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10 Ways to Diagnose Air Conditioner Problems

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10 Ways to Diagnose Air Conditioner Problems

It’s mid-February, swelteringly hot, and the humidity is through the roof. Another summer’s day for much of Australia. While the beach is great for the morning, come mid-afternoon, the only option remains returning home to the cool, AC-filled air. 

Except your AC unit decides not to work. You turn your AC unit on, and it blows out a light puff of warm air at best, then worse, stops working altogether. However, an AC unit that lets you down when you need it most, doesn’t have to be a problem. You just need to know some common problems and how to diagnose them. Let’s find out exactly what some of those are…

The Most Common Air Conditioner Problems 

Did you know 3 out of 4 Australian households have AC units? A number that’s doubled since the ’90s. With systems now playing an important role in much of the nation, it’s important to know some of the problems you could face when keeping cool. 

AC Running Constantly 

Even on the most intense summer days, you’ll want the AC off at some stage. Many of the best units have a feature that automatically switches off to conserve energy. If you’ve ever left your AC on all day, you’ll know what it can do to your energy bill. 

If you can’t turn your unit on/off and your AC is constantly running, you need to contact a technician as the issue could relate to any part of the system. 

No Cool Air Flow 

If you can see that your AC is on, hear a whirring, but feel no cool air, this could be a result of a tripped circuit breaker or a damaged blower belt. Before contacting an electrician to look at the internal stuff, check your home’s circuits and make sure your AC switch is in the off position. If that doesn’t work, the issue could lie with any system component, so air conditioning repair services could be necessary. 

Refrigerant or Water Leaking 

AC condensation is completely normal, but if you see wet patches around the unit, it could be a sign of refrigerant or water leak. If the liquid is bright, it will be refrigerant and, if clear, water. 

Condenser Coil Freezing 

If your condenser has frozen, it’s usually the AC working overtime to combat high temperatures. While not the most common issue, condenser freezes could be the system working too hard to keep things cool or a dirty filter preventing sufficient airflow. 

Air Conditioner Repeatedly Tripping The Circuit 

A very common issue and if happening frequently, can be due to something elsewhere in your home, not necessarily your AC. However, if you’ve isolated the problem to your AC (In that your circuit trips every time you use it), you should contact a technician to assess. The issue could lie with several components of the internal system. 

10 Ways To Diagnose Air Conditioning Problems 

Now you know some of the common issues surrounding your air conditioning, how do you identify them? 

Check The Thermostat Is On The Correct Setting

ALWAYS check that the thermostat is on the correct setting. It sounds obvious, but seriously, you’d be very surprised how often this is overlooked. Most AC units come with an option for cold and warm air, so before calling anyone out to fix your AC, check the setting, then check again. 

Dirty Filter 

An extremely common cause for many issues associated with your AC. If your filter’s supply/return vent is blocked, it doesn’t allow proper filtration of air to pass through your system. So whatever problem you’re experiencing, check your filters. This could be as simple as wiping the filter clean or replacing them with a technician’s assistance. 

Have a Technician Check For Low Refrigerant 

While tricky to do yourself, if your system isn’t producing cool air, have a technician check for the levels of refrigerant. Low levels could be the sole reason for underperformance. 

Investigate Tripped Circuit Breaker 

Before you jump on the phone to the technician, check if your circuit breakers are off. Switches should be clearly labelled and can easily be tripped if the circuit is overloaded. If it keeps happening, call a technician. Please don’t attempt any electrical DIY with no prior experience. 

Check If Registers Are Dirty/Blocked 

Blocked registers massively hinder your AC’s performance and prevent sufficient airflow. Always check this right away for both your supply and return vents. 

Are Plants Crowding The Compressor?

Head outside and check that the compressor isn’t covered by plants or foliage. This can severely limit AC performance. 

Check Your Air Ducts 

Where there’s airflow, it needs to happen efficiently for your AC system to effectively cool your home. Make sure there is no dirt or any substances/items blocking air from flowing into your supply and/or return vents. 

Investigate For Water Leaks 

Did you know it’s actually super easy to check for water and refrigerant leaks? If you spot wetness around your AC, clearly there’s a water leak but if there’s coloured liquid, it’s refrigerant. While easy to identify, fixing will require air conditioning repair services. 

Check Your Outdoor AC Unit 

Always check the outside part of your AC system when diagnosing. There could be damage from weather or something blocking the air filtration. Whatever it might be, checking the outer part of the system might help you solve the issue as quickly as possible. 

Call A Licensed Technician 

While it may be easy to self-diagnose many AC-related issues, especially now that you’ve read this post, many of the issues are still not super easy to fix and will almost certainly need the help of a licensed AC technician. 

If you’re in any way stressed or unsure regarding AC issues, don’t hesitate to contact us for air conditioner repair services, and whatever you do, DON’T attempt to fix electrical components with no experience!  


Now you know some of the most common problems regarding your AC system and how to diagnose the issue as quickly as possible. 

Follow all the steps we have discussed in this post, and you’ll never have to worry about coming home confused, sweating, and frustrated while figuring out why on earth your AC isn’t working on the hottest day of the year. 

Isolate the issue, diagnose what’s wrong, and then call a licensed technician to fix it as soon as possible. 

If you have any questions regarding air conditioner repair in Sydney, please reach out. Our team has extensive knowledge and would love to help you out. 

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