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Common Causes for Poor Air Conditioner Performance

On average, a good air conditioning unit lasts between 10-15 years. At some point, you will need to repair the unit before replacing it. Over the course of its lifetime, a cooling unit requires regular servicing to prevent it from malfunctioning. Most of these problems can be easily identified and dealt with before they can shut down the HVAC unit.

Here are common air conditioning issues you are likely to encounter:

Clogged or Dirty Filters

A commonly overlooked air conditioning problem involves dirty or clogged filters. Dirty filters can cause many problems in your air conditioning system including reducing air flow and freezing the unit. Different types of filters require replacement at varied intervals. While some are reusable and should be cleaned when dirty, others must be replaced. To know if your filter is dirty, check if any light passes through it. If no light passes through the filter, it is already clogged and needs cleaning or replacing.

Thermostat Problems

Homeowners with the older, dial-type thermostats are highly likely to experience thermostat issues due to the inaccurate calibration. Corrent calibration is necessary for your unit to receive accurate instructions from the control system. The good news is that this problem can be easily corrected by recalibrating or replacing the thermostat.

However, even with the new programmable thermostats, issues may occur if they are set incorrectly. To avoid such problems, check the manual to make sure that your thermostat settings are set correctly.

Leaking Ducts

Ducts run through your ceilings and walls carrying cooled air from the air conditioner to keep your house cool. However, if there are breaks or holes in the ducts (caused by careless workers or damaged by animals), the cooled air escapes into the walls of your home or building. To cool your house effectively, the air conditioner must work extra hard which result in high energy bills.

Worn Contactor

An AC unit contains contactors for the blower motor, compressor, and for the condenser fan motor. Contactors are responsible for completing electric connections that start the compressor and motors. If pitting or arcing occurs on the contactors, the connection is incomplete which prevents the motor from starting.


Capacitors assist the motors that power the compressor and fan's spin. The start capacitor sends a jolt of electric current to activate the motor while the run capacitor provides a continuous stream of current to keep the motor working. If either of these burn out, the AC unit malfunctions.

Low Refrigerant

The refrigerant is the compound (gas or liquid) that your air cooling unit relies on to cool the air in your premises. If the unit has leaks in the refrigerant lines, the system loses the compound and you end up having a unit with insufficient refrigerant to cool the air effectively.

Replacing refrigerant is usually complicated and involves and may require additional steps warranting a certified technican.  If you are in need of having your HVAC unit's refrigerant replaced, or have other issues resulting in the inefficient cooling of your home or office, contact A-1 Comfort Systems.

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