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The Top Ten Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Stopped Working - Why is my AC not cooling?


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Top Ten Reasons Why Your HVAC Stops Working

There is no worse feeling than coming home to a house that is too hot or cold. When your HVAC system stops working, it can cause a lot of hassle and discomfort. Here are the top ten reasons why your central air conditioner is down. Why is my AC not cooling?


1. Dirty Filters

Your HVAC system has filters that keep the air clean. These can get clogged with dirt and dust which negatively affects the air quality and can cause your HVAC system to malfunction.


The air filter in an AC unit traps dust, dirt and other particles in the air before they can infiltrate the AC system. Over time, a filter can become clogged and overwhelmed with debris. When this happens, the filter can slow down the air flow through the unit. This can increase the unit’s internal pressure, causing it to work harder than it should.

Eventually, this strain put on the system can cause the compressor to fail or trigger the system’s safety mechanism, shutting it down completely.

If the air filter is accidentally left out, or improperly installed this can increase the potential that unfiltered dirt and/or dust accumulate in the air handler thus impacting the major AC components known to require adequate air flow. A clogged air filter can result in longer cycle times, increased wear and tear on the system, wasted energy, higher electricity bills, and discomfort in your home.

Keeping your AC air filter clean is a small but very important step in maintaining your HVAC system and increasing its lifespan. It is always advisable in a hot environment like summer, to switch out the air filter at minimum once a month to ensure the continuous functioning of your AC.


2. Thermostat Issues

If your thermostat is not functioning properly, it can cause your HVAC system to turn off or on at the wrong times which can cause the HVAC system to not perform its function properly.Dirty or malfunctioning thermostats can impact the efficiency and performance of your HVAC system, ultimately leading to heating or cooling issues.

Thermostats need to accurately read the temperature of your home in order for your HVAC system to deliver proper heating or cooling. Incorrect temperature readings can result in inconsistencies in indoor temperatures, making it harder to maintain comfortable conditions. Dirty thermostats can complicate this even further, causing calibration issues and incorrect temperature measurements.

Poor wiring in your thermostat can also reinforce the heating or cooling issue, putting undue strain on your HVAC system and causing it to work harder than it should.

To ensure your HVAC system operates optimally, regular thermostat maintenance checks are strongly recommended. If your thermostat is dirty or elderly, in some instances it must be replaced. Consider a simple upgrade to a newer model like a smart thermostat which tend to provide enhanced features for control and energy saving.


3. Lack of Maintenance

Not servicing your HVAC system regularly means debris build-up and other issues which can lead to problems with the airflow and even stop working altogether.


Lack of maintenance for your HVAC system can cause various issues. With time, debris and dust can accumulate in the HVAC system's components which can make the components work harder, putting extra strain on the system. This build-up of debris can also lead to a higher concentration of harmful particles in the air, posing a risk to your family's health.

The following issues could arise due to a lack of maintenance:

Higher Energy Bills:

When an HVAC system is not well-maintained, it would require more energy to run smoothly which would likely raise your energy bills.

Lower Efficiency and Comfort:

If the HVAC system is not properly maintained, its efficiency is reduced, its failures will increase and you experience less comfort in your home.

Higher Repair Bills:

When an HVAC system is regularly maintained, parts that become worn and those in need of repair are identified early and repaired promptly to ensure that the issue does not fester and turn into a significant and costly repair.

To prevent these issues, it is best to schedule an annual checkup when a professional HVAC technician evaluates your HVAC system's condition, checking each component for wear and tear, and provide appropriate recommendations when necessary.

Regular maintenance ensures your HVAC system's all-around good performance and improves its lifespan.

An Air Conditioner Repair for a Client Who had no cooling in their home

4. Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant leaks will lead to a reduced cooling capacity reducing the efficiency and causes the air conditioner to stop functioning.


Refrigerant leaks can also cause a host of other issues for your HVAC system. The refrigerant in your HVAC system is responsible for absorbing heat from the air, helping to cool your home.


When refrigerant levels are low due to a leak, your HVAC system will struggle to maintain the desired indoor temperature causing energy waste and high energy bills.

Low refrigerant levels have other issues, such as a higher likelihood of the system overheating, which can cause components to fail. An AC unit's compressor, for example, can break down, creating some irreparable harm depending on the severity of the refrigerant leak.

If your cooling system can't maintain a steady, accurate temperature, even when used frequently, that could often be the outcome of a refrigerant leak.

If your HVAC unit is low on refrigerant, it can lead to:

Higher Energy Bills:

Leaking refrigerant affects your HVAC's capacity to cool the air effectively, causing it to work harder to maintain your desired indoor temperature. Consequently, this will cost more on your energy bills in the long run.

Compressor Failure:

Low refrigerant levels put undue strain on your HVAC system by making components operate in overtime, which could lead to premature component failure.


Warm Air or No Airflow:

There will be an increase in the level of warm air that blows out of your HVAC equipment. There might also be a decrease in the overall amount of airflow when refrigerant fluid is lacking, making your home uncomfortable and unfit for both the long and short term.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak in your HVAC system, it's important to address it promptly. A licensed HVAC professional can identify the origin of the leak and mend it easily while also replenishing the refrigerant to ensure optimal functioning.



5. Electrical Connections and Components

Electricity is essential for your HVAC system to work correctly. If there is an issue with the electrical connections or the components powering your HVAC system, it might not work at all.

AC electrical components and electrical connections are essential parts of your HVAC system. Electrical connections include wiring and other electrical items such as circuit breakers and fuses, all of which are prone to malfunctioning with improper maintenance.

Lack of maintenance or wear and tear can cause electrical components like capacitors, relays, and contactors to fail, ultimately impacting the functioning and health of your air conditioning system. Poor electrical components increase the risk of overloading or overheating the system, which may cause the unit to shut down automatically, prompting the need for further repairs.

Overall, ignoring regular maintenance checks on your HVAC's electrical components will lead to longer-term consequences such as:

Increased Energy Consumption:

Higher energy bills resulting from the accumulation of electrical difficulties.

Damage to Compressors

The compressor is the heart of the AC system; when there are electrical problems caused by lack of maintenance, it will cause unnecessary component wear and tear which increase the chances of the compressor breaking down, ultimately leading to repairs or replacement.

Unusual Sounds:

A failing electrical element can trigger unusual sounds, similar to buzzing, crackling, or humming sounds, among others, especially in outdoor units.

To preserve the integrity of your AC's electrical components and enhance its longevity, you must regularly schedule maintenance checks by a professional HVAC technician, at minimum twice a year. These routine checks will include a comprehensive cleaning process and prompt detection of damaged parts to curtail minor issues before they escalate to become expensive AC faults.


6. Clogged Drain Lines

Warm moist air produced by the HVAC system can lead to condensation. If your drain lines get clogged, this condensation can accumulate which causes the HVAC system to stop working.


Clogged or blocked drain lines are a frequently overlooked but critical issue that can significantly impact your HVAC system. AC units use condensation in the cooling process, producing moisture that needs to be discharged outside using drain lines. These drain lines often encounter blockages due to dirt, mold, algae, or other debris that accumulates over time within the drain lines.

When these blockages go unchecked, water accumulating nea your HVAC unit leads to overheating, water damage, and system failures. Blocked drain lines can also lead to problems inside your home, affecting your flooring, walls, or any wood or drywall surfaces. This drain blockage engenders poor indoor quality and once ignored brings in the strong likelihood of mold growth in the longer term.

Other consequences of blocked drain lines include:

Shorter Lifespan:

A HVAC with a clogged drain line will decrease the system's lifespan due to the buildup of water damage and stress on critical parts of the system.

Higher Energy Bills:

Water accumulation and buildup impedes the functioning of various air conditioning components associated with cooling, and makes it tougher for your AC equipment to remove moisture from the air resulting in higher energy usage.

Decreased Air Quality:

The clogged drain and stagnant moisture on your HVAC can encourage the growth of molds that reduce indoor air quality leading to respiratory health risks.

To stop declining performance metrics and impaired indoor air quality within your home, regular maintenance checks are critical with some steps you can take to reduce the impact of clogged drain lines, such as replacing or cleaning drain lines or installing a drain line to improve your HVAC's lifespan.

7. Dirty Coils

Dirty coils can reduce the effectiveness of the system and reduce system efficiency, eventually causing the HVAC system to stop functioning.


Dirty coils are a common issue faced by HVAC systems that can cause damage to your AC equipment and your wallet. Coils are an integral component of your AC unit that carry out the cooling process. But over time, dirt, dust, and other debris can lead to coil buildup. Dirty coils hinder the AC system from performing at its full capacity thus increasing the energy consumption level.

Dirty coils can lead to the following issues:

Failure to Cool Effectively:

When the coils are dirty, the process of cooling takes longer, leading to reduced efficiency and a decreased ability to remove the heat from your home. This implies longer cycle times to cool your home and fading cooling capacity

Increased Energy Bills and Equipment Stress:

A dirty coil makes the equipment struggle to cool the indoor environment instead of cycling rapidly decreasing energy bills and promoting system longevity. As the system increasingly battles the dirt and debris within the coils, wear and tear start to appear on important parts of the system, leading to malfunction or breakdown.

Reduced Lifespan:

Dirty coils advise an equipment efficiency workout in overtime, therefore causing component wear and tear which will shorten an air conditioning system's overall lifespan.

Regular maintenance of air conditioner coils is imperative. Here are some indicators that could propose the need of immediate cleaning or altogether replacement:

Coils are Visible Dirty:

Inspect your AC to see if the coils have gathered more dirt or debris between cleanings than before. If the situation continues, the HVAC platform will eventually shutter down and be nonfunctional.

Frequent On/Off cycling of the Equipment:

Dirty Coil buildup venting can cause short-cycle times, and this increase in stress puts a strain on the equipment, this stress inevitably destroys the components of the unit, thereby reducing its lifespan.

Annual maintenance checks with a certified HVAC contractor can help you keep your equipment running effectively by regularly cleaning and inspecting the coils. If cleaning your dirty coil doesn't solve the problem, a licensed technician might recommend replacing the entire coil.

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8. Wiring Issues

Your HVAC system needs electrical wiring to function properly; faulty wiring can lead to malfunctions that cause the system to stop working.


Wiring connections and wiring components are some of the essential parts in your air conditioner's infrastructure. The wiring and connections in your system supply electricity that run and coordinates the air conditioning's various parts together. Over time, exposure to heat, moisture, and wear and tear can cause these wires and any electrical hardware parts such as contractors, capacitors, and limit switches to develop corroding and loose connections.

Inadequately wired components or improperly installed components could have far-reaching effects on your home's comfort, from property damages to the electrical functionality of your air conditioning system.

Here are some of the negative consequences of faulty wiring connections and components of an air conditioner:

System Malfunction:

Worn or loosened connections and waterlogged wiring of your air conditioner increase the possibility of a system malfunction, which can cause serious damage to the air conditioning sytem if not timely repaired.

Safety Hazards:

Faulty wiring and components can have potentially hazardous outcomes ranging from electric shock injuries to the outbreak of a fire.

Premature Failure of Parts:

This could result from compromised parts like contractors, capacitors, and limit switches due to loose connections, corrosion, or overexposure to electrical fluctuations.

Regular maintenance checkups by a properly licensed HVAC specialist can help identify problems before they degenerate into larger issues and have significant impacts on your home cooling ease. Some of the solutions to faulty HVAC wiring connections and failure of parts include regular inspection and repair of gaps in wiring insulation and faulty contractors or capacitors promptly. Overall regular maintenance helps to avoid complex system difficulties, reduces electricity billing costs and ultimately increases the longevity of your air conditioning system by maintaining adequate wiring interconnections cables and connections.

9. Frozen Evaporator Coils

The buildup of dirt and debris causes frozen evaporator coils, reducing the effectiveness of the system, and leading to system malfunctions.


10. Age

Your HVAC system has a lifespan, the older it becomes, the greater the chances of needing repair or replacements to key components vital to the systems proper function which eventually leads to system failure.


Wiring connections and wiring components are some of the essential parts in your air conditioner's infrastructure. The wiring and connections in your system supply electricity that run and coordinates the air conditioning's various parts together. Over time, exposure to heat, moisture, and wear and tear can cause these wires and any electrical hardware parts such as contractors, capacitors, and limit switches to develop corroding and loose connections.

Inadequately wired components or improperly installed components could have far-reaching effects on your home's comfort, from property damages to the electrical functionality of your air conditioning system.

Here are some of the negative consequences of faulty wiring connections and components of an air conditioner:

System Malfunction:

Worn or loosened connections and waterlogged wiring of your air conditioner increase the possibility of a system malfunction, which can cause serious damage to the air conditioning sytem if not timely repaired.

Safety Hazards:

Faulty wiring and components can have potentially hazardous outcomes ranging from electric shock injuries to the outbreak of a fire.

Premature Failure of Parts:

This could result from compromised parts like contractors, capacitors, and limit switches due to loose connections, corrosion, or overexposure to electrical fluctuations.

Regular maintenance checkups by a properly licensed HVAC specialist can help identify problems before they degenerate into larger issues and have significant impacts on your home cooling ease. Some of the solutions to faulty HVAC wiring connections and failure of parts include regular inspection and repair of gaps in wiring insulation and faulty contractors or capacitors promptly. Overall regular maintenance helps to avoid complex system difficulties, reduces electricity billing costs and ultimately increases the longevity of your air conditioning system by maintaining adequate wiring interconnections cables and connections.

If you encounter any of these problems with your HVAC system or would like a skilled technician to conduct proper maintenance or repair, give us a call 847-624-5161. Rice HVAC is a premier heating, air conditioning, and ventilation contractor serving customers in northwest Illinois suburbs of Chicago. South Elgin and other nearby towns like Bartlett, Roselle and Streamwood. We provide unmatched services to residents and commercial enterprises in all these areas.


What sets Rice HVAC apart from our competitors is our dedication to customer service, high-quality workmanship, and accurate results. At Rice HVAC, we prioritize personalized services, prompt resolutions, and customer satisfaction as our first approach. We also use our extensive knowledge and experience in the HVAC industry to ensure that we provide energy-efficient, long-lasting solutions tailored to the specific needs of our customers.


Our HVAC services cover everything from repair, when an aging HVAC system suddenly deteriorates, to installation of new, high-tech systems designed to keep your space comfortable and healthy for years. In essence, we offer unparalleled heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services that keep your HVAC system running in top condition all year round at competitive prices.


Our Service Area includes - AC repair near me:

1.South Elgin, IL - 60177

2. Elgin, IL - 60123, 60124, 60120, 60121, 60122

3. Hoffman Estates, IL - 60169, 60179

4. Bartlett, IL - 60103, 60133

5. Streamwood, IL - 60107

6. Hanover Park, IL - 60133, 60103, 60107

7. Carol Stream, IL - 60188

8. Wayne, IL - 60184

9. Roselle, IL - 60172

10. West Chicago, IL - 60185, 60186


We invite you to reach out to us today at 847-624-5161, to schedule a maintenance check or repair of your HVAC system.

A picture of a family representing the comfort that Rice HVAC provides to their clients.




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