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Five Common Causes of HVAC Failures

It may not be the peak of summer anymore, but most families still run their air conditioner all day until mid-October. If your A/C happens to go out before the cooler weather hits, you will have to have a professional come out and assess the situation. We often get called out for the same issues with HVAC systems, so we created this article to review the five most common cause of HVAC failures for our area, and what options are available for system repair.

Capacitors and Contactors:

Some of the more “typical” repairs we see at Climatech of Professional Air are bad capacitors and bad contactors. A great deal of electricity flows through these components, creating the potential for both to get extremely hot. When the temperature outside rises, these components generate even more heat and as a result, quite often fail, and it doesn’t seem to matter what the brand or the size of the unit is. The good news is, both capacitors and contactors usually aren’t very expensive to fix. It is worth the investment to repair.

Fan Motor:

Another common failure we see is in the condensing fan motor. This is the fan located in the air conditioner. It endures extremes in temperature throughout the year since it is exposed to the outside elements. Despite the elements, the industry has come a long way to develop systems and components that can stand the test of time. Fan motors are also an investment worth replacing.


A third common issue we see is compressor failure. The compressor is like the engine in your car, and it can be very expensive to replace. This is why, at Climatech of Professional Air, we recommend you weigh the options of unit replacement prior to investing in a new compressor. As a general rule, if the unit is more than six years old, if the part isn’t covered under warranty or if the unit is using the old style R-22 refrigerant, you might be money ahead to purchase a new unit instead of putting money into the old unit. Learn more about our high-efficiency units:


Air conditioning systems low on refrigerant is another common repair. A unit should not require, nor is it legal, to refill refrigerant year after year. If your air conditioner requires refrigerant every year, you most likely have a leaky refrigerant circuit, and you must get it repaired or replace the system. The refrigerant circuit consists of the air conditioner, the copper refrigeration line set and the evaporator coil. The leak could reside in one or all of the components, but the smaller the leak the more difficult it is to find. High-pressure nitrogen tests and dyes are common methods of locating a refrigerant leak, however, there is no guarantee that it will be found or possible to repair.


Dirty equipment can also cause issues with your system. Dust and other airborne particles often accumulate in the condensing coil of the air conditioner resulting in reduced efficiency and capacity. In severe cases, the unit may even ice up due to a dirty condensing coil. This means ice will form around the copper lines either inside or outside. Since the air conditioner pulls air in through the condensing coil it is much more effective to clean it from the inside out. To do this you must remove either the top or a side panel. We suggest homeowners do not attempt this as both breakers to your air conditioner and furnace must be off. Please call a certified HVAC professional such as Climatech of Professional Air to make the repair.

• Having a maintenance plan in place will also help avoid this common issue. Our maintenance plans include twice yearly visits where we clean, test and maintain your system for optimum efficiency and home comfort. Learn more here:

Keep in mind, all of the failures and repairs listed should be addressed by a professional HVAC technician. Because you are dealing with high voltage electricity and refrigerant, it is not recommended homeowners attempt these repairs for their own safety. Refrigerant handlers must also be EPA certified.

What you can do:

One of the biggest reasons people experience air conditioner problems is due to a dirty air filter. This is very common and easily prevented. A dirty filter restricts the amount of air that flows through the evaporator coil. When this occurs the coil gets too cold and the system will freeze up. Changing your filter monthly is the best line of defense.

Keep in mind, the most expensive filter is not always the right answer. If your duct system isn’t designed for a high-efficient filter, more likely than not, you should opt for the least expensive filter.

You may call us at 850-968-2161 or email us at [email protected].

Climatech of Professional Air is a licensed and insured HVAC Contractor located in Pensacola, FL. For more than 40 years, we’ve been providing our customers with the very best in honest, professional and courteous service.