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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Unusual Air Conditioning Repairs


When it comes to air conditioning systems, most California homeowners are familiar with common issues such as refrigerant leaks, clogged filters, and a lack of cold air. However, there are also unusual problems that can plague your AC system, often leading to unexpected and potentially costly repairs.

Let’s go over some of these uncommon issues that can arise with air conditioning systems and heat pumps so you’ll know when to call us for air conditioning repair in Lake Forest.


One of the more surprising issues that can affect your air conditioning system is the presence of pests such as cockroaches, mice, and rats. Rodents can cause significant damage by chewing through electrical wires, creating shorts or complete system failures. Wasps and bees can build nests in and around the outdoor unit, potentially damaging its components.

If you notice signs of pests such as frayed wires, strange noises, or nests near the AC unit, address the issue promptly. Not only can pests cause immediate damage, but their presence can also lead to long-term issues that will become more costly to repair. 

Ductwork Issues

Your ductwork must be in solid shape if it’s going to effectively and efficiently deliver conditioned air throughout your home. Collapsed or disconnected ducts and even small leaks can significantly reduce the system’s efficiency by obstructing airflow and causing it to work harder than necessary. These issues can be particularly difficult to detect because they are often hidden within walls or ceilings.

Another unusual problem is the presence of foreign objects or debris lodged inside the ductwork. This can range from items that have somehow found their way into the ducts to the accumulation of dirt and debris over time. A dust layer of 1/16” of an inch can reduce your blower efficiency by a whopping 20%, leading to uneven cooling and increased energy consumption.

Refrigerant Leaks in Unusual Places

While refrigerant leaks are a common issue, they can sometimes occur in less obvious parts of the system. Leaks can develop in the evaporator coil or within the refrigerant lines that run through the walls of your home. These hidden leaks can be challenging to detect and will cause a decline in the system’s cooling efficiency.

Thermostat Issues

Modern AC systems rely on a variety of sensors and control mechanisms to operate efficiently. However, these components can sometimes malfunction. Thermostat sensors can become miscalibrated which can result in uneven cooling, frequent cycling, or even complete system shutdowns.

Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes

If your heat pump won’t switch modes, the reversing valve could be responsible. This component changes the direction of the refrigerant flow and switches the system between heating and cooling modes. Sometimes, the valve can get stuck or fail, requiring one of our professional HVAC technicians to replace it.

While air conditioning systems are designed to provide reliable comfort, they are not immune to unusual problems that can arise unexpectedly. Contact us when you need AC repair for a common or unusual issue.

Contact Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air for fast, professional air conditioning repair in Lake Forest, CA. We have served Orange County since 1981.

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