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Common Summer HVAC Issues & How to Avoid or Fix Them

As temperatures soar during the summer months, our reliance on air conditioning systems to keep us cool and comfortable becomes more evident. However, with increased usage, various HVAC issues can surface, potentially compromising your comfort and safety. Understanding these common problems can help you take proactive measures to avoid or quickly fix them.

1. Low Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of any air conditioning system. It is responsible for cooling the air that circulates through your home. Low refrigerant levels can be caused by leaks or undercharging during installation, leading to a less efficient system and higher energy bills.

How to Spot:

  • The AC isn’t cooling adequately.
  • Hissing or bubbling noises from the refrigerant lines.
  • Ice buildup on the refrigerant line or the outdoor unit.

What to Do:

Immediately contact a licensed HVAC technician to check for leaks and recharge the refrigerant appropriately.

2. Dirty or Clogged Filters

Air filters are crucial in preserving air quality and keeping your HVAC system clean. During summer, dust and allergens increase, which can quickly clog air filters, reducing airflow and stressing the system.

How to Spot:

  • Reduced airflow from vents.
  • More dust around your home.
  • Unusual strain sounds from the HVAC system.

What to Do:

Regularly replace or clean (if reusable) the air filters every 1-3 months, or more frequently if you have pets or allergies.

3. Thermostat Malfunctions

Thermostats regulate the temperature by switching the HVAC system on and off as needed. However, they can malfunction due to dead batteries, poor placement, or electrical issues.

How to Spot:

  • The HVAC system doesn’t respond to temperature adjustments.
  • Rooms are too cold or too hot.
  • Constant cycling of the HVAC system.

What to Do:

First, try replacing the thermostat’s batteries. If issues persist, consult an HVAC professional for a diagnosis.

4. Condensate Drain Line Blockages

The condensate drain line removes the moisture your AC unit pulls from the air. Over time, this line can become blocked with algae, mold, or debris, potentially causing water damage or high indoor humidity levels.

How to Spot:

  • Water leaks around the furnace or AC unit.
  • Musty odors indicating mildew or mold growth.
  • Visible blockage or overflow from the drain pan.

What to Do:

Clear the line yourself using a wet-dry vacuum or call an HVAC technician for a thorough cleaning.

5. Overworked or Failing Capacitors

Capacitors are electrical components that store energy, helping motors start and run efficiently. Heat and regular wear can cause them to fail over time, preventing the AC from functioning properly.

How to Spot:

  • The AC takes a long time to start after turning on.
  • A clicking sound when trying to start the AC.
  • The AC motor doesn’t run even though the unit is on.

What to Do:

Capacitor replacement should be handled by a professional because it involves handling high-voltage components.


While these common HVAC issues can disrupt your summer comfort, most are preventable or easily fixed with regular maintenance. To reduce the likelihood of surprises during heatwaves, schedule annual inspections with a certified HVAC technician, and perform routine upkeep tasks. Being vigilant with your system’s care will ensure a cool and worry-free summer.

Contact Us

Keith Lawson Services is an American Standard Customer Care Dealer having served the Tallahassee area for more than 44 years. We have the tools and expertise to take care of all your HVAC needs!

Give us a call at 850-562-2600 or email us at We’re available 24/7/365 for emergency service. Follow us on Facebook for more helpful home tips!

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