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Common AC Problems: 10 Reasons Your AC is Not Working

Common Problems

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An air conditioning system is a common household appliance that makes sweltering summer days bearable, which is why it is frustrating when you encounter air conditioner problems that cause your AC unit to stop functioning properly.

Find out the most common air conditioner problems through our handy guide, and how you can solve them at home or through a Luce Aircon licensed HVAC professional:

Problem Possible Causes Solution
Noisy AC Loose parts or debris, Faulty fan blades, Malfunctioning condenser fan motor, Refrigerant leak Clean the AC unit to remove loose debris, and replace malfunctioning, broken parts.
Refrigerant Leak Wear and tear, Corrosion of refrigerant line Have an HVAC technician locate the leak, and fix the corrosion on the refrigerant line.
Dirty Air Filter Improper cleaning, Infrequent cleaning, High-pollutant area Clean the air filter every two weeks with soap and water.
AC Freezing Up Dirty filter, Refrigerant leaks, Leaking ducts, Clogged condenser coils Clean dirty filters and evaporator coils with a vacuum cleaner or compressed air. Have leaks fixed by a technician.
AC Not Blowing Cold Air Clogged filters, Low freon levels, Low thermostat batteries, Unsuitable cooling capacity Clean your AC unit and replace the batteries in the thermostat before taking the unit for repair.
AC Fan Not Spinning Folded or bent fan blades, Malfunctioning blower motor, Broken fan blades Open up the AC to bend the fan blades back into position, or replace the fan motor as needed.
AC Blowing Fuses High power demand, Extreme temperatures, AC overworking, Faulty capacitor You will need to contact an electrician or technician to fix the issue.
AC Smells Bad Refrigerant leaks, Mold growth, Stagnant water in drain line, Cigarette stains, Burnt parts or wiring issues Clean the unit for musty odors to remove mold growth. Check for burns or gas leaks and have these repaired.
AC Turning On and Off Dirty filters, Frozen evaporator coils, Failing parts Clean the unit, or contact an HVAC technician to diagnose the issue.

The Most Common AC Problems

#1 Noisy Air Conditioner

Possible Causes: Loose parts or debris, Faulty fan blades, Malfunctioning condenser fan motor, Refrigerant leak

The noise coming from your air conditioner may indicate a number of problems from loose debris to overworked parts. If your air conditioner is making rattling, clunking, or low whirring noises, it would be helpful to first figure out what issue you're dealing with. The issue may be as simple as debris stuck inside the unit, to broken parts that need replacing.

#2 Refrigerant Leak

Possible Causes: Wear and tear, Corrosion of refrigerant line

The refrigerant is what cools the air that goes into the room, and is one of the most essential components of an AC unit. Refrigerant leaks may happen when the unit is old or breaking down, and you will need to have a technician find the leak, and fix it.

#3 Dirty Air Filter

Possible Causes: Improper cleaning, Infrequent cleaning, High-pollutant area

The air filter can be easily cleaned without the assistance of a technician. A dirty air filter can be the start of a myriad of bigger issues with your AC unit, so it is best to keep the air filter clean by running the mesh through soap and water every two weeks.

#4 Air Conditioner Freezing Up

Possible Causes: Dirty filter, Refrigerant leaks, Leaking ducts, Clogged condenser coils

An air conditioner freezing up can be caused by multiple factors, but is often due to dirty air filters and evaporator coils. These can be cleaned at home with a vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust. For water leaks and other advanced problems, you may need to consult with one of our licensed technicians to diagnose the problem.

#5 Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air

Possible Causes: Clogged filters, Low freon levels, Low thermostat batteries, Unsuitable cooling capacity

Your air conditioning unit blowing hot air indicates a number of issues, but is commonly caused by clogged air filters, or a miscommunication with the thermostat settings. Clean your AC unit and replace the batteries in the thermostat before taking the unit for air conditioning repair.

#6 Air Conditioner Fan Not Spinning

Possible Causes: Folded or bent fan blades, Malfunctioning blower motor, Broken fan blades

Air conditioning systems have fans that blow the cooled air into the room. When the fan stops spinning, the cold air is trapped within the unit which may cause the AC to freeze up. You can opt to open up the AC to bend the fan blades back into position, or have a technician replace the fan motor as needed.

#7 Air Conditioner Blowing Fuses

Possible Causes: High power demand, Extreme temperatures, AC overworking, Faulty capacitor

An air conditioner may blow a fuse as the circuit breakers prevent electrical overload, but an AC that keeps blowing fuses may have a problem with its cooling system. The most common cause of blown AC fuses is an overworked AC that demands more power to cool the room properly. You will need to contact an electrician or technician to fix the issue.

#8 Air Conditioner Smells Bad

Possible Causes: Refrigerant leaks, Mold growth, Stagnant water in drain line, Cigarette stains, Burnt parts or wiring issues

An AC that smells off can be a cause for alarm. Knowing what the smell indicates is a way of diagnosing the issue from inside the air conditioning unit. A burning smell means something is burning inside, while a skunk or rotten egg smell indicates a gas leak. Musty smells mean mold and mildew is growing inside your unit.

#9 Air Conditioner Turning On and Off

Possible Causes: Dirty filters, Frozen evaporator coils, Failing parts

Air conditioners turning on and off abruptly are short cycling. This indicates that the filters may be dirty, causing the AC to malfunction, or there are parts that have broken down and would need replacement. Clean your unit to see if the issue blows over, and contact a licensed technician to diagnose the problem if the issue persists.

#10 Air Conditioner Not Working

Possible Causes: Faulty parts, Power outage, Tripped circuit breaker, Low batteries in thermostat, Miscommunication with thermostat

Air conditioners that refuse to work or even turn on cover a plethora of causes from tripped breaker to broken parts. Check for any tripped breakers, change the batteries in the thermostat sensor, clean the air filters, and do a hard reset as directed by your user's manual before calling a technician to solve the issue.

Tips on Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

Regular air conditioner maintenance is a must for any AC brand or model. Here are our best tips to prevent air conditioner problems, and maintain the good working condition of your AC unit:

  • Have your AC undergo a general cleaning twice a year (at least every 6 months).
  • Verse yourself in common air conditioning problems to be aware of symptoms to watch out for. This will alert you of any underlying problem with your unit, and prevent further damages.
  • Have your AC undergo a chemical cleaning at least once a year, especially for air conditioning units that are not regularly cleaned.
  • Clean the air filter every two weeks for optimal performance.
  • Avoid overloading circuit breakers. Unplug all unnecessary devices and appliances.
  • Avoid overworking the AC unit.

For all your aircon needs, Luce Aircon is here to provide you with top-quality cleaning and maintenance services for air conditioners across all models and brands! Our experienced HVAC professionals will get your AC up and running again as they diagnose, repair, and solve the issue for you.

Give us a call today, and we can schedule you an appointment at your most convenient time!


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Staff Writer

Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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