AC Troubleshooting: 9 Common Problems And Easy Solutions


AC Troubleshooting

Air conditioning adds comfort to your life.


Who doesn’t love living in comfort?

AC makes your home safe and improves the quality of life in your home.

A study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that over 9,000 lives were lost between 1979 and 2013 in America due to heat.

Although the figure doesn’t reflect the magnitude of the issue, more deaths have been attributed to heat as a factor but not the main cause.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, air conditioning keeps homes cool, making it the best way to prevent illnesses and deaths associated with heat.

This indicates the essence of having an AC installed in your home. Other benefits of AC conditioning include:

  • Improves air quality
  • Keeps parasites and insects away from your home
  • Keeps the environment cool and lowers tempers
  • Enhances workforce efficiency
  • Protects furniture and makes it easier to sleep
  • Improves security
  • Protects appliances and other electronics from overheating
  • Reduces stains related to sweat
  • Reduces allergy and asthma attacks

Despite these benefits and just like any other appliance, air conditioners can fail and thus require AC troubleshooting.

Top 6 Benefits of Troubleshooting AC

Lack of maintenance can cause your AC to struggle in summer’s hot weather. With a proper understanding of the benefits of troubleshooting your air conditioning system, fixing issues related to your AC becomes easy.

  • Increasing your ACs operational life
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Reducing general maintenance costs
  • Improving air quality
  • Ensuring your Ac works at peak performance
  • Enhancing your comfort

9 Common AC Troubleshooting Issues and Solutions

Your AC can suddenly stop working, hence the need for quick repairs before the next heatwave. Inadequate maintenance can easily cause your air conditioning system to fail.

Therefore, it’s important to identify the most common issues with ACs and learn how to fix them quickly or call a professional technician to troubleshoot the AC unit. Ranging from tripped circuit breakers to blown fuses, your air conditioning unit can fail for several reasons.

Here’re common AC troubleshooting problems and related solutions:

  1. Dirty Filters

A clogged filter can prevent airflow, reducing your air conditioner’s efficiency and the ability to cool air effectively.

Whether you own a portable or window air conditioner, remove and clean the filter. Make sure you check it regularly to prevent clogging.

Check the manufacturer’s recommendation for swapping your filter if it’s a central AC system. Filters tend to last for about 12 months.

However, if you’re a pet owner or run your system continuously, you may have to do your filter swaps more regularly.

A dirty filter is the main cause of central air conditioning unit failure.

  1. Blocked Or Dirty Registers

Heating and cooling systems based on forced-air technology require a free flow of air.

Dirty registers get clogged, making it necessary to troubleshoot the AC. Vacuum the registers regularly to remove the buildup of dust and other debris and keep the system dirt-free.

Objects and furniture can also prevent the free flow of air into your AC system. Make sure there are no obstructions to your air conditioning system.

  1. Direct Exposure To Sunlight During The Day

If you’ve installed your window AC on a window that receives direct sunlight, it’s likely to heat on the inside. Your home also heats, hence the AC works harder to cool your home.

Troubleshooting an AC unit of this kind requires you to keep your curtains and shades were drawn to prevent the sun’s heat from reaching it.

Alternatively, move the window AC to another spot without direct heat from the sun.

  1. Outdoor Plants Crowding The Compressor

Central air conditioning systems feature an outdoor compressor. It requires constant airflow to operate properly.

Therefore, when erecting structures or planting a garden outdoors, make sure there’s a gap of 2 to 3 feet minimum in between. Also, leave about 5 feet allowance between the unit’s top and tall trees above.

  1. The Vibration Of Your Window Ac

Faulty AC units can be noisy. The sound comes from the fan’s whir and when the compressor cycles off or on.

Although the noise produced is normal, the vibrating noise isn’t. It indicates that your cooling unit isn’t installed properly.

To troubleshoot this AC problem, review the manufacturer’s installation guide in the user’s manual to ascertain that no step was overlooked or done improperly.

Also, make sure that the AC is secured onto the window properly.

Read more about AC noise on American Home Water and Air.

  1. Warm Or Hot Air Leaking Into The AC

When cold air seeps out of your AC and warm air leaks inside, troubleshooting AC unit becomes necessary.

Check seals around the air conditioner to determine if there’s air leakage. If present, use weather-stripping adhesive to reseal the AC all-around. This improves your system’s efficiency.

New window air conditioning units usually come with insulation panels for placement over the adjustable plastic side panels.

When troubleshooting an AC unit of this kind, make sure you follow the safety and installation hardware guide that the manufacturer provides.

  1. Failure To Conduct Annual Checkups

Regular checkups help detect serious issues before they worsen. Hire a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician to run annual checkups on your AC unit.

The technician assesses the unit’s movable parts and the refrigerant to ensure they’re in good working condition. If necessary, the professional recharge the system to troubleshoot it.

  1. Troubleshooting An AC Unit That’s Not Turning On

It’s common for AC units to fail to turn on. A tripped circuit breaker or blown a fuse can easily cause your air conditioning system not to start.

Replace the fuse or reset the circuit breaker to troubleshoot the AC issue of this nature. Thermostat issues and loose or broken wiring can also cause your AC to fail.

Replace broken wires, tighten loose wiring, or hire a professional to troubleshoot your thermostat issues to solve this problem.

  1. The Thermostat Is Improperly Configured

Programmable or smart thermostats make it easy to control your home’s temperature to a comfortable level. Exposure to direct sunlight can cause the thermostat to give inaccurate temperature readings.

Set the thermostat right and make sure it isn’t exposed to direct sunlight.


These quick DIY fixes should help you fix your common AC unit problems, so it starts working again. However, if the issue seems too complex or you aren’t confident of your DIY abilities, hire a professional to offer you AC troubleshooting services.

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Himanshu Shah
Himanshu Shah is the chief marketing officer at MyDecorative.Com, and he is also a young enthusiastic writer who is gumptious and talented. He has sound analytical and technical skills. He is a blogger, Digital Marketing Expert who likes to write on home decor.


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