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Troubleshoot Air Conditioning Problems

The last thing you want to happen on a hot summer day is for your air conditioning to stop working properly. We’ve all been there a time or two. It’s as if your air conditioner is fighting against you, purposely malfunctioning on the hottest day yet, just to get a good laugh. Learn how to troubleshoot air conditioning problems before they become problems!

DIY troubleshooting air conditioning

We’ve put together a list of several of the most common air conditioning problems and how to troubleshoot them. Some of these should by default be left to a certified technician, and we’ll be sure to let you know which ones.

Should you experience any trouble while attempting to troubleshoot air conditioning problems or don’t feel comfortable working on your unit altogether, leave the work to a licensed, trained HVAC professional as you wouldn’t want to cause any further damage to your system.

How to Troubleshoot Air Conditioning Problems

1. Faulty Installation/Improper Sizing

Proper sizing and a precise installation is of the utmost importance when it comes to installing an HVAC unit. A possible indication that your unit wasn’t installed correctly is if it short cycles or if your home never feels cool enough.

If this is the case, have an expert inspect the entire system and ensure that your unit is cooling efficiently. The size of your unit is dependent on the square footage of your home that needs cooling. To give you a better indication, Energy Star has put together a A/C Sizing Chart:

troubleshooting air conditioning problems

2. Low on Refrigerant

If your unit is low on refrigerant, it means that it was improperly charged or you have a leak. In both cases, it’s imperative that you call a technician as soon as possible to inspect the issue, making any necessary repairs and/or charging the system correctly.

It is not as simple as adding more Freon; if your have a leak, you need to schedule air conditioner repair immediately. Beware of HVAC companies that only refill your refrigerant without addressing the underlying leak problem.

3. Inadequate Maintenance

How well your HVAC unit functions is entirely dependent on how often you schedule professional maintenance. You wouldn’t neglect your car for years on end, so why neglect your HVAC unit? Much like your car, your HVAC unit has numerous parts and components that need cleaning and adjusting annually so that it can operate at maximum efficiency.

Life is often fast paced, with work and/or classes, having to take care of the kids and keep the house clean, prepare dinner, etc. It seems like sometimes there isn’t a moment to spare. Scheduling a tune-up for your unit is the last thing on your mind right now.

The easiest solution is to join a maintenance program; that way, it isn’t your job to remember to schedule your appointment! They’ll do it for you at your easiest convenience.

Call Larry & Sons now to talk to someone about joining our HVAC maintenance program! We’re here to make life just a little bit easier – and ensure comfort.

4. Poor Airflow

If your home isn’t as cool as you’d like to be, there are a few things you can do before calling in an expert. Put it on your chore list to vacuum vents regularly as this will cleanse your vents of all the dirt and debris that could be blocking airflow. Clear away anything that could be blocking airflow, such as furniture, rugs, drapes, etc.

This doesn’t, however, replace the need for a professional duct cleaning. If you really want to improve indoor air quality and home energy efficiency, your best bet is to have your air ducts professionally cleaned every 5-7 years.

5. Change Your Air Filter

One of the most important things you can do to ensure proper airflow is by changing the air filters regularly. While our technicians can change your air filter when performing maintenance, that’s just twice a year.

troubleshoot air conditioning air filter

On average, you should change your filters every 1-3 months to ensure a healthy flow. Forgoing changing the air filter will lead to poor indoor air quality, uneven heating and cooling, short cycling, strain on your system, and a buildup of dust and dirt on your HVAC fan blades and around vents. Put reminders in your phone and calendar so you never forget.

We recommend using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filters. Although they cost more, they do a better job of filtering your indoor air and last a lot longer,


At Larry & Sons, we want our customer to get a refreshing respite from summer’s blistering heat. If you find yourself without cool air and can’t seem to tackle the problem, big or small, give us a call at 301-733-5428.

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