During the summer months, the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to give up on you, leaving you to fend off the sweltering heat with just a fan and good old-fashioned ice water. Unfortunately, like all machines, air conditioners have a knack for breaking down at the most inconvenient times. Understanding the most common air conditioner problems can help you diagnose issues early and, perhaps, avoid a complete meltdown — both literally and figuratively.

In this blog, we’ll review the five most common AC problems that homeowners face. By staying informed, you can take proactive steps to maintain your unit and minimize the risk of unexpected breakdowns. And remember, for serious issues, professional help from a service like Keefe’s is just a call away.

1. Refrigerant Leaks

One of the most common AC problems is a refrigerant leak. Your air conditioner’s refrigerant is the key ingredient that cools the air flowing through your system. When there is a leak, your AC cannot effectively reduce the air temperature, leading to inadequate cooling. Signs of a refrigerant leak include:

If your AC won’t blow cold air or seems to be blowing hot air, don’t hesitate to call an HVAC technician for immediate assistance. Addressing a refrigerant leak isn’t just about adding more refrigerant; it involves finding the leak, repairing it, and then adding the correct amount of refrigerant. This task requires professional skills, especially when it comes to safely handling the chemicals involved.

2. Clogged Air Filters

A dirty air filter is a prime culprit for common air conditioner problems. Over time, air filters can become clogged with dirt, dust, and pet dander, reducing airflow and forcing the air conditioner to work harder. This not only leads to inefficiency but can also cause:

The simplest preventative measure you can take is to replace air filters or clean them regularly. Most HVAC systems require this once every one to three months, depending on usage and air quality.

3. Faulty Thermostat

A faulty thermostat can lead to problems in your air conditioning system by miscommunicating the temperature settings with the AC unit. This can cause the air conditioner to cycle constantly or behave unpredictably. Common thermostat problems include:

Before calling a professional, check if your thermostat is level, clean inside, and has no loose connections. Sometimes, a simple battery change can solve the issue!

4. Clogged Drain Line

Your air conditioner doesn’t just cool the air; it also dehumidifies it, which involves removing moisture from the air. This moisture is typically expelled through a drain line. However, if the drain line gets clogged with algae, dirt, or debris, it can lead to:

A clogged drain line is one of the most common AC problems — but it can be avoided rather easily. Regular maintenance can help prevent this problem by keeping the drain line clear and making sure it can drain properly.

5. Electrical Control Failure

Over time, your air conditioner’s electrical connections and controls can wear out. The compressor, fan controls, and other components are susceptible to corrosion, especially in humid climates like New Orleans. Symptoms of electric control failure include:

Regular inspections by a professional can spot and replace worn-out electrical components before they fail completely, avoiding unexpected breakdowns.

Tips for Maintaining Your AC Unit

Beyond addressing these common air conditioner problems, regular maintenance is key to extending the life and efficiency of your AC units. Here are some quick tips:

Regular Maintenance Checks

Schedule annual maintenance checks with a reputable service like Keefe’s. This can help catch common AC problems like dirty air filters, refrigerant leaks, and electrical problems before they turn into major issues.

Keep the Area Around Your Unit Clear

Check that the outdoor unit has at least two to three feet of clearance around it. This helps prevent airflow blockages and keeps your unit from working harder than it needs to.

Be Mindful of Strange Noises

If your unit starts making unusual or grinding noises, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Don’t ignore these sounds, as they can indicate serious issues like motor problems.

Schedule Your AC Services With Keefe’s!

These common air conditioner problems can range from the simple and inexpensive to complex issues that require professional intervention. By understanding these issues, you can better maintain your unit and extend its life span.

Is your air conditioner making strange noises, shutting off randomly, or simply not blowing cool air? If you’re experiencing any of these problems or need a routine check-up to avoid future issues, contact Keefe’s for air conditioning repair in New Orleans, LA, or one of the surrounding areas.
Our experienced technicians can help diagnose and fix any issues, guaranteeing your home remains cool and comfortable. And if you’re thinking about an upgrade, Keefe’s offers New Orleans AC installation services. Schedule your service today and stay cool all summer long!