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Air Conditioning Troubleshooting In Arizona – Resolving Common AC Problems

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting For The Arizona Home Handyman

Air conditioning troubleshooting can sometimes be very simple, but if your problem dips into the core of HVAC functionality, consider hiring out the task to a licensed Arizona A/C professional. Basic air conditioning repairs are rather inexpensive; and if the problem requires extensive heating and cooling equipment replacement, you won’t waste money on guesswork solutions.

However, the Arizona homArizona Air Conditioning Troubleshootinge handyman can resolve some common heating and cooling problems without need of equipment expertise. You start by recognizing that various HVAC failures often link to the same type of system malfunction. This A/C troubleshooting tip sheet addresses the simplistic side of heating and cooling troubleshooting and repair.

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting of Basic Cold Air Issues

When home A/C systems fail to deliver cold air, Arizona homeowners get excited. This country is no place for faulty air conditioning equipment. So let’s look at the basic problems that can keep your cooling system from delivering cool air. The list is divided into two categories:

  1. Inside the House
  2. AND Outside the House.
TIP! If your home gets hot in the Arizona summer temperatures and you’d like to reduce the demand on your air conditioning equipment,  consider installing an insulated metal roof system. It reflects the heat right back up into the sky, allowing your home to gain less heat on sunny days.

A/C Troubleshooting Inside the House

1) Clogged filter

A clogged air filter is simple to fix, yet remains a common in-home heating and cooling complication. Although most homeowners can easily change the heating and cooling filter system, they often tend to neglect simple filter maintenance. Yet a clogged air conditioning filter chokes the airflow through the condenser fins associated with the inside furnace. When your system cannot “breath,” the coil freezes over. To prevent filter clogging, clean or replace your system filter at least once a month.

If a dirty filter causes your unit to freeze up, replace or clean the filter and then thaw the unit by powering down for several hours or until the ice melts. Tip it. Remember: A/C equipment does not cool the home but rather it removes the heated air from inside the home. When your air conditioning system pulls the steamy Arizona air out of your home, it sifts that air through the coolant-filled condenser fins, resulting in hot air displaced by cold air.

TIP! The best Arizona HVAC contractors provide a number for emergency services that are available to call 24 hours of the day.  Don’t get caught without help during a weekend heatwave.

2. Clogged Condenser Fins

On the slightly more complex side of air conditioning troubleshooting, the inside condenser fins can also become clogged with debris. This is typically due to inadequate care of the filter system, but can also be a direct result of a passing Arizona dust storm and an improperly sealed home. Regardless of the cause, cleaning the condenser fins becomes a necessary repair process. Although some homeowners have been known to use a toothbrush as a cleaning tool, specially designed “fin brushes” will do a better job with less risk of damage to the fins.

3. Low Coolant

Low A/C coolant implies significant equipment problems. To check the coolant level, pickup a set of pressure gauges and measure setting according to the documentation of your unit. However, if you are tempted to do some backdoor buying to recharge your leaky unit, don’t go there. First off: Your air conditioning system is designed as a self-contained cooling system. This means that leaks are not normal. Second, to buy and work with A/C coolant legally, you need an EPA license. So call your local Arizona A/C Repair center. The cost for repairing the leak and recharging the system will vary, but here is a basic price guideline:

  • $ 50 – Typical HVAC home service call* (Often applied to the cost of system repair)
  • $120 – Typical flat-price covering first 3 pounds of coolant*
  • $ 50 – Base price per pound for anything over 3 pounds*

Variable expenses include the time involved for tracking down and repairing the leak as well as the cost of replacement parts. For example: A new evaporator coil can start around $350*, and the repair can get rather expensive. Yet it only takes a few years of yearly freon cap-offs to exceed the price of a permanent repair. So why be uncomfortable when a repair is the best way to handle any form of air conditioning coolant leak?

TIP! If you are buying a new HVAC unit, make sure that the one you choose fits your home. American Cooling and Heating will inspect your home and your duct work before they install a new unit.

4. Condenser Fan Motor

If all else is set correctly, including the inside thermostat, yet the inside unit fails to come on, check the condenser fan motor. Some problems are as simple as loose wires. But even if the wire connections are burned, the average Arizona home handyman can handle the repair.


Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Outside Your Home

1. Lack of Power

Before checking any other possibilities, ensure that power is reaching your outside A/C condensing unit. Start by checking the breakers both at the mains and at the breaker box located adjacent to your outside system. In the event that a breaker is melted, fused or reveals a loose wire, call an electrician. Even if you can replace a breaker on your own, home and personal safety demands that you uncover the cause of the failure.

2. Faulty Contactor

When standing near your outside air conditioning equipment, do you hear a loud buzzing noise. If so, consider replacing the unit contactor. The process is as follows:

  1. Cut power to the system
  2. Remove the cover panel located on the backside of the condensing unit
  3. Restore power and locate, without touching any components, the source of the buzzing noise (Typically the contactor has the appearance of a piston enclosed in a box)
  4. Turn the power back off
  5. Use an Ohm-meter to ensure that the flow of electricity has ceased
  6. Remove the contractor
  7. Mark the wire leads and then disconnect
  8. Install a new contactor
  9. Reconnect the wires
  10. Re-assemble the cover
  11. Restore system power.
TIP! Before hiring any HVAC company to install, maintain or repair your Arizona home unit, ask for evidence of insurance.

3. Outside Condenser Fan

For safety purposes, it might be better if you hire a local A/C service professional to service your outside unit. The process of determining the functionality of your outside condenser fan is beyond the scope of this article. However, assuming that you have the electrical expertise to test the fan, replacement, if necessary, is very simple. Just:

  1. Disable power to the system
  2. Remove the top component of the outside A/C housing
  3. Label the wires attached to the system fan, and then disconnect the fan
  4. Clean the connections
  5. Re-assemble the unit replacing the faulty fan with a new fan f. Restore power.
TIP! For top deals on Arizona air conditioning installation and equipment, contact American Cooling and Heating.  And remember, Air Conditioning Troubleshooting is sometimes simple and sometimes difficult.



* All prices are based upon 2014 industry averages and may vary from region to region.



  1. Maintenance must be performed by an authorized American Cooling and Heating HVAC technician.
  2. The contents in this article reflect accumulated data from various sources. ACH cannot and does not accept any legal responsibility to any person in respect of anything or the consequences of any reader responses, actions or lack of actions associated with reliance upon the whole or any part of this article and its content. All trademarks, logos, and associated content displayed are the property of their respective owners.


A/C system, air conditioning troubleshooting, Air Conditioning Unit, Arizona Air Conditioning

Rm Harrington

About Rm Harrington Professional HVAC content writer, equally skilled for communicating with A/C technicians, HVAC product engineers or the home/business buyer in need of reliable A/C related details. Most valuable skill: The ability to research, comprehend, evaluate and discuss matters of importance to homeowners and the HVAC community, including technical details, system comparisons and best-choice system applications.

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