7 Common Aircon Problems And How To Troubleshoot Them

Living in a hot, humid country like Malaysia, we rely so much on our air conditioner (aircon or AC) unit to keep us cool and comfortable.

That’s why it can be frustrating when your aircon starts acting up.

Here are some answers to the most common aircon problems every homeowner will face.

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1. Why is my aircon not switching on?


If your air conditioner light doesn’t switch on at all, check for these common reasons:

First, check that the aircon unit is plugged in and switched on at the outlet.

Next, check whether the batteries in the remote control have run out. Replace the batteries and try again, or borrow a remote from another room and try that.

Another reason could be short circuited or faulty wiring. Get an aircon specialist to check it as it could turn into a fire hazard.


2. Why is my aircon not cold?

Hin Construction Sdn Bhd. Source.
Hin Construction Sdn Bhd. Source.

This is one of the most common aircon problems.

When your air conditioner is not blowing cool air, the reason is that the refrigerant gas in the unit has escaped over time, and needs to be topped up.

A new aircon unit will not require any top up for the first year or so. However, the seals in older units can start to weaken due to wear and tear, letting the refrigerant escape. This can cause your unit to become warm every few months. In some cases, a really bad leak will cause it to become warm every 30 days.

To make the aircon run cool again, a technician can come over to refill the refrigerant gas. However, if the aircon becomes warm again very quickly, they may need to find the leaks and replace worn out seals and tubing.



3. Why is my aircon dripping?

Common aircon problems - dirty filter - photo by Norma Century Sdn Bhd
Norma Century Sdn Bhd. Source.

As the air is cooled, is gives out some of its moisture. That moisture must be drained away from your room. If not, it will drip inside your unit and on to your room floor.

Therefore, the most common reason for a leaking air conditioner is a blocked drainage system, or dirty filters.

This can be caused by dust or mould, a tilted aircon unit, or even worn out insulation around the pipes.

A deep cleaning will solve this. Schedule one with an aircon specialist in your area.

Read more: Reasons for aircon dripping


4. Why is the outside fan not turning?

My Gemilang Sdn Bhd. Source.
My Gemilang Sdn Bhd. Source.

The compressor unit on the outside of your window transfers heat out from inside your room.

When you switch your aircon on, the compressor unit will also start turning, and give off a low hum. If it doesn’t, check these first:

Did you set the temperature too high? If you accidentally set the remote to 30 degrees, only the blower unit inside your room will turn on. The compressor outside may not. Try lowering the temperature and see the compressor starts humming again.

Another possibility is a blown fuse. It’s not advisable to open the compressor unit yourself, so book an aircon servicing to check this.

If the technician determines that the electronics inside the compressor have failed, the entire compressor may need to be replaced. This could cost more than 60% of the entire aircon set, so you may want to consider installing a new unit.


5. Why is my aircon noisy?

Zam Handyman. Source.
Zam Handyman. Source.

It depends on the type of noise you are hearing.

If it’s a vibrating noise, it may be a loose vent or directing fins. The fins direct the cool air to the left and right of the aircon unit. You can adjust them using the remote, or by hand.

Check that these fins have clicked into place, and are not hanging loose.

Aircon Chemical Cleaning

If it’s a squeaking noise, it could be dust build up (causing a whistling effect). Or worse, the unit has gone out of alignment. In both cases, schedule an aircon servicing team to take a look.

If it’s a crackling noise, it may be the sound of ice building up around the coil inside your AC unit. Ice forming inside the AC can be due to improper air flow from dust build up, clogged drain system or low-refrigerant gas.


6. Why does my aircon smell funny?

Hydro cleaning by The Dustbox Aircon Services. Source.
Hydro cleaning by The Dustbox Aircon Services. Source.

This usually happens when mildew and mould builds up inside your AC unit. This happens from lack of regular cleaning.

Besides the smell, too much exposure to mould spores can be dangerous to your health. Contaminated air can cause sneezing and runny nose, as well as many other health problems.

Arrange for regular maintenance with your AC expert to avoid getting that musty smell inside your bedroom.


7. Why does my aircon keep switching on and off by itself?

If your aircon switches off by itself in the middle of the night, that could be a timer issue. Check whether your remote control batteries are running out. You should also check whether you accidentally set the timer to switch off after 6 hours or so.

However, if it keeps switching on and off by itself, it could be due to a blocked or dirty compressor unit. Getting a pro to deep clean your aircon should solve this aircon problem.


Can’t figure out your aircon problems? Contact Recommend.my

Get Instant Booking for Aircon Servicing

We have 100+ reliable air conditioner experts ready to arrange an appointment with you. From installation to repairs to deep cleaning, let us know where you are and we will give you an estimate.

5 thoughts on “7 Common Aircon Problems And How To Troubleshoot Them”

    1. Hi Dass, the gas running low is a symptom of wear and tear. The seals and joints can start to wear out and some of the gas can escape over time. You can keep topping up the gas and get the aircon cool again for a few more months, but this might be wasteful. Instead, try to find and plug the leaks, and then top up the gas.

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