Is your air conditioning system still going strong? Has your fan stopped working? What about a refrigerant leak?

No matter what problems develop with your air conditioner, it’s important to deal with the issue quickly and effectively.

While you may not be able to troubleshoot your air conditioner issue on your own, there are a couple helpful tips that can help you narrow down the problem. If you want to solve your air conditioner problem, continue reading for the most common air conditioning problems and their potential solutions.

1. Condenser Doesn’t Turn On

The outdoor condenser does a lot of work. There are many problems that can develop, but the first thing you want to check for is if the ac unit is receiving proper power or not. Is it plugged in? Does the thermostat have batteries?

Check the breaker or fuse box if the unit isn’t receiving any power.

If it’s the air conditioner, try lowering the temperature around 5 degrees to see if it turns on. If it’s the heater, try raising the temperature 5 degrees to see if it turns on.

If the problems persist, you may have an issue with a faulty motor or bad compressor. After confirming the issue doesn’t have to do with the thermostat or power source, contact a professional to investigate further.

2. Air Isn’t Cold Enough

If the temperature in your home isn’t as low as you want it to be, check the thermostat first. Is it set to the right temperature? Did someone one reset the programmable thermostat? Is it low on battery? Is it receiving “ghost readings” from sunlight or another heat source?

Try lowering the thermostat by 5 degrees or so to see if the AC turns on. If you need to relocate your thermostat because it is near a window, draft, appliance, or anything else that affects its temperature reading, contact a professional.

If your air conditioner is actually blowing warm air, contact a professional. You may have a refrigerant leak that needs to be repaired and recharged.

3. Low/Weak Airflow

If your air conditioner is producing cool air, but there’s barely any air flow, try the following DIY fixes before calling a professional:

Replace the air filter. A dirty, clogged air filter can impede airflow and cause many problems.
Open all vents and registers. Go around your home and make sure no vents are being blocked. This will improve air circulation and reduce the risk of air duct leaks.
Seal air duct leaks. While you can DIY seal many air duct leaks with mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape, it’s preferable to schedule professional air duct cleaning.

Weak airflow can also indicate AC compressor failure. Contact a professional if none of the above solutions work. And make sure you are scheduling regular AC tune-ups in the spring of every year.

4. Loud/Strange Noises

Often you can hear air conditioning problems, such as loose parts. If you are hearing buzzing, hissing, squealing, rattling, or humming sounds, contact your local HVAC expert to take a look. Slipping belts and loose components can cause expensive damage. We recommend turning your air conditioner off until a professional has had a chance to take a look.

5. Rising Electric Bill

If your electrical bills are going up and up, it’s time to nip it in the bud. There are many reasons why you may have high electrical bills including insufficient insulation or an AC unit in need or repair or replacement.

Either way, it’s a good idea to contact a professional. They will be able to assess your home for energy leaks, ductwork problems, insulation levels, AC efficiency, and much more.

6. Freon and Condensate Leaks

Any moisture around your HVAC system is a problem. When it comes to your air conditioner, the two most likely culprits are refrigerant leaks and condensate leaks.

Here are some signs that you have a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner:

Home takes a long time to cool
Electrical bill is rising
Warm air comes out of your vents
Frozen evaporator coils on inside unit or ice on outdoor refrigerant line
Hissing or bubbling noises

Refrigerant is poisonous and can present a major safety hazard for pets and children. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact a professional right away.

Another cause of water around your AC unit is a problem with your condensate drain pan or drain line. Water that condenses around your indoor evaporator coils drips down into the drain pan. The condensate, which is just water, is supposed to drain out of the home via the condensate drain line.

If the pan or drain line is clogged, blocked, or leaking, water can end up on the floor around your indoor air handler. Either way, it’s a good idea to contact a professional.

Learn more about why your air conditioner is leaking and what to do about it.

Common Air Conditioner Repair and Replacement Signs
Warm air
Weak airflow
Inaccurate or nonworking thermostat
Loud noises
Strange odors
Frequent repairs
Low or high humidity
Refrigerant leaks
Condensate leaks
High or rising energy bills
More than 10 years old
How to Prevent Air Conditioner Failure
Schedule a professional air conditioning tune-up in the early spring.

Check your air filter every 30 days and wait no longer than 90 days to clean or replace it.
Find and seal attic air leaks and add extra insulation if necessary.
Seal duct leaks and air leaks around the home.
Consult a professional HVAC technician.

If your air conditioner isn’t working properly and you live in the Birmingham, AL area, contact OnTime Service.


Call OnTime Service at 205-942-1405 to schedule your next HVAC, electrical, and plumbing service. We can help protect your home from flooding damages, install sump pumps, and much more!