MAY 15, 2017


Troubleshooting home air conditioning can be critical to solving common AC problems.

As you have probably noticed by now, the temperature outside is getting hotter. With rising temperatures comes more work for your air conditioner. That can lead to problems. But keep in mind, while some repairs or replacement can be expensive, there are also some issues which can be resolved easily and at little cost. It is still early in the cooling season, so if you haven’t already, take steps do some preventative maintenance so you can avoid these common AC problems.


The first common AC problem is simply incorrect operation. If you are running your air conditioning, make sure doors and windows are closed, door jams are properly sealed, etc. This will allow your AC unit to function more efficiently, putting less stress and the potential for something to break. It also leads to less money spent on energy costs, and potentially saves on the cost of something breaking from stressing the unit out too much.

Although it doesn’t get too humid here in Phoenix, monsoon season can get a little sticky outside. One part of the air conditioning unit to take into consideration is the condensate drain. If it is humid out, producing a lot of drainage water from the unit, check to make sure the pipe is not obstructed or clogged.

One of the most overlooked aspects of an AC system is also probably the easiest to maintain and deal with. Change your filters in your air returns. Phoenix gets dusty and dirty, we do live in a desert. The restriction of airflow can lead to the AC unit running hot and inefficient.


While remodeling a house can be fun, it causes dust and debris to get sucked into the HVAC system. To limit the wear it has on your system, think about springing to have the air ducts vacuumed out and cleaned. Even if you haven’t remodeled your home, if you have not had your ducts cleaned in the last three to five years, you need to think about doing it. While it will help your system and AC unit significantly, it will also make the air circulating inside your home much cleaner and better for your health.


If your AC unit is not turning on, another common problem can be the electrical work. Maybe something came loose during the winter. Also, take a look at the fuse or the breaker as a quick method for troubleshooting home air conditioning. It could be blown or tripped.

Throughout most months of the year, different rooms will be roughly the same temperature. But as it gets hotter, you may notice that some rooms vary significantly in air temperature from room to room. This means that your system is potentially unbalanced and air dampers are needed to correct it. Air dampers control the flow of air in your ducts running through your house. Adding or subtracting dampers in the correct locations within your duct will allow air to be distributed where it needs to be, giving you even temperature.


If the AC unit is running, but not blowing cold air, the refrigerant could be low, not allowing the unit to cool the way it should. Always make sure in the spring during your preventative maintenance check up that refrigerant is checked and that the thermostat sensor itself is checked.

Thermostat settings can greatly affect your performance as well. A basic home thermostat is easy to use, simply make sure it’s on the cool setting and that it has power. If the thermostat doesn’t have power (before calling the repairman) check the batteries. Most thermostats have batteries, along with being wired into the wall.

If you have a yard with a lot of vegetation or yard debris, check to make sure that your AC unit is free of it. Oftentimes when the performance is suffering, leaves, grass clippings, dust and so on can be covering the outside of the unit, not allowing it breathe. The hotter the unit gets, the less efficient it becomes.

Troubleshooting home air conditioning involves quite a few steps. The common problems listed above are several common AC problems you might face during the summer. As long as you’re comfortable with going through the process and taking your time, most can be done without having to call a professional to come help you. But when it is time to call a professional to help you identify or tackle common AC problems (and especially the not-so-common ones!), be sure to call a reputable professional that you know and trust.