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The 10 Most Common Central Air Issues

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Having Central Air Issues?

Is your central air system ready for the season or are you finding that it isn’t performing to its best?  Read on to discover what we consider to be the 10 most common issues homeowners encounter and what to check for before calling in the professionals.

central air systems

Dirty, Plugged or Wet Filter

One of the most common reasons for an air conditioner not working properly is a dirty or clogged filter. Make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how often you need to change your filter. Some require changing after one or three months, while others can simply be cleaned and reused. Check to see if your filter is clogged or dirty by holding it up and seeing if light passes through it. If not, it’s time to clean it or replace it. Leaving a dirty filter in place not only causes a reduction in airflow but can lead to a frozen unit.


This is an easy fix, but sometimes all you need to do is check to ensure that your thermostat (the part that controls the temperature in your home) is on, as well as on the right setting, level, not being affected to sunlight, and clean on the inside. If the problem persists after this troubleshooting, there could be another issue to look into.

Refrigerant Leaks

If coolant begins to leak out of your air conditioning unit, it will not work correctly, and the temperature in your home will fluctuate. Where the leak is coming from will impact the cost of repairs, so be sure to have a trained AC technician check for this each year.

Improper Coil Drainage

The drain line of your AC unit is another thing that can become clogged and dirty, as well as accumulate dust and lint. Be sure to check this, for if it becomes clogged and the drain pan fills, your unit can become damaged due to water beginning to leak out.

Fuses or Breakers

Fuses and breakers are in place in order to keep the motor or compressor of the unit from overheating. In fact, it is often the HVAC technician’s first move to check the breaker in the instance of a seized compressor or dead motor.

central air sysytem


Capacitors are essential for working motors that power the compressors and fans. The AC unit needs two capacitors to run smoothly – the start capacitor, which is needed to activate the motor, and the run capacitor which continues to send jolts in order to keep the motor in working order.


The compressor works to apply heat exchange by moving the refrigerant through coils in your air conditioning unit. In other words, you need a working compressor to achieve a cool home. If your unit does not have enough refrigerant it will overheat and eventually seize out. On the other hand, if there is too much it will return to the compressor and stop it from working.

Evaporator Coils

Using a number of air ducts, evaporator coils turn the heat in the air to cool and comfortable air for the home. These do require maintenance, as they can become corroded, but if they are located inside this only need be done every three years. If a poor filter such as a Merv 3 or lower, was used, there may be dirt that has accumulated on the underside of the evaporator coil.

Condenser Coils

Because they are located outdoors, condenser coils can get dingy and require cleaning. Fortunately, this is often just a simple fix with a water hose. However, if dirt piles up too much, a technician may need to use a chemical cleaner.

Contactors and Relays

Inside of your unit, there are contactors that give power to the motors and compressor. If there is a contactor with pitting or arcing, however, the motor may not be able to start.

At Furlong HVAC Services, we supply and install high quality residential and commercial air conditioning. Central Air, Ductless Mini Splits, Multi Head Heat-pumps. All are backed by a 10 year manufactures warranty and are Canadian & US manufactured.

Contact us today to discuss your cooling needs!

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