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How to Troubleshoot Common Air Conditioning Problems

Air conditioning issues can be frustrating, especially during Adelaide's scorching summers or cooler winters. While some problems require professional assistance, many common issues can be resolved with a bit of troubleshooting. At Airworks Heating and Cooling, we want to empower homeowners to tackle minor air conditioning problems themselves. Here’s a handy guide to identifying and fixing common air conditioning issues.


 1. Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

Possible Causes:

- Power Issues: Check if the unit is plugged in and the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped.

- Thermostat Problems: Ensure the thermostat is set to “cool” and the temperature is set lower than the current room temperature.


Troubleshooting Steps:

- Check the Power Supply: Verify that the air conditioner is plugged in and the circuit breaker is not tripped. Reset the breaker if necessary.

- Inspect the Thermostat: Ensure the thermostat has working batteries and is set to the correct mode and temperature.


2. Insufficient Cooling

Possible Causes:

- Dirty Filters: Clogged filters restrict airflow, reducing cooling efficiency.

- Blocked Vents: Ensure vents are open and not obstructed by furniture or other objects.

- Refrigerant Issues: Low refrigerant levels can affect cooling performance.


Troubleshooting Steps:

- Clean or Replace Filters: Check the filters and clean or replace them if they are dirty.

- Clear Obstructions: Ensure all vents are open and unobstructed.

- Check Refrigerant Levels: If you suspect a refrigerant issue, you may need to call a professional to check and refill the refrigerant.

3. Air Conditioner Blows Warm Air

Possible Causes:

- Thermostat Settings: The thermostat might be set incorrectly.

- Dirty Coils: Evaporator or condenser coils might be dirty.

- Refrigerant Leak: Low refrigerant levels can cause warm air.


Troubleshooting Steps:

- Verify Thermostat Settings: Ensure the thermostat is set to “cool” mode and the temperature is appropriately set.

- Clean the Coils: Turn off the power and clean the coils with a soft brush or vacuum. If the coils are heavily soiled, professional cleaning may be necessary.

- Check Refrigerant Levels: If the issue persists, call a professional to check for refrigerant leaks and refill if necessary.


4. Strange Noises

Possible Causes:

- Loose Parts: Parts inside the unit may have become loose.

- Debris in the Fan: Debris may be caught in the fan blades.

- Motor Issues: The motor may be malfunctioning.


Troubleshooting Steps:

- Inspect for Loose Parts: Turn off the unit and inspect for any loose screws or parts. Tighten any that you find.

- Remove Debris: Check the fan blades and remove any debris that may be causing noise.

- Call a Professional: If the noise continues, it might be a motor issue, which requires professional repair.




5. Water Leaks

Possible Causes:

- Clogged Drain Line: The condensate drain line might be clogged.

- Frozen Evaporator Coils: Ice on the evaporator coils can cause water to drip when it melts.

- Improper Installation: Incorrect installation can lead to water leaks.


Troubleshooting Steps:

- Clear the Drain Line: Locate the condensate drain line and clear any clogs using a wet/dry vacuum or a long brush.

- Check for Ice: If you see ice on the coils, turn off the unit and let it defrost. Clean or replace filters to improve airflow and prevent future freezing.

- Ensure Proper Installation: If the unit was recently installed, check for installation issues and call a professional if needed.


6. Air Conditioner Cycles On and Off Frequently

Possible Causes:

- Dirty Filters: Dirty filters can cause the unit to overheat and shut off.

- Thermostat Placement: A thermostat placed near heat sources can cause short cycling.

- Refrigerant Issues: Low refrigerant can cause the system to short cycle.


Troubleshooting Steps:

- Clean or Replace Filters: Ensure the filters are clean.

- Relocate the Thermostat: If possible, move the thermostat away from heat sources like windows or appliances.

- Check Refrigerant Levels: If the problem persists, call a professional to check for refrigerant issues.



7. Foul Odours

Possible Causes:

- Mould or Mildew: Moisture in the unit can lead to mould growth.

- Dirty Filters: Dirty filters can harbor bacteria and cause bad smells.

- Burnt Wiring: Electrical issues can cause a burning smell.


Troubleshooting Steps:

- Clean or Replace Filters: Regularly clean or replace filters to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

- Check for Mould: Inspect the unit for visible mould and clean with a bleach solution if necessary.

- Call a Professional: If you smell burning, turn off the unit and call a professional immediately to inspect the wiring.


Troubleshooting common air conditioning issues


While some air conditioning issues require professional intervention, many common problems can be resolved with a bit of troubleshooting. By following these tips from Airworks Heating and Cooling, you can keep your air conditioning system running smoothly and efficiently. For persistent issues or professional maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help ensure your home remains comfortable year-round.

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