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Troubleshooting Air Conditioner Problems

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As the temperatures rise and we transition to summer, a functioning air conditioner is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. However, like all home appliances, AC systems can experience issues that affect their performance.

While some problems require professional attention, others can be addressed independently through simple troubleshooting techniques.

In this blog post, the HVAC experts at Ehlers Heating and Air Conditioning share some common air conditioner problems and tips you can try to keep your unit running smoothly all season.

Three AC Issues You Can Troubleshoot Yourself

Not every air conditioner problem needs an expert to fix. Here are three common issues you might encounter and what you can do to fix them:

AC Isn’t Cooling Your Home

If your air conditioner is running but not cooling your home effectively, the culprit is often a clogged air filter. Air filters trap dust, dirt, and other particles, preventing them from entering the AC unit. Over time, these filters can become clogged, restricting airflow and reducing cooling efficiency.

To combat this issue, you’ll need to either clean or replace your air filter at the recommended intervals (typically once every 90 days). First, locate the air filter, usually behind a vent grill in the ceiling or wall or inside the air handler unit. Check if the filter is visibly dirty or clogged, then clean or replace it.

Your AC Is Making Strange Noises

Unusual noises from your air conditioner can be concerning and may point to several underlying problems depending on the sound you hear. Here are some common sounds and what they may indicate:

  • Banging or clanking: Loose or broken parts inside the compressor
  • Buzzing: Electrical issues or loose parts
  • Squealing: Worn-out fan belt or motor bearings
  • Hissing: Possible refrigerant leak or issues with the ductwork

If you hear any of these noises, it’s best to investigate further or contact a professional to prevent further damage.

The AC Is Dripping Water

Seeing water dripping from your AC can be a cause for concern. This usually happens due to a clogged condensate drain line, which prevents water from properly draining from your unit. If you notice water dripping from your AC, here’s what to do:

  • Locate the condensate drain line (usually a PVC pipe near the outdoor unit).
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear the blockage.
  • Ensure the air filter is clean. A dirty filter can cause the evaporator coil to freeze and then drip water when it melts.
  • If the problem persists, it may indicate low refrigerant levels, which requires professional attention.

Tips To Keep Your Air Conditioner in Top Shape

Regular maintenance can prevent many common AC problems and extend the life of your unit. Here are some tips to keep your air conditioner running smoothly all summer:

  • Change the air filter regularly: A clean filter is essential for reliable operation. Aim to change your air filter at least once every 90 days.
  • Keep the outdoor unit clean: Remove any debris, leaves, or plants that could block your outdoor unit and restrict airflow.
  • Schedule annual AC maintenance: A professional can inspect and tune up your AC to ensure it’s running at peak performance.
  • Check the thermostat settings: Ensure your thermostat is set correctly and functioning properly with fresh batteries.
  • Inspect your air ducts: Check for leaks or blockages in your ductwork and have them addressed promptly if you detect any.

Join Our Partner Plan & Protect Your AC

Want to keep your air conditioner running efficiently on the hottest days of the year? Ehlers Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help with our Partner Plan — a special maintenance program designed to help you save on your service needs while ensuring your AC can withstand the increased demand that summer brings.

In addition to our 28-point inspection, you’ll receive priority service scheduling and discounts on air filters, repairs, and new comfort systems.

Join our Partner Plan or book your AC tune-up by contacting our team online today.

Get a Free Quote


Customer Care

Lower Utility
Properly maintained systems use 10%-15% less energy.
Increased System Life Regular maintenance extends the life of your HVAC system.
Convenience We call you when it is time to schedule the maintenance on your system.
Peace of Mind A properly maintained system will help to avoid costly emergency repairs.

What our friends are saying

Starting with our estimate with Eric to our service technicians Dave and Rob. They are ultimate professionals. We had a new furnace and AC unit installed and we’re very pleased with the work. We can tell that they take pride in their work down to the smallest detail. They were on time, courteous, knowledgeabl... -Horace