Avoid These 12 Typical HVAC Headaches This Summer

Child standing in front of floor fan blowing wind

During the heart of the summer, you rely on your HVAC system to keep your home cool and safe from the heat. That being said, the air conditioner may run into trouble as day-to-day use rises as the thermometer does. Review these 12 typical HVAC headaches in the summer to help you avoid or address them as needed.  

1. Weak Airflow 

Airflow may get weaker if you have a clog in the air filter, faulty ductwork or an obstructed condensing unit. Regular maintenance such as changing the air filter, leaving all air registers free from obstruction and clearing plants from around the outdoor unit will often restore proper airflow. A constant stream of problems may indicate more serious issues such as ductwork damage or a failing compressor, all of which demand professional service. 

2. Refrigerant Leak 

The refrigerant supply is the main element in air conditioning. A leak lowers the system’s useable supply and decreases cooling efficiency, causing your unit to work harder even when the cooling effectiveness falls away. Refrigerant leaks are more likely in aging units but could show up in any system stressed by higher usage. Signs you may have a leak include warm air blowing from your vents, hissing or bubbling sounds, and surprisingly high energy bills. Only professional technicians can fix the problem because working with refrigerant requires EPA certification. 

3. Too Much Humidity  

At a certain point, high indoor humidity makes the air feel damp and encourages mold growth. An air conditioner and dehumidifies the air at the same time, but this may not be enough in particularly warmer climates. Installing a dehumidifier should fix the problem unless the cooling has small but growing issue causing humidity levels to go up.  

4. Improperly Set Thermostat  

Incorrect thermostat settings can lead to performance issues and higher energy bills. If you encounter trouble reaching the right temperature, start with your thermostat. If a family member keeps cranking the settings higher or lower, it’s more difficult to balance comfort and energy efficiency. 

5. No Power Is Making It to the Air Conditioning 

If the AC will not turn on, look for a flipped breaker or blown fuse at first. If this is not the issue, there could be a problem with the unit’s capacitors or contactors, which are needed to start up the unit. Call a professional to arrange a repair visit. 

6. Frequently Tripping Breakers 

Staying on the subject of circuit breakers, you shouldn’t have to repeatedly reset them. The HVAC system should be on a dedicated circuit designed to work with this kind of equipment. Regular circuit breaker trips can be a safety risk, since it’s an electrical malfunction that needs urgent attention. 

7. Clogged Condensate Drain  

The condensate drain removes moisture produced by your AC system’s cooling cycles. A blockage in the drain lines can result in water damage or mold problems. Try to keep a regular schedule when you review and unclog this drain if necessary to avoid water damage. 

8. Frozen Air Conditioner 

A frozen air conditioner often is caused by little to no airflow or leaking refrigerant, either of which can prevent your HVAC system from effectively exchanging hot and cold air. A solid layer of ice on the coil interrupts the cooling process and could even cause permanent damage. Routine maintenance is smart if you want to prevent freezing and preserve efficient performance. 

9. Unclean Condenser Coils 

The condenser coils on the outdoor unit of the system are continuously exposed to the elements, so internal components may get dirty over time. Spider webs, dirt and dust, grass clippings and other built-up debris coat the unit, restricting its ability to safely exhaust heat and increasing daily wear and tear. Wash these coils regularly with a soft spray from your home’s garden hose to help ensure system efficiency. 

10. Odd Smells 

If you can’t stand the weird smells coming out of your AC unit, look into things further to find out where the smell is coming from. A scorched smell can come from electrical damage or a component overheating, while a moldy odor usually points back to mold growth within the system. Odd smells often need professional attention to avoid any health problems and performance issues. 

11. Unusual Noises 

Loud noises coming from the air conditioning often means something isn’t right. Screeching may signal a belt in need of replacement, while clanging or thumping sounds may mean loose components. Don’t ignore these or similarly unfamiliar noises, as they could leave you with widespread problems, costly repairs or complete system failure if not fixed promptly. 

12. The Cooling Cycle Starts and Stops Too Often 

Short cycling is when the AC unit switches off and on too many times. This is usually pointing to an oversized air conditioner, a clog in the air filter or electrical issues. A malfunction like short cycling hurts efficiency and can reduce your unit’s life span, so instead trust local professionals to determine the cause and find a solution. 

We Are Dedicated to Your Comfort

At Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc. nothing should be more important than your comfort and peace of mind. Our ACE-certified technicians deliver fast, but long-lasting solutions to any comfort concern, fsupported by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not entirely happy with our work, we’ll make it right. So, whenever your cooling system starts short cycling or making funny noises, contact us for Expert service that always exceeds expectations.