3 Common AC Problems During Winter And How To Avoid Them

Imagine coming home after a long day at work during winter only to find that your AC is not working properly. Sounds like something you’d like to avoid?

Air conditioner heaters can malfunction during winter for a number of reasons; blocked air filter and coils, ice buildup, worn out compression etc. The key is to know what you’re dealing with so you can prevent them in the future. 

Read on to find out the 3 most common AC problems in winter and how you can avoid them. 


Common AC Problems And How To Address Them

If you’ve owned an air conditioner for a long period of time it’s likely you might have experienced at least one of the following issues:

  1. Not turning on
  2. Not heating properly
  3. Loud sounds/ noises

Let’s break down each problem in detail and see how to resolve it.


Not Turning On

Start With A Simple Check

Is everything ok with the connection? Is it plugged in properly? These might be obvious questions but are common solutions to an AC not turning on.

Reset The Unit

Try turning the unit on and off from the power box. Sometimes a simple reset is all you need to get things up and running again. 

Next, Check For A Faulty Compressor

If your simple checks haven’t solved the problem yet, try checking for a faulty compressor. This would especially be the case for older air conditioners. 

If your compressor isn’t working, there may be leaks around the air conditioner unit and also reduced airflow. It’s always best to get a professional opinion on this just to be sure. 

Still Not Working? Check The Thermostat

If your air conditioner is still not working after all these checks, try assessing if there are any issues with the thermostat. If the thermostat is not displaying anything on its screen or it does not respond when you change its settings, there’s something wrong with it


Blowing Cool Air Instead Of Warm Air

Check The Settings 

Sometimes the culprit is that your air conditioner is on the wrong setting. Double check to see that it is set to your desired temperature and correct mode. If it is on the right setting but the temperature still isn’t right, you may need to get a technician to look at it

Ice Build Up

During very cold winter months, ice can build up inside the outer unit of your air conditioning system. This can happen when the indoor unit is working to heat the place but the outdoor unit stays in the cold, and perhaps from poor ventilation or old age, ice builds up.

Ice build up can expand and damage some parts of the air conditioner, causing it to malfunction. To resolve this, it’s best to get a trained professional to help or to thaw out the ice and wait for it to melt before cleaning out your air conditioning system. 

Blocked Air Filters And Coils

Blocked air filters and coils are big issues as they can lead to other problems in your air conditioning system. When the air filter or coils are clogged, the entire system can fail prematurely and stop heating. 

To avoid this, make sure to replace the air filters at least once a year and routinely clean and service your air conditioner.

Worn Out Compressor

Compressors will eventually wear out over time, but they typically last between 10 to 15 years. The problem is that compressors are the heart of the air conditioning system because without it, the whole system will not work

Signs that the compressor is not working is if the outside condensing unit is making strange noises or if the system keeps tripping the circuit breaker. In this case, it’s wise to get a trained professional to handle replacing your worn out compressor. 


Loud Sounds And Noises

Loud Humming

While a normal air conditioner would produce a low humming noise, if the sound is louder than usual it could mean that there is an issue with the fan motor

The motor could be blocked from dust particles, dirt or debris, which would cause the loud humming sounds. If this is the case, you’ll need to get a trained technician to help you as unblocking the fan would require access to the internal parts.  

Rattling Noise

Rattling noises are probably the most common type of sounds you might hear from an AC. The reasons for this is due to debris building up within the system or if parts have been damaged and broken loose and have started to rattle around the ducts or fan

Rattling sounds could also mean that a fan blade may have been bent or damaged. If you encounter this noise, it’s best to get a professional to look at it immediately as the problem could worsen if not dealt with quickly.  

Hissing Noises

If you hear hissing noises coming from your air conditioning unit it’s either that there’s an air leak somewhere in the system or that there is a refrigerant leak. While air leaks are more manageable, refrigerant leaks are more serious as the gas contains hazardous chemicals

If one inhales the refrigerant gas, it can be poisonous and cause serious harm. If you suspect that there is a leak within the system, get a trained technician to check it out for you right away. 



While some issues can’t be prevented, these few steps will help you avoid your system breaking down prematurely. You’ll also be saving yourself from unnecessary spending in repairs if you take a little extra care for your air conditioning system. 

General Cleaning 

Taking the time to clean your air conditioning system regularly can go a long way. Sometimes a simple wipe down of your air filters and other components is all it takes to keep it functioning optimally. 

Service And Maintenance 

Getting your air conditioning system regularly serviced is another important thing to do to prevent future issues. Your air conditioner should be serviced at least once every year but if you’re using it for both heating and cooling functions, it would be good to get it checked twice a year.

A service usually includes a technician checking to see if all parts are functioning properly and if the settings are accurate. Air filters, coils and other crucial parts are thoroughly cleaned or replaced if needed.

Setting To The Right Temperature 

Yes, you heard us right. It seems like something most people wouldn’t get wrong but you’d be surprised how often people incorrectly set the temperature of the aircond and end up overusing it.

SeasonIdeal Temperature 
Winter18 – 20°
Summer25 – 27°

This temperature range will ensure that you’re getting the maximum efficiency from your unit. If you’re living in an area where the climate is cooler during the winter, you can adjust the temperature to be a little warmer. The same goes for when summers are hotter than usual.



How long your air conditioning system lasts will depend on the type of system and usage. But they typically last anywhere between 10 – 20 years. Most warranties would cover repairs and replacements of up to 10 years.

Generally, you can divide the lifespan of your air conditioning system into 3 main periods:

  • < 5 Years: Serviced yearly.
  • 5-11 Years: Will start to show signs of deterioration, such as leaking and not working optimally. Still serviced yearly but lookout for parts that may need to be replaced.
  • > 12 Years: Time to replace your air conditioning unit as at this stage repairs and services become less cost effective.


Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Take the time to learn how to maintain your air conditioning system properly and don’t skip out on getting it serviced regularly. A little goes a long way to ensure that your system is functioning optimally throughout its lifespan.

Try out these tips to help address any issues with your system. But if you’re experiencing further problems or looking to book an air conditioner service, speak to our trained technicians to get the help you need.