Common Central Air Conditioning Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

Split system central air conditioners, utilized with forced air furnaces, take in warm air from the house and blow it through an evaporator coil situated at the top of the heater to cool the air. Cooled air circulates all over the house through heat ducts and then goes back to the furnace as warm air to be re-cooled.

Central Air Conditioning ProblemsCentral air conditioners have the ability to work for years without any issues if properly serviced and maintained annually. If they are not working well, contacts a trained expert. However, before making that call, below are standard air-conditioning problems as well as how to troubleshoot.

The system stops working

If your unit is cleaned and inspected annually, it should be able to run without any glitch. However, if it does not operate completely and you are not sure of the reason behind it, try the below options before calling a pro:

  • Confirm the fuse box or circuit breaker to find out whether the system has power.
  • Check the disconnect box situated outside, close to the condenser, to ensure the fuses have power.
  • Clean or replace the furnace filter.
  • In case the condenser coils are covered with dust or debris, wash them off using a garden hose.
  • Also, if the AC still would not work, call an expert. A technician would possibly have to recharge the coolant.

The unit would not stop running

If the air conditioner runs continuously, this is what to do:

  • Turn up the thermostat. If you set the thermostat a few inches higher, you will save a lot of money and energy when the time to pay electricity bills arrives.
  • Remove and check whether anything is blocking the flow of air in the condenser.
  • Start by vacuum cleaning the inside of the condenser, and then flush it using a garden hose.
  • In case the fan blades are dirty or bent, straighten them out and clean them.
  • While the cover is still off, oil the motor for older air conditioners. Newer units cannot be lubricated as they are sealed. Remove the plastic covers and put a few drops of lightweight oil into each.
  • Return the cover.
  • Counter-check, the blower and furnace filter, to see whether there is any blockage in With a vacuum cleaner, clean dirt and dust on or around the blower.
  • Return the filter when necessary.

The system freezes

If the high-pressure lines connecting the condenser to the furnace or evaporator coil over the furnace ice up, then shut the unit down:

  • You can either pull the disconnect switch outside at the condenser or turn off the breaker in the panel.
  • Call for assistance. Your system probably needs a recharge, as it is short on Freon.

Water collects under the evaporator

When there is water under the evaporator beneath your furnace, there is the probability of clogging on the drain. You can clear it, but it is much easier to replace the whole unit. However, if you prefer cleaning it, here is what you can do?

  • Remove the trap, and if it is plastic (PVC), you can cut the pipe to eliminate it.
  • Pour a bleach-water or vinegar-water solution into the drain. That will aid in the removal of algae and debris.
  • In case you have flexible tubes, remove them and clean them by pouring the solution through them. You can additionally run a wire through the tube to scrub the walls. Do this gently so as not to poke holes on the tube.
  • Reassemble the tubes and trap.