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Proudly Serving The Columbia Area Since 1985


Fulmer Heating & Cooling Blog

4 Common AC Problems & Their Repairs


When a homeowner suspects their AC isn’t working, one of the first things they’ll try to do is Google the symptoms to see what the possible problem is. They often do this for two reasons. One, they want to see if it’s possibly a DIY fix. And two, they’re worried about how much the repair could possibly cost.

If a Google search has brought you to this blog, then we hope the info below is helpful. But more than that, we hope you’ll leave the necessary air conditioning repair to a professional HVAC company such as ours. Ignoring the problem in the hope that it’ll go away is never a good idea and could possibly lead to a minor problem becoming a major headache. 

Here are four common AC issues and their symptoms, causes, and fixes.

Short Cycling

  • The symptoms: The AC is constantly turning itself on and off but not completing a cooling cycle. It doesn’t seem like the thermostat is going down despite how often it’s running.
  • The likely culprit: It’s often caused by reduced airflow in the form of a dirty/clogged air filter. It could also be caused by frozen evaporator coils, low refrigerant levels, a failing compressor, electrical problems, or an oversized system. 
  • A possible fix: Change the air filter if it’s dirty to see if that helps. If not, there could be a refrigerant leak in the system. 

Strange Noises

  • The symptoms: Unusual noises that are noticeable such as hissing, bubbling, banging, screeching, or the grating sound of metal-on-metal.
  • The likely culprit: Hissing and bubbling are probably due to a refrigerant leak. Banging, screeching, and metal-on-metal usually mean there’s a loose screw or component that’s knocking around the system.
  • A possible fix: For refrigerant leaks, we’ll find the source of the leak, seal it, and replenish the refrigerant. For a loose component, we’ll find it and secure it down to keep it where it should be.

Lukewarm/Hot Air

  • The symptoms: When you hold your hand up to a vent, the air is anything but cold. Your home’s temperature isn’t budging, either.
  • The likely culprit: A refrigerant leak, a clogged air filter, or a faulty compressor.
  • A possible fix: Finding the leak. If it’s the compressor, be aware that this is often a costly repair as the entire compressor may need to be replaced.

Leaking Condensate Line

  • The symptoms: You’ll see standing water around your AC unit, the drain pan will be full, or your AC might not turn on at all if the sensor has picked up that there’s a problem with draining.
  • The likely culprit: There’s a clog somewhere in the condensate line. This line is how your AC disposes of the moisture that it collects.
  • A possible fix: You can try pouring a cup of plain white vinegar into the line to see if that clears the clog. If not, you’ll need to call us for a repair. 

Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to have your air conditioner repaired. When in doubt, give us a shout.

Contact Fulmer Heating & Cooling for help with air conditioning repairs in Columbia, SC!

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