Over the years, we’ve repaired a lot of different kinds of common AC problems. If you have a complex system, there’s a higher risk of problems. Knowing the symptoms and what the problems are can possibly add a few years of life to your system. You could be saving other parts in the process. Here are some of the most common AC problems we’ve seen. 

Energy.gov tells us that an air conditioner that is low on refrigerant has two possible causes. Either it was undercharged at installation or it leaks. If it leaks, simply adding refrigerant is not a solution. A trained technician should fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Remember that the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner is greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification. 

Broken Thermometer

In most AC systems, a properly functioning thermometer is key; without it, most systems don’t know when to turn on. A broken thermometer can cause a system to turn on and off for no reason. The sensors on these thermometers do have a long life expectancy, but sometimes they break earlier than they should. If you look at the thermometer and it says it’s 72º but it feels like 78º, then it’s possible that the thermometer’s sensor is broken.

Loud Air Conditioners

Loud air conditioners are common – maybe because they are supposed to make noise. However, sometimes the systems are unusually loud.  That can indicate a problem. There are several reasons why a system would be uncharacteristically loud. The most common sounds are:

  • Rattling
  • Grinding
  • Popping
  • Hissing

Typically, when you hear one of these sounds you need to check and clean:

  • Ductwork 
  • Fans
  • Exterior Vents

Dust, debris and, in some cases, rodents can cause a clogged system, causing strange noises. One of the most common complaints is the exterior unit making a loud rattling noise. Most people tell us it sounds like something came loose. Although it’s possible something is loose, most of the time it’s debris flying around inside the system. The fans cut on and the debris can’t escape. A quick cleaning and checkup will get you going again. 

Blowing Warm Air

One of the biggest complaints about an AC system is that it is blowing warm air. We see this on a regular basis. Before you fret about having to buy a new AC unit, check your system’s thermostat to make sure it is set properly. Make sure your thermostat is set to “Auto” and “Cool” with the temperature you want. If it’s on “Fan” or anything about recirculating only, that is the problem. 

There are some other very common AC problems that cause the unit to blow warm air, such as:

  • Refrigerant Leaks
  • Frozen Units 
  • Blown Breaker
  • Broken Compressor

These things need a professionally trained technician to repair.

AC Smells Bad

Unlike the loud noises, bad smells are not a normal part of an air conditioner’s cooling process. If there is a musty smell it’s likely the cause of a water leak. And here in Florida, mold buildup can happen quickly. It’s unhealthy to breathe as well. 

If the smell is similar to rotten eggs, then there is a natural gas leak.  Those are very dangerous. Shut off the unit and leave the house. You may also smell a burning smell. These burns are generally after-effects of the danger, but should not be ignored regardless. Burning smells only come from burns, and burns only come from fires.

These kinds of smells usually come from leaks in the system, faulty wiring, or poor installation. Sometimes the unit was manufactured or transported poorly. Regular maintenance and system tune-ups can detect these problems before they become serious and expensive.

If you have questions, contact us at Leonards Air. We can help you diagnose and treat these common AC problems.

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