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Common AC Problems & Useful AC Troubleshooting Tips!

AC Troubleshooting Tips

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Looking for AC Troubleshooting Tips? As the temperature rises, the reliance on air conditioning units becomes paramount for a comfortable home environment. However, like any mechanical system, AC units are prone to various issues that can disrupt their functionality.

Understanding these common problems can empower homeowners to recognize symptoms early on and take necessary steps to address them before they escalate into costly repairs or replacements.

In this guide, we delve into some of the most frequent AC problems, their symptoms, and initial troubleshooting tips you can try out yourself before calling an AC repair specialist

1. Refrigerant Leaks

One of the most prevalent issues affecting air conditioning units is refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant is the substance responsible for cooling the air within the system. When a leak occurs, the AC’s efficiency diminishes, leading to poor cooling performance.


  • Reduced cooling capacity.
  • Hissing or bubbling noises from the indoor unit.
  • Ice buildup on the refrigerant lines.
  • Increased electricity bills without a corresponding increase in cooling output.

Troubleshooting Tips:

Check for visible signs of leakage, such as oily residue around the AC unit. If you suspect a leak, refrain from attempting to recharge the refrigerant yourself and contact a professional HVAC technician immediately.

2. Frozen Coils

Another common issue that homeowners encounter is frozen evaporator coils. This occurs when there’s restricted airflow or inadequate refrigerant levels within the system, causing moisture on the coils to freeze.


Troubleshooting Tips:

Turn off the AC and let the coils thaw completely before attempting any further troubleshooting.
Inspect air filters and replace them if dirty or clogged. Ensure that all vents are open and unobstructed to facilitate proper airflow.

3. Faulty Capacitors

Capacitors are essential components that provide the initial jolt of electricity to start the AC’s motors. Over time, capacitors can degrade or fail, leading to issues with the AC’s operation.


  • AC unit struggles to start or takes longer than usual to kick in.
  • Intermittent cooling or frequent cycling on and off.
  • Buzzing or humming noises coming from the outdoor unit.

Troubleshooting Tips:

Conduct a visual inspection of the capacitors for any signs of bulging, leaking, or other damage.
If the capacitor is faulty, it’s best to replace it promptly to prevent further damage to the AC system.

4. Clogged Drain Line

The drain line is responsible for removing condensate produced by the AC unit. Over time, algae, mold, and debris can accumulate within the drain line, leading to clogs and potential water damage.


  • Water pooling around the indoor unit or in the drain pan.
  • Musty odors emanating from the vents.
  • Reduced cooling efficiency or system shutdown due to water overflow.

Troubleshooting Tips:

Locate the drain line and inspect it for any visible clogs or obstructions. Use a wet/dry vacuum or a pipe cleaner to remove debris from the drain line. Consider adding algaecide tablets to the drain pan periodically to prevent microbial growth.

5. Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are located in the outdoor unit and are responsible for releasing heat absorbed from the indoor air. When these coils become dirty or obstructed, it hampers the AC’s ability to dissipate heat effectively.


Troubleshooting Tips:

Turn off the power to the AC unit before attempting to clean the condenser coils. Use a soft brush or coil cleaning solution to remove dirt and debris from the coils. Trim back vegetation and clear any obstructions around the outdoor unit to ensure proper airflow.

Consult a Local Air Conditioning Repair Expert

Being aware of common AC problems and their associated symptoms is crucial for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.

While some issues can be resolved through basic troubleshooting, others may require professional intervention. Regular AC maintenance, including cleaning, inspections, and timely repairs, can help extend the lifespan of your air conditioning unit and minimize the likelihood of major breakdowns. Remember, when in doubt, always consult with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure the safety and efficiency of your AC system.

Do you need an inspection from an air conditioning repair specialist? Call CTR Air Conditioning & Heating today at 254-545-1759.

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