Your Guide to Troubleshooting 3 Common Air Conditioner Issues

man troubleshooting air conditioner

When living in Santa Clarita or any of the nearby areas, you know a fully-functioning AC is a must to get through a large part of the year. During “summer” (which extends from May to mid-October most years), we at JC Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning have no shortage of calls from new customers about AC-related issues.

Fortunately, we’re able to help many of our callers over the phone just by providing them with a few troubleshooting pointers. Learn more below!

Need an emergency AC repair in Santa Clarita? Give us a call at (877) 959-4240!


If you find yourself in a lurch with one of the air conditioning issues listed here, we highly recommend trying out our tips to help return cool air to your home fast!

1. The air conditioner won’t turn on.

There can be a few different reasons for this issue, and fortunately, it might not be a major mechanical failure. Try these steps to solve the problem:

  • Check the thermostat settings. It’s always possible that someone in your home (maybe a small someone) “adjusted” it to a higher temperature, and that’s why your AC isn’t turning on even though your home is getting hotter.
  • Check the circuit breaker. Your air conditioner is a high-power appliance, meaning it draws a lot of energy to function. A momentary power surge can cause your AC to trip its respective circuit breaker. If your air conditioner won’t turn on and isn’t responding, always make sure to check your circuit breaker panel for a tripped switch.
  • Check the thermostat batteries. If your thermostat requires batteries, then it might need some new ones. If your thermostat is hard-wired, there could be a problem with the wiring, in which case, you will need a technician.

2. The air conditioner runs briefly but then shuts off quickly.

The most common culprit behind this issue is a dirty air filter. Your air conditioner’s indoor unit has a coil with extremely cold refrigerant running through it whenever the AC is on. When everything is working correctly, your AC system is blowing warm air from your home over that extremely cold coil.

However, when your air filter gets too dirty, it blocks warm airflow into your AC system. As a result, the indoor coil is allowed to get even colder than normal, and the condensation covering that coil freezes. When the coil freezes, your system may shut off to protect itself. This is why your system will work briefly before shutting down.

If your coil has iced over, don’t run your AC again until the ice has completely melted—otherwise, you’ll risk breaking the compressor, which is really expensive to replace:

  • First, put in a new air filter.
  • Then, only run your system’s fan so that warm air will be circulated through your system. This will help melt the ice faster.

Bottom line: when your AC is going through daily use, make sure you’re checking your air filter regularly, and always keep some replacements on hand.

3. The air conditioner is blowing out warm or lukewarm air.

This is another AC issue with a few possible causes. Some of the more common reasons will require a technician’s help, but it always pays to investigate the following things first:

  • Check the thermostat settings. Make sure your thermostat is set to “cool” or “auto.” If the thermostat is set to “on,” that means the system’s fan is running and that it will keep circulating air throughout your home even when the system isn’t actively cooling the indoor air.
  • Your outdoor unit is crowded or dirty. Your AC’s outdoor unit (the condenser) is exposed to the elements, so it can become coated with dust and dirt. You can gently hose it off to clean it (but never use a pressure washer), and make sure there is no trash or debris up against the unit. Also, be sure to give the unit at least one foot of horizontal space and at least six feet of overhead space.
  • The outdoor unit has lost power. Sometimes your outdoor unit can trip the circuit breaker, so check the switch to see if it needs to be reset.

If none of these steps solves the problem, your unit may need to have its indoor coil cleaned, or it might have a refrigerant leak. It’s best to let a professional handle these issues so that you can avoid any safety hazards and maintain your equipment’s warranty.

Reliable Air Conditioner Repairs in Santa Clarita, CA

At JC Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, we stand behind our work and take pride in providing upfront estimates, expert solutions, and quality service to new and old customers alike throughout Santa Clarita and the surrounding areas. It’s our mission to make your home comfortable and to make sure it stays that way. For a reliable repair from one of our trained and insured technicians, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Need help with your air conditioner? Call (877) 959-4240 now!

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