5 Most Common Air Conditioning Problems & How to Fix Them

If you have a central air conditioner in the Denver area, there are several issues that can arise, particularly throughout the summer months when the system has been working hard. 

The following are some common issues that can happen with central air conditioning systems and how to troubleshoot them. 

1. The A/C Won’t Turn On

If you turn on your system but don’t hear or feel anything, it usually points to an electrical issue. The typical causes are a blown circuit breaker or fuse, thermostat problems, loose wiring, or an internal switch being off.

How to Troubleshoot:

  • Check the thermostat settings to ensure it’s set on “COOL” and not “OFF” or “HEAT”
  • Make sure the A/C system is getting power from the electrical panel
  • Check that all switches in and around the air conditioner are flipped to “ON”
  • Reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse
  • Check the condensation overflow tray on the central unit for excessive water (and dump it out if it’s full)
  • Make sure the blower door on the air handler is securely shut

If these troubleshooting tips don’t work, it’s time to call in a specialist. If it’s been a few months since your last HVAC checkup, it’s definitely time to bring someone in.

2. The A/C Keeps Shutting Off 

If your A/C is turning on in short bursts or constantly turns on or off, the condenser or evaporator could be dirty or blocked.

How to Troubleshoot:

  • Check the condenser to see that it’s clean and not blocked
  • Check the evaporator to see that it’s clean and not blocked

If the issue isn’t resolved by cleaning, you’ll know it’s time to call in a professional.

3. The A/C is On But Not Blowing Cold Air

If you can hear your air conditioner running but it’s not actually cooling your space, there are a couple of possible causes that are usual suspects. The refrigerant levels could be low– which means that heat and humidity cannot be efficiently removed from the air. Low refrigerant can also be a sign of a leak or that the system wasn’t charged properly. Another possible cause is that the airflow could be blocked somewhere in the system within the ducts, filters, or compressors. 

How to Troubleshoot:

  • Check the thermostat to ensure it’s working properly
  • See if any ice has formed on the indoor coils– this would indicate low refrigerant and you’ll need to turn on the fan to melt the ice
  • Examine condenser to see if it’s clean and if it’s not, clear it of any dirt and debris
  • Check the outdoor compressor to ensure it’s clean
  • Replace your HVAC filter if it’s been more than 3 months
    • Pro tip: write the date on the side of the filter when you replaced it.

If you’ve done all of the above and you’re still having issues, it’s time to call Day & Night Mechanical. You could have low refrigerant levels, a faulty compressor, or another issue entirely– all of which need to be addressed by an HVAC professional.

4. There’s Poor Airflow Throughout the Home

Poor airflow typically results from a dirty air filter or blocked, compressed, or disconnected ductwork. 

How to Troubleshoot:

  • Clean or replace your air filter
  • Check all the vents to ensure they are set to an open position
  • Check the ductwork to make sure there are no disconnections

If you’d prefer not to inspect the entirety of your ductwork, Day & Night can do this for you! And if you’re ready to move away from the traditional HVAC system, we can install ductless air conditioners

5. The A/C Isn’t Providing Ample Cool Air

This issue is slightly different from your A/C not blowing cool air because it means some spots in your home are cooler than others. The problem is not that the A/C isn’t blowing out cool air, it’s that it’s not enough to uniformly cool the space. This could be due to a blocked air filter or an improperly sized air conditioner for your space.

How to Troubleshoot:

  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat– sometimes we forget the obvious fixes
  • Check and replace the air filter
  • Bring in a professional to confirm whether your air conditioner is properly sized for your home

Sometimes the solutions are more obvious, like turning down the thermostat, but more often than not they involve a little more troubleshooting. It’s better to default to calling in an HVAC professional if there isn’t someone in the household who is knowledgeable with basic A/C fixes.

While cleaning your air conditioner is something you can do yourself, sometimes you need extra help troubleshooting issues with your A/C. If you’ve done the basic troubleshooting tips noted above and you’re still experiencing less than optimal air conditioning, consider calling Day & Night Mechanical at 303-936-2696.

Day & Night is a family-owned and operated company that provides air conditioning service, repair, and installation in the Denver and Boulder Metro Areas. Interested in alternatives to your central air conditioner? Go ductless!