In Florida, nearly 100 days a year exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a lot of hot days that are only made easier with a functional air conditioner.
But if your AC in Florida is broken or not running properly, surviving the heat can feel like torture.
It’s important to fix problems with your air conditioner at the first sign of trouble. Learn about troubleshooting air conditioning issues and what actions to take to keep cool all year round.
Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On
It’s a nightmare Florida homeowners never want to face: you try to turn on your AC, but nothing happens.
When your air conditioner fails to start, you should first check that the thermostat is actually in the “on” position and working properly.
You should also check the electricity powering your AC unit. Look over your breaker, and see if the switch has been flipped. This can be a common reason for an air conditioner that won’t turn on that, thankfully, has an easy fix.
If you still can’t find the source of your issues, it’s best to call a professional for air conditioning maintenance. And for air conditioners that frequently break down, you might find that the solution is to buy an AC replacement in order to avoid more problems in the future.
No Cold Air Is Blowing
When it’s already hot inside your house, the last thing you want is more warm air blowing out of your AC.
The first way to troubleshoot this issue is to check your air filters. Dirty air filters can make it hard for your AC to function, leading to warm air blowing instead of cold.
Then, check your thermostat to make sure the settings are correct. Even the HVAC fan turned on can cause warm air to come in during the summer.
Another problem that can cause this issue is having frozen evaporator coils. Turn off your AC first, and then locate the coils in the interior of the furnace. If they have frost or ice, you should leave your AC off while they thaw.
Air Conditioner is Leaking
A leaking AC is a common problem, but the way to troubleshoot it depends on several factors.
First, it’s important to identify what fluid is leaking. Most commonly, you’ll find that either water or coolant is leaking. If coolant is leaking, you should be extra cautious and avoid coming in direct contact.
Both types of leaks are often caused by damage within the air conditioner. Turn your AC off, and inspect the interior for cracks and other breaks. You may also be able to locate exactly where the leak is coming from. If you find the leak is coming from a pipe, it may be clogged and in need of cleaning.
You may then be able to replace or clean the piece on your own. But in many cases, a repair professional will be needed to properly fix and seal the leak.
Air Conditioner Won’t Stop Running
Almost just as bad as an AC that won’t turn on is one that won’t turn off. This can drive up your energy bills quickly, while excessively cooling your home.
One common cause is a broken thermostat. If your thermostat is broken, it can’t communicate what to do to the AC, leaving it to run continuously.
But there are other causes to consider too. If your AC hasn’t been properly maintained, you may have a dirty evaporator coil, which forces your system to run constantly in order to cool your home.
A dirty air filter can also inhibit air conditioning, which is why your AC never turns off.
Noisy Air Conditioner
There are several types of sounds that an air conditioner may make, each with their own causes.
A hissing noise is typically the result of a coolant leak. Thumping, banging, and screeching noises are usually related to the AC’s motor. And buzzing means an electrical component isn’t working properly and likely needs to be serviced or replaced.
If your AC is making a sound it’s never made before, the best way to troubleshoot is to contact a professional. Loose and unbalanced parts can create a variety of sounds, from humming to clicking, and it can be difficult to locate these parts without extensive knowledge.
In some cases, noises coming from an old air conditioner may also signal air conditioning breakdown, requiring a full replacement.
Air Conditioner Smells
Just like sounds, there are many types of smells associated with air conditioners.
In general, air conditioners should produce no smell. An odor is often a sign that the AC is dirty or malfunctioning.
If your air conditioner ever smells like fire or as if plastic is burning, immediately turn it off and contact a professional. An AC component may actually be burning, even if you can’t see it.
Rather than smelling like fire, your AC may smell like car exhaust instead. In this case, you likely have a coolant leak.
One of the most common smells is a musty, mildew smell. This can be caused by moldy filters, drains, evaporator coils, drain lines, or drip pans. Thoroughly cleaning your AC can eliminate moldy buildup.
Finally, some pungent smells may be caused by animals. Some animals find their way in your air ducts and may die there, leaving an unfortunate scent behind. To some, it smells like rotten eggs.
If you believe an animal is in your air ducts, you’ll need to safely remove and dispose of it. Then, locate the hole or break that the animal entered from. This should be sealed by a professional.
The Basics of Troubleshooting Air Conditioning Problems
Your Florida home needs air conditioning to keep you and your family comfortable throughout the year.
If you’re running into AC issues, use these methods of troubleshooting air conditioning. And remember, in many cases, a professional is the best option for your maintenance and repair needs.
For more ways to keep your home running smoothly no matter the season, check out our other home improvement articles!