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Air Conditioning & Heating Repair

Common Air Conditioning Problems

Have questions about your AC? Check out common problems many people face and some easy fixes you can do yourself.

The hot heat in the south is known for causing major problems when your AC unit isn’t working. If your air conditioning system has been idle for the long winter months, you may encounter some problems. Although it might be easy for those in the Little Rock and central Arkansas areas to identify when something is wrong with their AC unit, it might be harder to determine what the problem is and what, if anything, can be done to fix it. While you’re likely not a certified technician, the team at Central One Service includes many skilled technicians, and we’re here to help! Check out our list of common AC unit problems and some DIY fixes where applicable. If you do find you need more help, contact our team!

Leaking AC Unit

Problem: Sometimes, homeowners may notice water leaking around their indoor AC unit near the furnace. If you find your AC leaking, it could be because the air is not blowing as cold as it should or there is a visible leak. Some possible causes for this include:

  • A stopped up drain. This may happen if the pipe that drains the AC unit to the outside is clogged up. Dirt dauber nests can be a common cause of this and cause sludge buildup.
  • Dirty filter. If you have a dirty filter in your AC unit, replacing it may help improve the performance and stop the leak.
  • Refrigerant leak. This type of leak can signal that there are a bigger issues, such as water damage if, during the winter months, your AC froze up and began leaking once the warmer weather set in.


In order to clear out buildup in your AC unit drain, it is recommended you pour some bleach in the drain at least once annually. If the filter is the culprit you suspect, purchasing and installing a filter that fits your unit should fix the issue of a leaky AC unit.

Note: If the above repairs don’t fix the problem or the leak continues to happen, it might be time to discuss the problem with an experienced AC repair specialist, such as an HVAC technician, who can detect problems with your air conditioning system. Our AC maintenance plan includes a system tune-up and helps your AC unit work no matter when you need it.

AC Unit Won’t Keep the Thermostat Temperature

Problem: You may have had this occasional problem where you turn on your air conditioner but it does not get cold despite running continuously. When your AC unit cannot maintain the temperature you set on your thermostat, there could be problems with a few components, such as the blower, AC unit compressor, condenser fan motor, capacitor, or the contactor.


Many variables and conditions have to be factored in to diagnosing this AC unit problem. If you contact the HVAC technicians at Central One Service, we can help determine the root cause and work to solve the problem! Our team can get your system up and running in just a few days from the time you call.

Air Conditioner Blower Runs but Condenser Does Not Come On

Problem: This common problem with air conditioners is often noticeable when the unit comes on but the air does not cool down. If you notice your AC unit does this, it might be a sign that there is a contactor or capacitor issue.


Some of the troubleshooting steps you can take include:

  • Setting the thermostat to cool – Before you start to worry your AC unit has a problem, make sure you have the thermostat at the desired temperature. If you have checked this already, turn it down five more degrees to test it and see if the temperature lowers.
  • Checking for a blown fuse or a circuit breaker that’s been tripped – After a power surge, a circuit breaker may trip or a fuse may blown. It may affect your air conditioner when these things occur.
  • Checking your home’s main electrical panel – Check the “fuse box” in your home if it’s older, or the circuit panel in newer homes. If a fuse is blown replace it. On a circuit breaker, however, flip the tripped circuit to “off” and then flip it back to “on.” This reactivates it and may help your system work the way it should.

If the main electrical panel has none of the above issues, the shutoff box near the AC unit may need to be checked next. The fuse in it may need to be replaced.

Note: Even if you are able to temporarily fix your AC unit blower, you should still contact an AC unit repair company to identify the exact problem and ensure it does not keep occurring. A large problem, like a system that short circuits or overheats, may be at the heart of the problem and could lead to costly fixes, including total replacement, it not looked at immediately.

AC Unit Making a Loud Noise

Problem: An unusual sound has started to come out of your air conditioner. It is important to diagnose and fix AC units that start making loud sounds they did not make before.


In the instance of sounds that are more like “clink, clank, clunk,” the noise may e caused by the compressor.

Loud noises coming from an AC unit may also indicate a part is loose, such as an internal mount, a piston pin, the crankshaft, or a connecting rod. The noise may also mean the compressor needs replacing, which can be expensive to do because it is not a universal part but instead could be bought from the air condition unit’s manufacturer.

Note: If the sound you hear is more like a hum than one of the noises described above, there may be an electrical problem or a failing fan motor. If it’s an electrical problem, the sound may also be caused by a failure of the fan contactor relay switch, such as arcing connections and arcing or burning at the switch. Hiring an experienced technician to check your AC unit problems and recommend fixes will help your air conditioner stop making these unusual sounds and work the way it should

Air Conditioner Makes a Squealing Noise

Problem: As the weather changes seasons – from winter to spring – you are more likely to encounter a squealing AC unit. Prevent future issues with your air conditioner and diagnose and fix the problem as soon as you can, as one of the reasons it’s acting up could be the condenser fan motor.

On the motor shaft, apply motor lubricant to temporarily alleviate the problem. Then, schedule your appointment with an experienced HVAC technician for a more permanent solution.

AC Unit Emits Smelly Odor

Problem: Many homeowners may encounter a smelly air conditioner from time to time when summer begins and they use their AC unit more often. Diagnosing the problem can help you get rid of the smell and take steps to keep it from happening again.


What kind of smell is coming from the AC unit? The most common smells and their causes may include:

  • Mildew smell – Mold or fungus may be growing on the outside of your AC unit if the smell is like a wet towel filtering your air. Some of the most common ways to fix the problem include removing the mold/mildew; determining if the compressor needs to be fixed because it’s not draining correctly; and replacing dirty filters.
  • Rotten egg smell – Although something no one wants to happen to them, it is possible that a rotten egg smell coming from your AC unit indicates a dead animal carcass is inside of your AC unit. As the cold winter months set in, it’s likely the animal sought shelter in your inactive unit and died there. Do not clean this problem out yourself. An experienced HVAC technician can handle this problem for you.
  • Sewage smell – A sewer system backup can likely cause a sewage smell that makes your AC unit stink. The vent pipe from your sewer system may have methane coming out of it and into your AC unit. It is important to have your sewer system checked right away to prevent further problems.
  • Feet smell – Stagnant water may be causing a smell from your AC unit that could remind you of feet. Make sure to address the issue before mold or mildew form and cause additional problems.
  • Gunpowder smell – This smell may mean you have an electrical problem in your air conditioner unit. The circuit board has likely shorted, and replacing it and/or the blower fan should address the problem. Central One Service’s experienced HVAC technicians can take care of this right away!
AC Unit Damaged After Power Surge

Problem: The power surge following a lightning strike can damage your AC unit, leading to long-term problems such as decreased functionality.


Some issues you may encounter with your AC unit after a power surge include:

  • Damaged capacitor – Compressor failure (leading to its replacement) can ultimately happen if the damaged capacity is left unchecked following a power surge.
  • Damaged compressor – Although not evident right away, it’s possible for the compressor to show signs of damage weeks, and even months, after damage occurs. One of the most expensive repairs an AC unit might have, it’s important to have this problem checked right away to determine how much damage has been done and how to fix it.
  • Blown fuses – The sudden increase in voltage following lightning strike may trip the breaker or blow a fuse in the fuse box or circuit panel.
  • Burned wires – If your AC unit is not working like it used to, the power surge may have damaged your home’s electric lines and ultimately is contributing to the air conditioner’s function.
Frozen Air Conditioner

Problem: If your find your AC unit is frozen, with ice on it, it’s important to determine what caused the problem.

One cause for a frozen AC unit could be an evaporation coil with restricted airflow. Common causes of a blocked evaporation coil can include debris build up, a dirty air filter, clogged ducts, or blower motors that are inefficiently working. Combined with moisture in the air, ice buildup is very likely to happen following blocked airflow to the AC unit.

Additional causes for an air conditioner that froze include low levels of refrigerant or a leak of the fluid and internal systems becoming frozen when temperatures drop below 60 degrees.


If you wake up to a frozen AC unit, shut it off right away and let it thaw out. Then, check the unit to see if airflow is blocked and keep it turned off if the temperatures are cool.

Note: If you’ve tried these fixes and the system still doesn’t work well, schedule an appointment with an experienced air conditioning repair company to figure out the next steps.

Don’t let problems with your AC unit let you know. Talk to the HVAC professionals at Central One Service! With many professional technicians that can diagnose, repair, and replace your air conditioner, you don’t have to worry about going without cool air when the weather is hot. Schedule your appointment today!

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Decades of Air Conditioning Repair Service in Little Rock

For almost 40 years, Central One Service has provided outstanding air conditioning repair and service in Little Rock and central Arkansas.
You’ll always get fast, friendly service from our expert technicians.

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