If you’re concerned that your central air-conditioning system could be failing, check out this practical guide with tips from HouseLogic and other experts. It offers possible causes for typical warning signs with traditionally recommended fixes and estimated industry prices. Luckily, many system malfunctions are easy, free, or inexpensive to resolve without replacing your unit. To schedule AC repairs, call Cooper Climate Control’s fast, honest, and reliable professionals at 480-460-7417.
1. Abnormal AC Operation
Problems: Radio signals and thunder can cause malfunctions.
Correction: When your system is operating erratically, resetting the breaker may restart normal operation.
Cost: None; if that’s ineffective, one of our skilled technicians can diagnose and fix your glitch.
2. Unexpected Service Halts
Reason: This isn’t an AC malfunction. When voltage fluctuates greatly, your air conditioner can quit operating temporarily to protect your system. It will restart automatically in around three minutes.
Solution: Just wait patiently.
3. Air Doesn’t Come on
Sources: You may have set your thermostat incorrectly, or power could have stopped reaching your AC unit.
Remedies: Be sure that your thermostat is set on “Cool,” programmed for a comfortable temperature, and has fresh batteries. Check your circuit breaker for a tripped fuse and flip it.
4. Worse Comfort Level than Last Year
Origin: Airflow issues are probably to blame.
Verdicts: Change dirty air filters. Then continue that habit regularly. Depending on filter quality and number of household residents and pets, you should perform this routine maintenance every month or two. Check your outdoor unit to see if it has 24 inches or more clearance around its sides plus 5 feet above it. If necessary, trim obstructing foliage. Also remove anything blocking your home’s air registers and returns.
5. Water Puddles
Causes: Normal AC system operation generates condensation, which a drain pan collects. That water flows through a tube to drip outside. Indoor water accumulations signal blockages or tube disconnections.
Fixes: Inspect the drain line for clogs, crimps, and disconnections. If you have a sump basin, make sure that its sump pump is working properly.
Estimates: Free (blockage cleanout); $20 (tube replacement); $40-$110 (condensate sump pump replacement)
6. Air Isn’t Cool Enough
Problem: Your refrigerant lines probably are uninsulated.
Corrections: The refrigerant lines connecting your outdoor unit to your indoor system should have insulating sleeves. Your system also might need a refrigerant recharge.
Costs: $5 (insulating sleeves); $150 (system recharge)
7. Unusually High Utility Bills
Reasons: If the cost of running your air conditioning spikes, you can blame inefficient operation usually. Dirty air filters (problem #4) could be at fault. An outdoor unit’s clogged condenser coil ranks as the second most probable issue. When countless cooling fins accumulate dust particles and debris, cleaning is necessary.
Solution: Call Cooper Climate Control for a tune-up.
8. Unit Turns off Too Soon
Source: An improperly placed thermostat can measure air temperatures incorrectly, compromising your comfort. It shouldn’t receive indirect sunlight or be near your oven or any air register.
Remedy: Relocate your thermostat to a better place.
Prices: Free (DIY install reusing your unit); under $250 (new programmable thermostat) plus $90 (professional installation)
9. Weird Startup and Operating Noises
Origins: Loose screws can cause rattling, ticking, and buzzing sounds. Or you may have a more serious situation like a bad indoor blower motor or bent outside fan blade. High refrigerant pressure during certain cooling cycle stages can cause bubbling and hissing sounds. But a hissing compressor indicates a leaking valve unless the unit is malfunctioning.
Other noises aren’t malfunctions. Electrical parts engaging and the refrigerant control valve working may cause clicking sounds. Flowing refrigerant can mimic the sound of running water. Whooshing noises indicate changing refrigerant flow. When your air conditioner shrinks or expands slightly with temperature changes, pinging sounds may occur.
Verdicts: Hopefully, tightening and lubricating parts will silence any annoying clatter. If not, replacing your motor or fan blade may be necessary. Refrigerant pressure and compressor issues need prompt professional repairs.
Rates: $75-$150 (inspection with tune-up); $150-$750 (replace blower motor); $150 (system recharge)
10. AC Unit Won’t Kick On
Cause: Most likely, you have a burnt-out compressor.
Fix: The average lifespan for air-conditioning units is around 12 years. If your compressor fails, you’re without air conditioning. Your only option is to replace your equipment.
Estimates: $600-$1900 (plus parts, refrigerant, and labor)