Three Common Air Conditioning Problems Homeowners Experience

Posted on: April 23, 2013

At Dowd’s Mechanical, Heating & Air Conditioning, we believe an informed customer is a happy customer, that’s why we have a list of the three most common air conditioning problems homeowners experience in the Philadelphia, PA area.

Although a well-maintained air conditioner is less likely to encounter issues over the course of its life, no system is immune to problems—and at Dowd’s Mechanical, Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve seen it all. From refrigerant leaks to corroded connectors and everything in between, there isn’t a problem we haven’t repaired.

If you’re experiencing any of these air conditioning problems in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Yardley, or the surrounding Pennsylvania areas, call us at 215-607-6448 or fill out the contact form to the right for reliable, professional AC repair.

What Are the Most Common Air Conditioning Problems?

The three most common air conditioning problems we encounter in Pennsylvania include:

  • The system is unable to keep the house cool enough or at all.
  • There are problems with the electrical systems producing undesirable operation.
  • The air conditioner seems to be working, but it’s incredibly noisy.

Depending on the problem, there are a wide number of reasons why they could occur. When it comes to your AC, it’s always best to get a professional’s opinion before proceeding due to the electrical and mechanical equipment that is required to effectively assess your system. However, we can provide a list of the most common causes behind each air conditioning problem.

1. The system is unable to keep the house cool enough or at all.

Your air conditioner draws warm air from the living areas through the ductwork, cools the air in the air handler, and then blows it back into the ductwork to be redistributed in the house. However, it any component of this process isn’t working properly, it won’t take long before your air conditioner becomes ineffective.

There are a lot of reasons why your AC isn’t producing enough cool air, including:

  • Low refrigerant – this can be caused by improper initial charging or by a leak.
  • Frozen coils – frozen coils and blocked ducts go hand in hand. Whether it’s a clogged air filter, an obstructed return, or closed vents, this blockage prevents the warm, humid air from passing over the coils quickly enough. That produces an ice build-up that can damage your air conditioner.
  • Improper load balancing – if your air conditioner isn’t perfectly sized for your home, you just won’t be able to get consistent, even cooling throughout your house.

2. There are problems with the electrical systems producing undesirable operation.

One of the other most common air conditioning problems is a faulty electrical system. Some electrical failures can cause undesirable operation, while others can completely disable the system. Common electrical issues include:

  • Malfunctioning thermostat – if your thermostat isn’t working properly, it can’t effectively communicate with your air conditioner.
  • Failed sensors – just like when you thermostat isn’t working, if your sensors are failing, they can’t properly read the temperature in the house, which will result in undesirable air temperatures in your home.
  • Corroded contacts or connectors – when your contacts or connectors are corroded or dirty, they can keep the condensers and compressors from working properly.
  • Broken or shorted wires – these can cause intermittent problems, but they present a serious risk of injury due to the voltage of your AC wires.
  • Defective breakers – undersized or defective breakers can trip and shut down the system.

3. The air conditioner seems to be working, but it’s incredibly noisy.

There are a lot of reasons why your air conditioner could be noisy, and many of them can be mitigated or avoided altogether with routine maintenance.

Some of the causes of noisy operation include:

  • Rattling or whistling vents – most air vents have internal baffles that allow you to control the direction of the airflow, but when they become loose, they can move in the airstream and cause a rattling noise. If they’re closed tightly, the air that is attempting to exit through that vent can create a whistling sound.
  • Squealing or whistling near the return – when these sounds are coming from the return, it could be a sign of a failing blower motor.
  • Thumping noises when the system starts and stops – generally, this is caused by loose ductwork and vents.
  • Loud rattle or vibration when system starts and stops – if there is rattling and vibrating when your system starts up, that can mean your equipment is loose and moving around.

Preventing These Common Air Conditioning Problems

If you’re experiencing any of these air conditioning problems in Philadelphia or the surrounding PA areas, the first step should be to get your system diagnosed and repaired! Depending on the issue, prolonged problems can cause severe negative effects on your system and lead to even more costly repairs and even replacements.

At Dowd’s Mechanical, Heating & Air Conditioning, our experts can assess your system to determine the source of your air conditioning problems and fix them efficiently. Contact us today to schedule your air conditioning repair!