3 Common AC Issues and What You Can Do About Them

An air conditioner is a complex system. A lot of things can go wrong well before the end of its expected lifespan. That’s why regular repairs and maintenance are so important to keep your AC operating at peak performance.  However, some problems are more common than others. That’s why today we’re going to take a look at 3 of the most common AC issues you can expect to crop up from time to time. 

Strange Noises 

Humming, rattling, buzzing, hissing, bubbling. There are a lot of sounds an AC can make when something goes wrong. Broken parts could be loose in the system. Refrigerant can leak. The coils get dirty. The list can go on for quite some time. The bottom line is that strange noise is a surefire way to know something just isn’t right with your system. 

Turn the System Off

Regardless of what that sound is, be it banging or scraping, you should turn your system off – immediately. Continuing to run an AC unit that’s making a strange sound is liable to cause extensive damage before you can get it repaired.  


As the name implies, short cycling is when the cooling cycle of your AC unit becomes much shorter, causing the compressor to turn on and off more than it should. As such, this causes excessive wear and tear on the compressor, ultimately shortening the life span of your AC unit.  The exact cause of short-cycling can be any number of issues. 

Check the Air Filter

A clogged air filter is a remarkably common cause of short-cycling. It’s also a problem you can typically solve without professional help. So, if you hear your compressor turning off and on in spans shorter than 10 minutes, it’s time to find your filter and clear it of any debris. 

Check your Thermostat Placement 

It’s best to place your thermostat at a central location within your home on an inside wall. If your thermostat is too close to the return air register, it may become “confused” by the airflow, resulting in incorrect readings.

Check the Refrigerant Levels 

Your AC system depends on refrigerant. This liquid circulates throughout the system, heating and cooling in the process responsible for cooling your home in the first place. It’s the lifeblood of the unit. Should the level run low, your AC will have to work harder and longer to produce the same results. 

Check the Compressor 

Whereas refrigerant is the lifeblood of the AC unit, you can think of the compressor as the cardiovascular system. That’s to say, it’s what moves the refrigerant where it needs to be. However, it can break down just like any part of the system and result in short-cycling. 

High Energy Bills 

High energy bills are a common plight, but they don’t have to be because of your AC unit. Short of purchasing a high-efficiency unit, there are steps you can take to reduce the costs of running your AC unit. 

Change the Temperature 

The simplest step you can take with a healthy, existing system is to simply turn your thermostat up by a degree or two. You’re unlikely to notice the marginal change and your AC unit won’t need to run quite as long to maintain that temperature. It’s as simple as that. 

Change the Filter

Regularly changing your AC filter is necessary for peak performance. Your system depends on airflow to circulate cool air throughout your home. A clogged filter hinders that airflow. As such, your system has to work harder and longer to maintain the same temperature it would with a clear filter. So, changing the filter not only helps keep energy bills down but also helps your system last longer as a whole.

Clear the air ducts 

Similar to clearing the filter, the air ducts of your home are responsible for moving air from your system throughout the home. Air ducts with heavy debris or dust, therefore, present the same problem as a clogged filter – hindered airflow. However, clearing ducts is a little harder than a simple filter change. 

Some of these items are things like filters and setting your thermostat higher by a few degrees are things you can do yourself. For anything else, we strongly recommend having your AC unit professionally maintained and service. To schedule an appointment, give us a call or complete our contact form.