Top 5 Questions and Answers about Air Conditioning Problems

HVAC tech demonstrating how to use a thermostat to two homeowners

If your air conditioning system isn’t cooling or isn’t working at all, check out our interactive photo that helps troubleshoot the top 5 most common AC problems..

When you fire up your AC, does your cooling system sound like a velociraptor is trapped inside it? Are there bumps and groans you’ve never heard before? Is the cooling just not cool? Your system might be falling prey to one of five common problems. Troubleshoot these issues with tips from Russ Katsov, an HVAC expert for Sears Home Services.

1. Why is my AC not working at all?

If your AC just doesn’t work, period, your first line of defense is to make sure the thermostat is set to Cool. If so, next check the circuit breaker. If the breaker is in the On position, check the batteries in your thermostat (if it has batteries). Still nothing? Call in an expert.

2. Why is my AC cooling unevenly?

One room in your house is freezing, another is a sauna. First, make sure the supply vent is open. If so, check for gaps in visible ductwork or insulation? Leaks in ductwork and insulation are some of the top causes of uneven cooling.

3. Why is my AC not cooling my home?

Have you changed the air filter in the last few months? Do that first. If it’s still not cooling, your thermostat might be the problem. If everything’s working there, head outside. What’s the state of affairs with the AC unit itself? Any overgrown plants? Is anything leaking? If you can’t find anything obviously amiss, call a heating and cooling technician.

4. Why is my AC leaking water?

Drips and leaks can be caused by a clogged filter, a cracked drain line or insulation pulling away from the refrigerant lines. Visually check for these issues. If you can’t see the source of the problem, call a heating and cooling expert for help.

5. Why are the AC coils frozen?

Frozen coils are typically caused by low refrigerant or restricted airflow. To check for restricted airflow, inspect the filter first to make sure it’s not clogged. If the filter is dirty, clean it or replace it. Then put your hand by the supply vents to make sure you have good airflow coming out. If the filter is clean and you have no airflow, take a look at the ductwork to see if there are any crushed or disconnected sections. If you can’t see anything, call in an expert.

Sometimes, common air conditioning problems have easy fixes. Do your heating and cooling system a favor and make sure you’ve got a clean filter and proper airflow. Book an HVAC preventive maintenance check, repair or replacement today.

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