Air conditioning is one of the most aessential aspects of modern life. Many homeowners in Shreveport, LA, cool their homes with either a central air conditioner or a heat pump. One of the worst experiences as a homeowner is your cool air not coming on during a heat wave. Let’s look at the most common AC and heat pump issues that cause cooling troubles.

Dirty HVAC Filter

All central cooling systems have at least one supply vent that requires an air filter. The filter’s job is to keep the AC clean and protect indoor air quality. It does this by trapping large and fine particulate matter, including dust, pollen, and pet dander. Over time, the filter will clog. It’s easy to forget about this routine maintenance as a homeowner, but when a filter clogs, it restricts airflow and leads to issues.

Dirty filters put additional strain on the air handler of an air conditioner, which will cause it to overheat and inevitably fail. In the meantime, it causes the system to be less efficient and can increase energy consumption by 15%. This problem has an indoor air quality impact too. It reduces static air pressure in the ducts, which results in uneven cooling throughout the home.

Condensate Drain Clog

AC units create condensation as a byproduct of cooling the air. That condensation drips down from the evaporator coil into a drip pan. The angle of the drip pan causes the moisture to funnel through a condensate drain line to the outside. Over time, dust can get in the line, and algae may grow. This is one of the reasons a spring cooling tune-up is so important. If left unchecked, the line will clog. The drip pan will fill up. That will cause the wet switch to trip and disable the AC system.

Dust Accumulation in Ducts

Dust accumulation in ducts is the number one reason an AC smells musty or odd when it turns on. No matter how clean you keep your home, dust will accumulate in the ductwork over time. Dirty ducts are also a breeding ground for mold, dust mites, and other pests. Bad smells aren’t the only issue. Dust accumulation will affect indoor air quality from a health perspective. It will eventually diminish home comfort and energy efficiency as well.

Dirty Condenser Coil

Another important reason to schedule seasonal AC maintenance is a part called the condenser coil. The condenser coil, which you’ll find in the AC outdoor unit, is pivotal to the cooling process. It’s subject to all kinds of dirt and other debris that accumulates over time. Each season, your HVAC technician will use a coil cleaner to remove that grime. If this isn’t completed, the condenser coil becomes less efficient, and your cooling costs go up. It also puts added strain on the system. This is a common reason a home doesn’t feel as cool as it should. Eventually, the added strain will shorten the lifespan of the condenser pump.

Dirty Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is another pivotal component of the cooling process. It’s located indoors, so it doesn’t cause issues as quickly, but it does accumulate dust and, potentially, biological growth. During your seasonal HVAC tune-up, your technician will use a coil cleaner to clean this part. If this isn’t done, your cooling costs can rise dramatically, and the coil will eventually fail.


Thermostats can cause a wide range of AC issues. A bad temperature sensor, for instance, can cause an AC unit to work harder or not as often as it should. Even dirty electrical contacts can cause issues, as if the thermostat has a bad sensor. It’s also important to ensure that the thermostat’s programming is correct. Inadvertently putting a thermostat into the wrong mode or profile can cause AC problems.

Electrical Control Failure

During a seasonal tune-up, your technician will tighten and test all electrical connections. Corrosion of terminals and wires over time is a common problem. You can also experience control board failure. Modern ACs have control boards for the starter, compressor motor, condenser, and air handler fans. Control boards can fail over time. They can also fail suddenly due to voltage and other electrical issues.

Refrigerant Leak

Another reason to schedule regular maintenance is to ensure that refrigerant pressure is in the optimal range. Many homeowners believe that an AC can lose refrigerant over time. This isn’t the case. An AC doesn’t consume refrigerant. It can leak, which can cause performance issues without obvious signs that there’s a big problem. More serious leaks can lead to uneven cooling and even your condenser coils freezing over.

Blower Malfunction

The blower is a core component of the air handler. When it stops working, you won’t get any conditioned air passing through your home at all. We’ve already presented some reasons the blower fan may not spin, including a dirty air filter and a bad electrical control board. Other reasons include the motor, start capacitor, run capacitor, and condenser contactor. Belts aren’t common any longer, but if you have an older AC, it can be a worn belt as well.

Condenser Fan Malfunction

The condenser fan for an air conditioning unit is outdoors. Its responsibility is to draw air over the condenser coils. Problems can include a broken fan blade, overheated wiring, bad capacitors, or even a failed motor. Obstruction of the fan blades is a common issue as well. As with a blower, belts are no longer common, but if you have an older AC, it could be a worn belt.

Aging Compressor

An aging compressor is the number one reason homeowners must replace ACs and heat pumps. Compressors draw more electricity as they age. Eventually, you’ll experience difficulty starting. Loud noises, excessive vibration, and even tripped circuit breaks are the characteristics of a hard start.

Faulty Circuit Breaker

An occasional tripped circuit breaker caused by your air conditioning unit is not always cause for concern. Frequent circuit breaker tripping is. It could be a result of hard starting, as discussed above. It can also be because the circuit breaker has worn out. Most circuit breakers will last 30 years or more. That said, you should have your electrical panel inspected at least every 10 years.

Faulty Disconnect Switch

The disconnect switch is outside the home and provides a convenient way to disable the HVAC system. If that switch goes bad, it will cause the system to not function at all. This is among the first items a technician will check during a maintenance or repair appointment.

Your Local AC Pros in Shreveport

If you’re experiencing problems with your AC in Shreveport or the surrounding areas, Bobby L Greene Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Co. is here to help. Our HVAC technicians install, maintain, and repair gas and electric furnaces as well. We have plumbers that install tank and tankless water heaters, garbage disposals, sump pumps, backflow prevention, and leak detectors. Our plumbers can pipe and re-pipe water mains, sewer lines, and gas and water house lines. We also perform camera inspections, clean drains, hydrojet, and replace toilets. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about these services or to schedule an appointment.

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