Randy Wolf

Tips About Air Conditioner Problems

Air conditioning is a gift of modern technology. It allows us to remain comfortable even when thermometers rise to extremes at the peak of summer. Most people aren’t concerned about the intricacies of the system. They are happy as long as it cools them down day after day. Although air conditioners are quite reliable, they can run into problems throughout their lifespan. Breakdowns can even happen when you need them the most. Fortunately, not all problems call for the help of a professional HVAC technician.

Many homeowners can fix the most common issues if they have the motivation to do so. All they need is basic information on how to solve malfunctions. Indeed, many are keen to do it themselves since they can save money and get their family’s gratitude. However, there are also complex repairs that can only be performed by highly trained professionals. Never compromise personal safety while you chase savings. Being cheap can backfire and prove to be more costly. Here we will talk about a few common AC issues and solutions that you may do on your own. We will also discuss problems that require professional attention, so read on for tips about air conditioner problems.

Your Air Conditioner Doesn’t Turn On.

When it gets hot, your first instinct will be to turn on the air conditioner so that it can cool the house down. However, you may be surprised that nothing happens no matter what you do. You cannot feel the cold air from the vents. The condenser unit is not showing any signs of movement.


Often, people will start to panic right away before they even have the chance to check the basics. The first thing you need to do is check the thermostat and read the temperature. Perhaps it isn’t set low enough to trigger a response from the system. Try to change the settings to a lower temperature and see if the condenser turns on. If nothing changes, you can shift your focus to the circuit breaker.

Circuit Breaker

Central air conditioners are known to consume a massive amount of energy. Sometimes the surge can trip the circuit breaker, which prevents the system from turning on. This often happens in older homes because their electrical systems were not built to handle the load. You can confirm this by going outside and looking for the circuit breaker next to the condenser unit. Open the door of this box and see if the circuit was tripped. Go to the home’s main circuit breaker and check if everything is alright. Reset all broken circuits and go back to the thermostat to try starting the cooling cycle. This should get things back to normal. If it doesn’t, then you may need professional help.

If you have already tweaked the thermostat settings and reset the breakers without seeing any changes, then there may be a deeper underlying issue that is out of your scope. An HVAC technician needs to look at the system to determine whether this is a motor malfunction, a broken compressor, or some other failure.

Your Air Conditioner Doesn’t Cool

Another common issue is that you turn on the AC, and it responds, but it doesn’t provide enough cooling for the house.


We return to the usual suspect, which is the thermostat. Troubleshooting should begin by reducing the temperature setting by 5 degrees or more. Give the system about an hour to cool the house down and check if you feel the difference. If nothing changed, then you can move on to the evaporator coil.

Evaporator Coil

As Pride AC says (a Port St Lucie air conditioning company), “Check whether your central AC has an evaporator coil that you can access. If it does, then you should be able to clean this yourself. You will be able to see the coil on top of the air handler. Just remove a few screws and the foil insulation. A stiff brush works best. Use gentle strokes to avoid damage. You can also add a bit of bleach to the tray for disinfection. Once you’re done, replace the screws and seal the leaks using duct tape. This is usually enough to make the system run more efficiently. If it isn’t, then you need to call a technician.”

The inability of an air conditioner to produce sufficient cold air may be a symptom of a bigger problem. For example, perhaps there is a system leak that led to a significant loss in refrigerant. A technician will have to top it up until the normal level is achieved.

Since breakdowns are disruptive, the best repair strategy is to prevent common problems from happening in the first place. Reduce the risk with annual air conditioner maintenance work. This will boost the system’s efficiency and keep it running well for many years. It is possible to do the maintenance work yourself, but most people choose to let a professional handle the matter. After all, most HVAC companies offer this service at a low fee while providing advanced services. They can do so much more than the average homeowner, thanks to their equipment, knowledge, and experience. Expect to pay $70 to $150 for maintenance service.

Those planning to do maintenance work, troubleshooting, or cleaning should first read the owner’s manual for directions. Turn the power off before doing anything just to be on the safe side. Be sure to stay within your comfort zone. If you encounter things that are too complicated, you should call the professionals to take over. This is the smartest thing to do since it will shield you from harm, prevent further damage to the unit, and result in faster resolution.

All About AC Evaporator Coil Leaks

Every air conditioner features an evaporator coil. This coil circulates the coolant throughout a loop system, and this is the mechanism that cools the air moving through your office or home. Should your evaporator coil leak, you shouldn’t panic. Here is what you have to do: call a trusted HVAC technician, and your evaporator coil will start working again just like that.

How Does A Leak Happen?

Your HVAC system normally circulates the air moving it through its ducts and uses a coolant to absorb heat from the air indoors. During your day to day activities, it is reasonable to use aerosol air fresheners, adhesives for DIY projects, cleaning products, and so on. Most of these chemicals contain VOCs, Volatile Organic Compounds, which combine with the moisture in the air and produce acids. These acids form tiny pinhole leaks in your system’s coil, which are called Formicary Tunneling Corrosion. This corrosion allows outside air enters your home and slow refrigerant leak. This leak damages the environment as well as your home’s cooling system.

The main issue here is that most homeowners aren’t aware if they face refrigerant leaks or not. These copper coil holes are minuscule and can hardly be seen by the naked eye. The evaporator coil isn’t visible to a person staring at the HVAC system. This is why experienced HVAC professionals perform leak diagnosis.

Evaporator Coil Leak Signs

In humid areas, most homeowners use their AC systems during a long summer season, extending from late spring to early fall. The first refrigerant leak signal you will notice is your air conditioner taking longer to cool down your home. Once your system has less and less refrigerant circulating, the AC needs to work harder and longer to perform its duty. The result is uncomfortable, warmer temperatures inside your home.

Another coolant leak signal happens right when you turn on the AC or lower the set temperature in your thermostat. You should feel the cool air blowing right then and there. If the airflow is weak or doesn’t start immediately, that is another sign of a possible refrigerant leak. Other symptoms include warm air that comes out of the vents, frozen evaporator coils or a hissing noise coming from the outdoor unit, and even unpleasant smells when you turn on the air conditioner.

Some of these signals could also indicate different problems with your air conditioning unit. Nevertheless, warm air blowing from your vents with the cooling system on is always a bad sign. If this is your case, turn off your AC immediately to avoid further damage and call an HVAC professional ASAP for an inspection.

Sometimes homeowners compare their AC systems to their cars and think as if they “ran out of refrigerant” when they lack cool air. The problem with this reasoning is that the coolant inside the AC is continuously reused and never consumed. The only reason for a cooling system without refrigerant is a leak. If you have called HVAC technicians who told you to refill your system, they should also patch up holes or replace the evaporator coil. Otherwise, the leak will continue, and it is a matter of time before you have the same issue again.

What Should I Do?

If you see your situation described above and you believe you have a refrigerant leak, call us. One of our technicians will visit your home or office and check your system for leaks. If that turns to be the case, usually the best option is an evaporator coil replacement.

Some technicians try to patch up or seal holes and add more refrigerant, but it is very likely the refrigerant continues to leak, and you will waste money on electricity and continuous repairs. While a new evaporator coil isn’t a bargain, it will allow you to move on without further leaks.

Performing regular maintenance on your HVAC system is also a proactive move to ensure it is always in good condition. Another good step is to change the air filters monthly to keep the air flowing efficiently and catch dirt, dust, debris, pet hair, dander, pollen, and so on.

Call an HVAC technician twice a year to perform a thorough examination. He will be able to identify potential issues and give you options before you have to spend too much. Routine maintenance servicing can also include an evaporator coil cleaning with a solution to remove dust and dirt and neutralize the acid that causes leaks.

Clean coils transfer heat more efficiently, so the system works more effectively during less time. It also reduces stress on the tubing, which reduces the chances of the refrigerant leaking out.

Cleaning your air ducts regularly also improves your system’s airflow efficiency. All the dust, dirt, pollen, and debris result in obstacles to the airflow inside your home’s or office’s system. Not to mention the increase in the indoor air quality you and your family breathe, thus avoiding potential health and allergy issues by removing the dust and pollen from the ducts before they contaminate the indoor air.

How Can I Prevent Refrigerant From Leaking?

In case you replace your evaporator coil, avoid using the same products that emit VOCs and caused the refrigerant leak. If that is not a choice, you should consider adding a Whole-Home Air Purifying System to filter these VOCs before they enter the HVAC system. Some air purifiers neutralize VOCs with UV light. Allowing fresh air indoors by opening windows dilutes the VOCs presence and may help mitigate the problem.

Regularly cleaning and inspecting your coils are another two ways to maintain the system and reducing leaking risks. In this case, however, avoid taking the DIY route and cleaning the coils by yourself because you could cause more significant damage, which could be costlier to repair. Opening sections of the outdoor unit to locate the coils should be a task performed by experienced professionals.