Top 5 Questions and Answers About Air Conditioning Problems

HVAC tech demonstrating how to use a thermostat to two homeowners

Is your air conditioning system not cooling or not working at all? Check out our interactive photo that helps troubleshoot five frequently asked questions about AC problems.

When it comes time to fire up your AC for the season, does your cooling system sound like a velociraptor is trapped inside it? Are there bumps and groans you’ve never heard the unit make 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, a HVAC expert for Sears Home Services.

1. Why is my AC not working at all?

LIKELY CULPRIT: If your AC just doesn’t work, period, your first line of defense is checking the batteries in your thermostat. If the batteries are good, check your system’s circuit breaker. If that’s fine, make sure it’s set to “cool.” Still nothing? Call in an expert.

2. Why is my AC providing uneven cooling in my home?

LIKELY CULPRIT: One room in your house is freezing, another is a sauna. What’s up with that? Check a few things. Is your ductwork intact? What about your insulation? Leaks in ductwork and insulation are some of the top causes of uneven cooling.

3. Why is my AC not cooling my home?

LIKELY CULPRIT: 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?

LIKELY CULPRIT: 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 does my AC have frozen coils?

LIKELY CULPRIT: Frozen coils are typically caused by low refrigerant or restricted airflow. To check for restricted airflow, inspect the filter first to make sure it is 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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