Top 10 Most Common AC Problems And How To Prevent Them

August 3, 2023


As the scorching heat of summer approaches, our reliance on HVAC systems becomes more crucial than ever to keep our indoor spaces cool and comfortable. However, it’s disheartening to sweat profusely as our trusty air conditioners malfunction or fail to deliver the tremendous relief we desperately seek.

If you’ve ever faced such an unfortunate situation, fear not, for you are not alone. HVAC systems, like any other complex machinery, are prone to encounter various issues that can hinder their performance.

In this blog, we will explore some common AC problems serving as your guide to understanding and safeguarding your cooling systems. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, an HVAC contractor or a concerned individual, this comprehensive list will equip you with valuable insights to ensure your AC runs smoothly all season long.

Also Read: How To Prepare Your HVAC System For Edmonton’s Hottest Summer Day

Dirty Air Filters


Clogged air filters can significantly impact the performance of your cooling system. When air filters become obstructed with dust, dirt, and debris, they restrict the airflow passing through the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. As a consequence, the airflow to your home or office is impeded, leading to reduced cooling efficiency.

When the airflow is restricted, the air conditioning unit has to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, which results in increased energy consumption. The cooling system consumes more electricity to compensate for the reduced airflow and maintain the desired cooling level, leading to higher energy bills.


Regularly clean or replace your air filters to vastly improve the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system. The frequency of filter cleaning or replacement will typically depend on how often the system is used and the overall indoor air quality.

For homes or offices with light to moderate usage and relatively clean indoor environments, it is generally recommended to clean or replace the air filters every 1 to 3 months.

Refrigerant Leaks


Refrigerant leaks in an air conditioning system can have significant consequences on its performance and overall functionality. The refrigerant is a crucial component that circulates through the AC system, absorbing and releasing heat to provide cooling. When leaks occur in the refrigerant lines, several issues can arise.


Schedule regular maintenance checks with an HVAC contractor to detect and fix leaks early on.

HVAC contractors possess the necessary expertise and specialized equipment to pinpoint refrigerant leaks with precision. Once detected, they can skillfully repair the leaks and ensure the AC system is recharged with the appropriate amount of refrigerant, effectively restoring its cooling capacity.

Frozen Evaporator Coils


When a central air conditioning system experiences restricted airflow or low refrigerant levels, it can lead to a troublesome issue known as frozen evaporator coils. The evaporator coils play a crucial role in the cooling process, as they are responsible for absorbing heat from the indoor air. However, when certain conditions are not met, the coils can become encased in ice, severely impairing the AC’s cooling capacity.


Ensure proper airflow by cleaning air vents and ducts, and address refrigerant issues promptly. Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in your air vents and ducts, hindering the smooth flow of air. Regularly cleaning these components helps to maintain optimal airflow, ensuring that conditioned air can reach all areas of your home or building without obstruction.

Faulty Capacitors Or Relays


Electrical components are crucial for the proper functioning of an air conditioning system. Capacitors and relays play vital roles in facilitating the flow of electricity and controlling various aspects of the cooling process. However, like any electrical component, they are susceptible to malfunction over time, which can result in several issues with the AC system.


Regularly inspect and promptly replace faulty electrical components as a fundamental aspect of routine maintenance. Electrical components, such as capacitors and relays, are vital for the proper functioning of your AC, as their performance directly affects the system’s efficiency and reliability.

Compressor Issues


The compressor serves as the core component of an air conditioning system. Any problems with it can result in insufficient cooling or complete system failure.


Keep the outdoor unit clear of debris and schedule regular maintenance to detect compressor issues early on.

Drainage Problems


Clogged condensate drains can cause water leakage and damage to the AC unit and surrounding areas.


Clean and clear condensate drains regularly to ensure proper drainage.

Contractors can clean clogged condensate drains, preventing water leakage and potential damage to the AC unit and surrounding areas.

Sensor Misalignment


A misaligned thermostat sensor can cause the AC to behave erratically or cool inefficiently.


Check and adjust the thermostat sensor’s position to ensure it is accurately detecting room temperatures.

Fan Malfunction

Problem: Issues with the condenser or blower fan can lead to poor airflow and reduced cooling performance.


Regularly inspect and maintain the fans to ensure they are functioning correctly.

Contractors can inspect and maintain the condenser and blower fans, ensuring proper airflow and efficient cooling.

Ductwork Problems


Leaky or poorly insulated ducts can lead to cooled air escaping before reaching the intended rooms.


Seal and insulate ducts properly to minimize energy wastage and improve cooling efficiency.

HVAC contractors can inspect the ductwork for leaks and inadequate insulation. They can seal and insulate the ducts, improving energy efficiency and indoor air distribution.

Lack of Maintenance


Neglecting regular maintenance allows small issues to escalate into major AC problems.


Schedule annual air conditioner maintenance checks with a qualified HVAC contractor to keep your AC in optimal condition.

HVAC contractors offer regular maintenance services, during which they inspect the entire AC system, clean filters, check refrigerant levels, and identify potential issues early on. This preventive approach helps in avoiding major breakdowns and ensures the system operates at peak efficiency.

By being proactive and attentive to these common AC problems, you can enjoy a cool and comfortable indoor environment while also extending the lifespan of your air conditioning system. Regular maintenance and timely repairs will not only save you from discomfort but also help you save on your energy bills and costly replacements.

About Us

Nor-Can Heating & Air is a team of HVAC experts dedicated to providing top-notch services for all your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning needs. Based in Edmonton, we take pride in our reputation as trustworthy and highly experienced professionals in the HVAC industry.

Our primary goal is to assist you in finding the perfect heating, cooling, and ventilation systems that suit your specific requirements.

Whether it’s maintenance, repairs, or new installations, we’ve got you covered. Contact us now for professional and affordable HVAC services.


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