Philadelphia summers can be brutal, with high humidity and soaring temperatures putting your air conditioning system to the test. Knowing what can go wrong with your AC and how to address these issues can save you discomfort and reduce your cooling costs. Here’s a look at 12 common AC problems that Philly homeowners might encounter, along with DIY fixes and advice on when it's time to call in a professional.

1. Dirty Air Filters

DIY Fix: Check and replace your air filters every 1-3 months, especially during heavy usage months. Pro Needed: If you have allergies or pets, consider having a professional recommend specialized filtration solutions.

2. Low Refrigerant Levels

DIY Fix: Detecting a refrigerant leak is not a DIY job; however, noticing ice on the coils can be a tell-tale sign. Pro Needed: Handling refrigerant requires certification; a professional must address leaks and refill refrigerant.

3. Faulty Thermostat

DIY Fix: Replace the batteries, or reset the thermostat. Pro Needed: If issues persist after basic troubleshooting, the thermostat might need professional recalibration or replacement.

4. Clogged Drain Lines

DIY Fix: Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear the drain line from outside your home. Pro Needed: If clogs recur, this might indicate a deeper issue that requires professional cleaning.

5. Tripped Circuit Breakers

DIY Fix: Reset the circuit breaker if it trips. Pro Needed: If it trips frequently, this could indicate electrical issues that need professional attention.

6. Dirty Condenser Coils

DIY Fix: Gently clean the coils with a hose on a low setting; make sure the unit is powered off first. Pro Needed: For thorough cleaning or if the unit is not cooling efficiently, call a professional.

7. Worn Contactor Switches

DIY Fix: Inspect for visible signs of wear or arcing. Pro Needed: Replacing contactor switches involves handling high-voltage components and should be done by a professional.

8. Blown Fuses

DIY Fix: Check the HVAC fuse in your electrical panel. Pro Needed: If you're unsure about replacing fuses, or if new fuses blow, this needs professional diagnosis.

9. Iced Over Evaporator Coils

DIY Fix: Turn off the unit to let the ice melt. Pro Needed: Persistent ice formation needs professional attention to check airflow and refrigerant levels.

10. Duct Leaks

DIY Fix: Seal visible leaks with duct tape. Pro Needed: For extensive leaks or inaccessible ducts, you’ll need duct testing and sealing from a pro.

11. Oversized AC Units

DIY Fix: There’s no DIY fix for an improperly sized unit. Pro Needed: A professional assessment and potentially replacing the unit with a correctly sized one.

12. Improper Installation

DIY Fix: Revisit installation guidelines to ensure proper setup. Pro Needed: For issues like poor airflow or frequent breakdowns, professional reinstallation may be required.

Ensuring Your Comfort and Efficiency

Regular maintenance and understanding your system’s needs can help you keep your AC running efficiently throughout the hot Philly summers. While many issues can be handled on your own, knowing when to call a professional can save you time and money in the long run.

For reliable professional service, consider reaching out to McCorry Comfort. They specialize in diagnosing and fixing complex HVAC issues and can help ensure your system is appropriately sized and properly installed. Remember, an efficient AC system is not just about comfort but also about cost-efficiency and prolonging the life of your unit.