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6 Common Air Conditioning Problems for Virginia Homeowners

Two air conditioners outside a home

As the summer heat intensifies, your air conditioner becomes the most essential system in your Virginia home. With average highs ranging from the mid-80s to mid-90s, the extreme heat and humidity can strain your cooling system, leading to various issues.

At Albemarle Heating & Air, we’ve served Charlottesville-area homeowners for over 35 years, so we’ve diagnosed and resolved the most common AC problems many times, including:

Low Airflow

Low airflow can significantly affect your comfort. This problem can be caused by:

  • Clogged air filters: Dirty filters can restrict airflow, reducing efficiency and cooling power. Replacing your filters every three months can help prevent this issue.
  • Blocked vents or ducts: Obstructions in your vents or ducts can limit airflow. Make sure that curtains, furniture, or other items aren’t blocking your vents.
  • Fan problems: Issues with the blower fan, such as a malfunctioning motor or loose belt, can also cause low airflow. Professional inspection and repair are necessary to resolve this.


Short-cycling occurs when your air conditioner frequently turns on and off in short bursts, preventing it from completing a full cooling cycle. This can lead to higher energy bills and increased wear on the system.

Potential causes include:

  • Thermostat issues: A faulty thermostat can cause short-cycling by sending incorrect signals to the AC. Ensure your thermostat is set to cool with the fan on auto.
  • An oversized unit: An air conditioner that’s too large for your home can cool the space too fast, leading to short-cycling. You need an accurately sized AC to cool your home effectively.
  • Refrigerant leaks: Low refrigerant levels can cause the system to overheat and shut down prematurely. Your HVAC technician can seal any leaks and recharge your refrigerant.

Uneven Cooling

If some areas of your home are cooler than others, you aren’t as comfortable as you could be. Possible causes include:

  • Improper insulation: Poor insulation in certain areas of your home can lead to uneven temperatures.
  • Ductwork issues: Leaks or blockages in your ductwork can result in uneven distribution of cooled air.
  • Zoning problems: If you have a zoned HVAC system, it may need adjustment to ensure all areas are adequately cooled.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is essential for your air conditioner to function properly. If there’s a leak, your system may struggle to cool your home. Signs include:

  • Hissing sounds: A hissing noise near the AC can indicate a refrigerant leak.
  • Ice on the unit: Low refrigerant levels can cause the evaporator coils to freeze.
  • Reduced cooling efficiency: If your AC isn’t cooling as effectively as it used to, a refrigerant leak could be the culprit.

Only a licensed technician should handle a refrigerant issue, so call the team at Albemarle Heating & Air if you think you have a refrigerant leak.

Electric Control Failure

Electrical issues can prevent your air conditioner from functioning correctly. Causes of electric control failure include:

  • Worn-out contacts: The compressor and fan controls can wear out over time, especially if the system turns on and off frequently.
  • Corroded wires: Wiring and terminal corrosion can interrupt electrical connections, leading to system failure.
  • Capacitor problems: The capacitor provides the initial jolt of electricity to start the AC. If it fails, the system can’t run.

A licensed and experienced technician should always handle HVAC electrical failures to protect your unit and prevent safety risks.

Sensor Problems

Air conditioners have a thermostat sensor that measures the temperature of the air entering the evaporator coil. If the sensor is knocked out of position, it can cause the AC to behave erratically.

Sensor issues can be resolved by:

  • Adjusting the sensor: Ensure it’s positioned correctly near the evaporator coil without touching it.
  • Replacing the sensor: If adjusting doesn’t work, a trained HVAC technician may need to replace the sensor.

Choose Albemarle Heating & Air for AC Repair

When your air conditioner encounters problems, trust Albemarle Heating & Air for quick and effective air conditioning repairs. We guarantee Comfort Just Right with certified technicians, upfront pricing, and 24/7 emergency AC repair.

Sign up for our Health, Safety & Comfort Club, which keeps your system running efficiently, and ask about financing options for solutions that fit your budget. Don’t let AC issues disrupt your summer — call Albemarle Heating & Air for exceptional service and reliable comfort.

Request AC repair in Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson, Augusta, Madison, Greene, or Orange County.

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