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The Home Depot

Top 5 Causes of Air Conditioning Problems

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Heating & Cooling > Top 5 Causes of Air Conditioning Problems
Top 5 Causes of Air Conditioning Problems

There are many things that can go wrong in your air conditioning system, but there are a few problems that are more common than others. It is important for you to know the common issues with air conditioning systems, as you can save yourself lots of time and money by being able to troubleshoot on your own.


The Energy Savers and Energystar programs put out useful information each year via the various government sites. These are a great resource when it comes to your cooling needs.


Listed below are the top five reasons people experience trouble with their air conditioning units. By taking a look at these items you may be able to diagnose the problem all by yourself.

  1. 1.Sensor Issues

    Proper care of your air conditioner will keep the unit running well and help keep your energy costs down.

    Your air conditioner cycles on and off based on the sensor in your home. This is what keeps it at a constant temperature and if the sensor is not working then your AC does not know when to turn on and off. Sensor location can also be a problem. If the sensor is in a small room and the door is closed, that room might reach the desired temperature causing the air conditioner to cycle off leaving the larger rooms too warm. Your sensor is usually best placed in the largest room.

  2. 2.Drainage Problems

    If your air conditioner’s condensation pump breaks, pooling water happens. This can cause problems depending on where your unit is located. It also makes the air conditioner less effective and often causes your electricity bill to rise as it takes more energy to cool your home.

  3. 3.Improper Cleaning

    If you do not keep your unit clean it cannot run effectively. Think of it as trying to breath when you have something over your face. If the filters and intakes are dirty, your air conditioner cannot pull in enough air to cool.

  4. 4.Wrong Sized Air Conditioner

    Having the wrong sized air conditioner is another big problem. Too small and your house is sure to warm all the time. Too large is also a problem as you will be pulling in too much air to proper dehumidify for the output, leaving the air more moist and warm. You should find the right size for your home and your air conditions.

  5. 5.Leaks of Refrigerant

    Refrigerant leaks can be common. Small leaks at the valves are often the cause and finding the exact point of the leak is very difficult. If you have tried everything else and believe this might be your issue, it is usually best to call in a repairman as they have the proper equipment to track down the leak.


    Proper care of your air conditioner will keep the unit running well and help keep your energy costs down. By making sure you check the filters and keep the ducts clean, you can ensure your cool air reaches the proper location and that your home stays at a comfortable temperature. Remember, everything with houses is about maintenance, it is much less expensive to keep up with repairs than to replace broken items!

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