The Most Common Air Conditioning Problems

Mar 7, 2021

As we all know, living in the Tri-Cities means we experience hot, dry summers. And what would we do without our air conditioners to keep us cool and comfortable during those hot months of the year?

Now is the time to ensure that your air conditioner is in top form so it is ready for heavy use beginning a few short months from now. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out that your air conditioner is malfunctioning when you need it most. Fans just don’t cut it when you’re seeking relief from the desert heat. 

So here is a breakdown of some of the most common air conditioning problems to be on the lookout for as we prepare for pre-season A/C maintenance service. 

Common Air Conditioning Problems

Refrigerant Leaks

If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it could have been undercharged at installation or it leaks. If it does leak, adding refrigerant will to solve the problem.  The appropriate course of action is contacting a field technician to fix any leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the right amount of refrigerant. When the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification, that is when the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner will be at their greatest. 

Keep in mind that refrigerant leaks also can be harmful to the environment. 

Electric Control Failure

The compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off quickly, which is common when a system is oversized. You are advised to have electrical connections and contacts inspected by an HVAC professional, as corrosion of wires and terminals can be quite common with many heating and cooling systems. 


As is true with the filter, the drain line can also become clogged with dirt, dust, and lint. The pan will fill up and water will leak out, potentially causing damage to the A/C unit or whatever is around your pan if the drain line is clogged. 


The compressor’s role is to apply energy to the refrigerant and propel it through the coils to carry out heat exchange. However, if the compressor is not functioning correctly, the A/C unit will not be able to adequately cool your house. If there is not sufficient refrigerant, the compressor will operate hot and at some point seize. If there is too much refrigerant, the refrigerant will return to the compressor, which can cause it to fail. 

Sensor Problems

Room air conditioners are equipped with a thermostat sensor, which is located behind the control panel, which measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. If the sensor is knocked out of position, the air conditioner could continue to cycle or behave erratically. The sensor must be positioned adjacent to the coil, but not touching it. You can adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place. 

Breakers or Fuses

The breakers and fuses protect the A/C unit’s motor or compressor from overheating. Frequently, when a motor ceases to function, one of the first parts the HVAC technician will inspect is the breaker. 


The capacitor is indispensable in an HVAC system because without capacitors, the motors that power the compressor and fans will not work. The start capacitor transmits a jolt to activate the motor, while the run capacitor delivers a series of jolts to keep the motor operating. If either burns out, the A/C unit will not operate efficiently. 

Evaporator Coils

The purpose of evaporator coils in an HVAC system is to absorb heat in the air and transport it back into the house as cold air using a series of air ducts. Coils can become corroded. However, if they are located inside, they usually only require maintenance every three years or so. 

Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are situated outside with the compressor, which means they can become dirty due to the elements. You can clean condenser coils with a water hose once a year, but if they are very dirty, an HVAC technician should clean them with a chemical cleaner. 

Worn Contactor 

In your A/C unit, you will find contactors for the compressor, the blower motor, and the condenser fan motor. These contactors are responsible for making an electrical connection that starts the motors and compressor. If there is arcing and pitting on the contactor, it will be difficult for the electric current to start the motors. 

Inadequate Maintenance 

Without regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance, filters, and air conditioning coils can become dirty, which causes the air conditioner to not operate properly, and the compressor or fans will probably fail prematurely. 

Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning to Provide First-rate Air Conditioning Service & Installs

Look to the HVAC experts at Apollo to ensure you enjoy 100-percent whole home comfort with our best-in-market A/C systems. We understand that when you need to cool your house during the hot and dry summer months, you want an A/C unit that is reliable, intuitive, and long-lasting! 

At Apollo, we offer exceptional air-conditioning units that keep you comfortable while keeping your energy costs down.  If fact, our experienced team of highly trained technicians will work with you and exceed your expectations during HVAC installs and repairs to help you avoid these common air conditioning problems down the road.  

We are committed to delivering premium quality HVAC service, maintenance, products, and documentation in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and beyond!

Learn more by contacting Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning!  Call us at (509) 396-COLD (2653).