see your expertise within the article you write.

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