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Common Air Conditioner Problems and How to Fix Them

Air conditioners are essential for maintaining comfort in Arizona’s scorching climate. However, like any mechanical system, they can experience problems that disrupt their performance. Understanding these common issues and knowing how to address them can save you from discomfort and costly repairs. This article provides practical solutions for common air conditioner problems, ensuring your home stays cool and comfortable.

Understanding How Air Conditioners Work

Air conditioners function by extracting heat from the indoor air and releasing it outside. The key components include the evaporator coil, condenser coil, compressor, and refrigerant. The evaporator coil absorbs heat, and the refrigerant carries this heat to the condenser coil, where it is released outside. Understanding these basics helps in identifying and addressing issues effectively.

Common Air Conditioner Problems

1. Air Conditioner Not Cooling

One of the most common issues is when the air conditioner fails to cool the air. This can be due to several reasons such as dirty filters, low refrigerant levels, or thermostat issues.

  • Solutions:
    • Check and Replace Air Filters: Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce cooling efficiency. Replace filters every 1-3 months.
    • Inspect Refrigerant Levels: Low refrigerant levels indicate a leak. This requires a professional ac repair services to locate and repair the leak and recharge the system.
    • Verify Thermostat Settings: Ensure the thermostat is set to “cool” and the temperature is set lower than the current room temperature. If the thermostat is faulty, it may need replacement.

2. Air Conditioner Making Strange Noises

Unusual noises such as banging, clicking, or buzzing can indicate various issues, from loose parts to mechanical failures.

  • Solutions:
    • Tighten Loose Parts: Inspect and tighten any loose screws or bolts.
    • Inspect for Debris or Obstructions: Remove any debris from the outdoor unit and ensure there is no obstruction.
    • Call a Technician: Persistent or unusual noises may indicate a more serious issue that requires professional inspection.

3. Water Leaks Around the Air Conditioner

Water leaks are often caused by a clogged drain line or frozen evaporator coils.

  • Solutions:
    • Clear the Condensate Drain Line: Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear any blockages.
    • Check and Replace Air Filter: A dirty filter can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Replace the filter and ensure proper airflow.
    • Ensure Proper Airflow: Make sure vents are open and unblocked to prevent freezing.

4. Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air

When the AC blows warm air, it could be due to refrigerant leaks or dirty condenser coils.

  • Solutions:
    • Check Thermostat Settings: Ensure the thermostat is set to “cool” mode.
    • Clean the Condenser Coils: Dirty coils reduce efficiency. Clean the coils with a garden hose but be gentle to avoid damaging the fins.
    • Call a Professional: For refrigerant issues, professional help is needed to locate the leak and recharge the system.

5. Air Conditioner Cycling On and Off Frequently

Known as short cycling, this problem can be caused by an oversized unit, thermostat issues, or airflow problems.

  • Solutions:
    • Ensure Thermostat is Properly Located: Avoid placing the thermostat near heat sources or in direct sunlight.
    • Check and Replace Air Filter: Ensure the filter is clean and not restricting airflow.
    • Consult a Professional: Evaluate if the system is the correct size for your home. An oversized unit may need to be replaced.

6. AC Unit Not Turning On

This could be due to thermostat issues, a tripped circuit breaker, or faulty wiring.

  • Solutions:
    • Check and Replace Thermostat Batteries: Ensure the batteries are working.
    • Reset the Circuit Breaker: If tripped, switch it off and then back on.
    • Consult a Technician: For wiring issues, professional inspection is needed​.

7. Compressor Issues

A non-functioning compressor can result from a burned wire, defective start capacitor, or simply a faulty compressor.

  • Solutions:
    • Adjust Refrigerant Charge: Ensure the refrigerant levels are correct.
    • Clean Condenser Coil: Regular cleaning can prevent issues.
    • Replace the Compressor: If necessary, have a professional replace the compressor​​.

8. Tripped Circuit Breaker

Can be caused by short circuits, overloading, or dirty condenser coils.

  • Solutions:
    • Replace Air Filters: Prevent overloading.
    • Clean Condenser Coils: Ensure they are free from debris.
    • Consult an Electrician: For persistent issues

Preventative Maintenance Tips

  • Regularly Change Air Filters: Clean filters are crucial for efficient operation. Replace them every 1-3 months to ensure good airflow and performance.
  • Schedule Annual Professional Maintenance: Regular professional check-ups can prevent issues before they become serious. Key tasks include checking refrigerant levels, cleaning coils, and inspecting the system for wear and tear.
  • Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean: Ensure there is no debris around the outdoor unit. Keep vegetation trimmed back at least 2 feet for proper airflow.
  • Check Thermostat Settings and Functionality: Ensure the thermostat is functioning correctly. Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat for better control and efficiency.

When to Call a Professional

If you experience issues such as strange noises, refrigerant leaks, or persistent problems that don’t respond to basic troubleshooting, it’s time to call a professional. Timely repairs prevent further damage and ensure your system runs efficiently.


Addressing air conditioner problems promptly can prevent discomfort and expensive repairs. Regular maintenance and timely professional help keep your system running smoothly. For expert air conditioning services in Arizona, contact your local provider today.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I change my air filter?

Replace air filters every 1-3 months depending on usage and environmental factors.

2. What are the signs of a refrigerant leak?

Common indicators include a hissing sound, frozen coils, and reduced cooling efficiency.

3. How can I improve my air conditioner’s efficiency?

Regular maintenance, clean filters, and proper thermostat settings can significantly improve efficiency.

Contact Us for Professional AC Services

For expert air conditioning services in Arizona, call 1-480-833-2665 or contact us online to schedule your service with JDL refrigeration. Our team of certified professionals is ready to help you with all your AC maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

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