33 AC Problems Phoenix Homeowners Face & Prevention Tips

By // 2016.08.02

AC Problems Phoenix

Air conditioning systems are a saving grace in the hottest months of the year, and homeowners in the Phoenix area rely upon them to stay comfortable in the sweltering heat. Unfortunately, especially in hotter climates where your system has to work harder, you can experience serious problems which can interfere with the functioning of your system. Here is a list of the most common AC problems Phoenix homeowners face, the potential causes and tips for preventing these from happening to you.

#1: AC Unit Is Too Big for My Home

air conditioning sizingProblem Description: My AC Unit is too large for my home, resulting in high-energy use and utility bills.
Potential Causes: Previous overzealous install, wrong choice of units, mistakes when calculating the dimensions of the home.
Prevention Tip: Consider installing a smaller air conditioning unit that is tailored exactly to the size of your home and will cool it more efficiently.
Pro Perspective: Common Myths about Correct Air Conditioning Sizing

#2: Unit Short Cycling

Phoenix Air Conditioner Short-CyclingProblem Description: My AC unit is short cycling. It shuts off mid-cycle or before the thermostat reaches the correct internal temperature.
Potential Causes: Poorly Calibrated Thermostat, Faulty or Eroded Wiring, Malfunctioning Thermostat
Prevention Tip: Get an annual system check-up to make sure the unit is properly running and that the wiring or thermostat isn’t malfunctioning.
Pro Perspective: 3 Reasons Phoenix Air Conditioner Short-Cycling Occurs

#3: AC Unit Will Not Turn On

why won’t my central air conditioner turn on in PhoenixProblem Description: My AC unit will not turn on when I adjust the thermostat or when it is supposed to regularly cycle on to cool the house.
Potential Causes: Circuit Breakers, Faulty Wiring, Malfunctioning Thermostat.
Prevention Tip: Get an air conditioning service technician out to fix the issue and let you know of additional annual maintenance options.
Pro Perspective: Why Won’t My Central Air Conditioner Turn On in Phoenix?

#4: Touchscreen Thermostat Not Working

touchscreen thermostat not workingProblem Description: When I try to adjust my thermostat, the touch screen is non-responsive or won’t turn on at all.
Potential Causes: Dirty or Damaged Screen, Software Issues, Battery Problems
Prevention Tip: Change your batteries regularly, keep the screen clean with a soft microfiber cloth and have your system serviced on a regular basis.
Pro Perspective: Why Is My Touchscreen Thermostat Not Working?

#5: Noisy Air Compressor

Noisy Air Conditioner CompressorProblem Description: My air compressor is rattling, rumbling, humming, hissing and making loud noises. It is distracting, and I worry it may be an indicator of something worse.
Potential Causes: Loose Parts, Compressor Leak, Failing Motor, Bad Capacitor, Defective Thermostat or Excessive Pressure.
Prevention Tip: Have your system checked every year. If you experience noises, contact a professional HVAC contractor, as noises in your compressor could indicate dangerous circumstances that must be addressed immediately.
Pro Perspective: 6 Noisy Air Conditioner Compressor Sounds Not to Ignore

#6: AC Unit Leaks Water

air conditioning unit leaking waterProblem Description: There is water dripping or running out of my AC Unit inside my house, and I am concerned this means some sort of leak.
Potential Causes: Clogged Drain Line, Damaged Drain Pan, Condenser Pump, Dirty Air Filter, Low Coolant.
Prevention Tip: Stay on top of annual maintenance and service. Some moisture is normal around AC units due to condensation, but if it is leaking out of the drain pan or there is more than usual, you may have an issue.
Pro Perspective: Air Conditioning Unit Leaking Water Indoors [5 Reasons]

#7: Odor Occurs When Unit Turns On

central air conditioner smells mustyProblem Description: When my unit kicks on I notice a pungent odor coming out of my vents. It only happens when mycentral air conditioning unit runs the odor strength will vary depending on system usage.
Potential Causes: Mold, Mildew, Bacteria.
Prevention Tip: Change your air filter every three months. Get an annual AC system checkup to make sure all of your parts are fully operation and mold isn’t in the unit.
Pro Perspective: What to Do When Your Central Air Conditioner Smells Musty?

#8: AC Does Not Cool Down House

Why is my AC not cooling downProblem Description: My AC unit is not cooling my house. The air from the vents seems cool, but the thermostat does not go down, and it still feels hot in my home.
Potential Causes: Poor Home Insulation/Air Loss, Open Windows, Dirty Air Filter
Prevention Tip: Make sure all your windows and doors are closed, keep your air filter changed every 3 months and have your air conditioning system serviced annually.
Pro Perspective: 3 Reasons Why My AC Is Not Cooling Down My Phoenix Home

#9: AC Unit Does Not Blow Cold Air

phoenix home ac unit not cooling properlyProblem Description: My air conditioning system is not blowing cool air. It kicks on, but the air flow is the same as the ambient temperature
Potential Causes: Low Refrigerant, Bad Coil, Coolant Leak.
Prevention Tip: Have your air conditioning system serviced at least once a year to check for leaks and address them before they become serious.
Pro Perspective: Why Is My Phoenix Home AC Unit Not Cooling Properly?

#10: Refrigerant Leak

Air Conditioning Refrigerant RepairProblem Description: I have a coolant leak. It is becoming expensive to have my system charged every couple of months.
Potential Causes: Bad Coil, Punctured Line, Excessive Pressure in the System.
Prevention Tip: Schedule an annual maintenance checkup on your system today.
Pro Perspective: Three Ways of Simple Refrigerant Leak Detection

#11: AC Unit Blows Fuses

ac unit keeps blowing fusesProblem Description: My air conditioner keeps blowing fuses and tripping circuit breakers. It is getting frustrating having to constantly swap them out.
Potential Causes: AC unit needs more power than the circuit provides.
Prevention Tip: Make sure that the amp requirements on your AC unit are not overloading your electrical system. Schedule an annual service appointment today.
Pro Perspective: How to Know if Your Air Conditioner Is Broken

#12: Frozen Condenser Coil

frozen condenser coilProblem Description: There is a lot of moisture around my condenser coil. It tends to freeze over and coat the whole thing in ice, which makes it difficult to cool my home down.
Potential Causes: Airflow Problems, Dirty Coils, Low Coolant Levels, Dirty or Overly Used Air Filters
Prevention Tip: Keep your air filter fresh, changing it every three months and schedule regular maintenance service appointments.
Pro Perspective: Btu Buddy 133: Evaporator Coil Freezing, Low Ambient Problems

#13: Faulty/Old Wiring

Phoenix AC Electrical Wiring ProblemsProblem Description: My air conditioner is constantly turning on and off, blowing fuses, or even smelling of ozone. Sometimes there are sparks or other signs of electrical problems.
Potential Causes: Faulty Wiring, Old Wiring
Prevention Tip: Keep on top of your AC unit’s regular maintenance schedule. If you notice electrical problems, cease using it immediately and call a professional technician.
Pro Perspective: Ways Your Central Air Conditioner Breaks Down

#14: AC Fan Not Working

ac fan not workingProblem Description: My AC unit tries to kick on when it is time, but the blower does not emit any air at all and you can see that the fan is not moving.
Potential Causes: Bad Fan Motor, Electrical Problems, Clogged Workings, Poor Air Flow
Prevention Tip: Swap out your air filter four times a year, have your system serviced annually.
Pro Perspective: Condenser Unit Fan stopped running: Diagnosis & Repair

#15: Dirty Air Filters Prevent Airflow

how often should you change your home air filter in AZProblem Description: I am experiencing moisture and ice around my condenser, no air coming out of my vents, or the air coming out isn’t cooling down my house.
Potential Causes: Dirty Air Filter.
Prevention Tip: Change out your air filter four times a year, or every three months. The change of seasons is a good way to remember to do this.
Pro Perspective: How Often Should You Change Your Home Air Filter in AZ?

#16: AC Unit Not Shutting Off

ac unit not shutting offProblem Description: My AC unit never shuts off, and the thermostat never goes down, sometimes actually going up even though my house is cooler than I want it to be.
Potential Causes: Bad Thermostat Sensor.
Prevention Tip: Call a professional to have your system serviced and thermostat looked at every year to test all aspects for proper function.
Pro Perspective: What To Check If Your Home A/C Unit Is Constantly Running

#17: Avoid AC Damage from a Haboob

avoid ac damage from a haboob in phoenixProblem Description: A bad summertime dust storm has damaged my home’s central airconditioning unit, causing the need for expensive service.
Potential Causes: Lack of Preparation.
Prevention Tip: Shut off your AC unit during the storm and clean it thoroughly after the storm. Shelter your system in a shed or other shelter unit. Have the unit serviced every year.
Pro Perspective: How To Avoid AC Damage From A Haboob In Phoenix

#18: Protect AC During a Monsoon

protect your ac unit during monsoon season in phoenixProblem Description: My AC Unit took serious damage during a summer storm, and now it is going to cost a lot of money to get the full repair I need for it to be operational.
Potential Causes: Lack of Preparation.
Prevention Tip: Similar to preparing for a haboob, try to keep your unit in a shelter, if possible, to protect it from damaging winds and environmental occurrences. Have it serviced annually to keep it in peak operating order.
Pro Perspective: Protect Your AC Unit During Monsoon Season in Phoenix

#19: Improve AC Efficiency

Improve AC EfficiencyProblem Description: My AC unit does not seem to be as efficient as I feel it should be. My utility bills are very high for very low return.
Potential Causes: Unit Too Big or Too Small, Old Unit, Unit Dirty or in Need of Service
Prevention Tip: Make sure that your Air Conditioner Phoenix is the right size for your home. Have the unit serviced every year to keep it clean and at peak operating efficiency.
Pro Perspective: How to Increase Efficiency of a Central Air Conditioner

#20: AC Preventative Maintenance Schedule

How often does a home air conditioner need to be servicedProblem Description: My AC unit is breaking down, the air is not cool, it is not cooling down my home, or other problems keep popping up that make it a headache to deal with.
Potential Causes: Improper AC Maintenance Servicing.
Prevention Tip: Have your HVAC system serviced at least once per year, and more if it is an older unit or the manufacturer recommends more frequent preventative maintenance. Clean your system and keep the air filter changed every couple of months.
Pro Perspective: How Often Does a Home Air Conditioner Need to Be Serviced?

#21: Dirty HVAC Evaporator Coils

best way to clean air conditioner coilsProblem Description: My AC unit is not as efficient as it should be. There’s ice or moisture forming around my evaporator coil that isn’t normally there.
Potential Causes: Dirty HVAC Evaporator Coils.
Prevention Tip: Use compressed air or commercial cleaners with a soft brush, being careful not to damage them. Call a professional technician to have your system serviced every year.
Pro Perspective: Best Way to Clean Air Conditioner Coils in Your AZ Home

#22: AC Repairs Are Breaking My Bank!

Reduce Air Conditioner Repair Costs in PhoenixProblem Description: My AC unit is constantly breaking down, freezing over, not operating efficiently, and costing me tons of money that I just can’t afford to keep spending.
Potential Causes: Old AC Unit, Improper Unit Size for Home, Lack of Preventative Maintenance.
Prevention Tip: Make sure that your AC unit is sized properly for your home and that it is kept in good working order with regular routine preventative maintenance.
Pro Perspective: Reduce Air Conditioner Repair Costs in Phoenix [3 Tips]

#23: I Can’t Afford to Replace My Unit!

increase the lifespan of an AC unit in PhoenixProblem Description: My AC unit is getting up there in years, and it is not working like it once did, but I cannot afford costly repairs or replacement. How can I extend the life of my unit?
Potential Causes: Old AC System, Preventative Maintenance.
Prevention Tip: Have your system serviced annually or even semi-annually by a qualified HVAC technician. Keep it clean between service appointments and change out your air filter with each change of seasons (four times each year).
Pro Perspective: Increase the Lifespan of an AC Unit in Phoenix [4 Tips]

#24: System Life Expectancy

average air conditioning life expectancy in phoenix azProblem Description: My system seems pretty old, and I am not sure how much longer it has before it breaks down. What’s the average life expectancy of an AC system/
Potential Causes: Old AC Unit, Regular Maintenance, Parts Breaking Down Often.
Prevention Tip: The average life expectancy of an AC unit is about 20 years. However, modern units are very efficient and hard-working, and provided that you keep it clean and have regular annual preventative service, you may be able to extend that lifespan further.
Pro Perspective: What Is The Average Air Conditioner Life Expectancy In Phoenix AZ

#25: Expansion Valve Problems

Phoenix Home AC Unit Expansion ValveProblem Description: My system is underperforming. There’s frost from the vents, the compressor is constantly on, and there’s ice on the evaporator.
Potential Causes: Bad Expansion Valve
Prevention Tip: Call for an annual preventative service appointment today or an emergency call if during the extreme heat of the summer an d you need your system up an running.
Pro Perspective: Is My Phoenix Home AC Unit Expansion Valve On the Fritz?

#26: AC Discharge Pressure Issues

High Discharge Pressure On AC Units in PhoenixProblem Description: My system is not performing up to its expected efficiency, and other forms of troubleshooting have turned up nothing. I expect I am having discharge pressure problems.
Potential Causes: High Condensing Temperature, High Compression Ratio, Low Evaporator Pressure, Low Evaporator Temperature.
Prevention Tip: Keep a solid schedule of annual regular preventative maintenance appointments.
Pro Perspective: 3 Signs of High Discharge Pressure On AC Units in Phoenix

#27: Suction Pressure Issues

HVAC High Suction Pressure in PhoenixProblem Description: The suction pressure in my AC unit is either too high or too low, resulting in decreased performance and efficiency.
Potential Causes: Coil Temperature Too High or Too Low, Cooling Coil Wrong Size, Liquid Line Restriction, Suction Line Restriction, Under- or Overcharge.
Prevention Tip: Call an HVAC system professional for a maintenance checkup today.
Pro Perspective: What Causes HVAC High Suction Pressure in Phoenix Homes?

#28: Low Coolant Levels

thermostat, frost buildup, Phoenix ac repairProblem Description: The air blowing from my system is not cold, and I hear a hissing sound from my system lines that weren’t present before when running my air conditioner.
Potential Causes: Low Coolant Levels.
Prevention Tip: Keep your system on a regular schedule of routine maintenance or call for an emergency check-up if during the extreme heat of the summer.
Pro Perspective: 3 Signs You Need an Air Conditioner Refrigerant Recharge

 #29: AC Condensation Line Clogged

AC condensation line maintenanceProblem Description: My AC unit shuts off and won’t turn back on, there’s water leakage from my system, and my house feels exceptionally humid.
Potential Causes: Clogged AC Condensation Line
Prevention Tip: Change your air filter every 30 to 60 days. Have your system tuned up once to twice a year and have your coil and drain lines cleaned after a major storm.
Pro Perspective: How to Clean an AC Condensation Drain Line

#30: Determining If an AC’s Contactor Is Bad?

air conditioning contactor repair in AZProblem Description: My AC unit is constantly running and never shutting off, it will not start up at all, and sometimes it suddenly turns off mid-cycle or freezes over.
Potential Causes: Bad AC Contactor
Prevention Tip: Call to schedule a routine maintenance appointment and get on a schedule of preventative care for your system today that will help against costly repairs in the future.
Pro Perspective: 3 Signs You Need Air Conditioning Contactor Repair in AZ

#31: Low AC Vent Air Flow

Why Are My Phoenix Home Air Conditioning Vents Not Blowing?Problem Description: The AC unit is running, but there is barely any air coming out of the ventilation system.
Potential Causes: Blockage in Ducts, Frozen Coil, Restrictions from Dirty Filters
Prevention Tip: Check the areas you have easy access to, like the filters. If the problem seems more severe call a Phoenix AC service technician.
Pro Perspective: Why Are My Phoenix Home Air Conditioning Vents Not Blowing?

#32: Sun Damaged AC Unit

save money by shading ac units during summertimeProblem Description: Our air conditioner sits outside all day in the hot Arizona sun and we want it to run for awhile at peak performance.
Potential Causes: Excessive Sunlight
Prevention Tip: Use a shading system on your AC unit like walls, plants, trees, various covers and choose the less sun-filled side of the home for your unit.
Pro Perspective: Can You Save Money by Shading AC Units During Summertime

#33: Extreme Heat Exposure

air conditioning problemsProblem Description: My central air conditioning unit sits in extreme heat all day during the summer and can impact the functionality of my system.
Potential Causes: Extreme Heat
Prevention Tip: Call to schedule a routine maintenance appointment to make sure everything is lubricated and in proper working order before and after the summer. Regular maintenance will help cut down on long-term repair costs.
Pro Perspective: 3 Common Phoenix Air Conditioning Problems [Don’t Ignore]

The above 30 issues are the most common AC problems Phoenix homeowners may face, and some quick information about what underlying issues might be the culprit. If your system is acting up, contact a certified Phoenix AC repair company to get that cold air blowing again.


Contact the AC repair experts in Phoenix at Hays Cooling & Heating to get your air conditioner back up and running. Email us or call 602-714-8270 now!


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Chris Hays

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the owners of Hays Cooling and Heating; a family owned and operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling and Heating focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact, Chris or Stacia today at (602) 714-8270.

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