How to Troubleshoot an American Standard Air Conditioner

Fixing the air conditioning

American Standard air conditioners are among the most reliable on the market. Their compressors run cooler and last longer than average, and they use a refrigerant that’s less likely to leak.

But even the best air conditioner can break down with age and heavy demand. Eventually, every air conditioner wears out and must be replaced, even ultra-reliable American Standard units.

Let’s look at some of the more common problems where a simple DIY fix may be all you need.

Also, is it time to replace your trusty but aging American Standard air conditioner, or will maintenance and minor repairs keep your AC running for a bit longer? This article will help you decide.

1. The air conditioner won’t turn on.

Panic mode.

That’s the usual knee-jerk reaction when the AC fails to fire up.

But before you call us — and we’re always glad that you do — take a few minutes to perform a basic inspection.

  • Check the breaker or fuse box. A tripped breaker or blown fuse may have interrupted the power to the AC unit.
  • Check your thermostat settings. The AC may be off at the thermostat, or you may not have turned the thermostat low enough to power on the AC. It may seem insulting to mention this, but we go on plenty of calls where a faulty thermostat setting is to blame. It’s an expensive lesson for a homeowner to learn.
  • A power surge or a tripped breaker may cause your American Standard air conditioner to turn off. Check relevant switches on indoor and outdoor units, or press the reset button near the power cord for at least five seconds.

2. The air conditioner won’t turn off.

  • If your American Standard air conditioner doesn’t turn off, make sure the temperature setting on the thermostat matches the room temperature.
  • It seems like another “duh” moment, but a mis-set thermostat is one of the most common reasons an AC unit won’t turn off.
  • Check to see if obstructions around the outdoor AC unit might be preventing it from turning off. If so, remove them.
  • Still no luck? Call us for an inspection.

3. The air conditioner isn’t blowing cold air or keeping the house cool.

  • Check your air filters and ducts for any obstructions impeding cold airflow.
  • Confirm that the outdoor compressor isn’t dirty or clogged with debris, as this could cause overheating and damage to the system.
  • Look for any open windows you might not have noticed previously. Just one open window can seriously decrease your system’s cooling power.
  • If your system is leaking refrigerant, it’s time to call in a professional. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and expensive to repair.
  • The cooling problem could be due to a malfunctioning AC compressor. The compressor moves refrigerant through the air conditioning system.

Three symptoms point to a compressor problem.

  • Repeated tripping of a fuse box circuit breaker.
  • Strange or loud noises in the housing of the system’s outdoor unit.
  • An outdoor unit that shudders or shakes severely during active cooling cycles.

4. There’s a lack of airflow.

  • A dirty filter is usually responsible for poor airflow. To troubleshoot, check filter locations and clean or replace any filter with apparent dirt and dust accumulation.
  • A dirty condenser coil could hamper airflow. Problems arise when something obstructs the passage of air into your outdoor AC unit. Prime suspects include leaves, accumulated debris, and shrubs, and hedges.
  • Airflow obstructions can make your air conditioner freeze up — literally.
  • Look for telltale signs of water on the ground beneath the air conditioner. If you notice water spots, clear away obstructions and turn the system off for a few hours so the AC unit can thaw out.
  • A damaged or broken air handler/blower could cause airflow problems in your American Standard system.
  • Yet again, a dirty air filter may be at fault or obstructions inside the blower assembly. Finally, your blower fan could be running at the wrong speed.
  • Please consult your owner’s manual to troubleshoot these issues before calling us.

5. You notice air conditioner leaks indoors.

All air conditioners collect condensation during regular operation. Water droplets form when humid air comes in contact with cold surfaces.

Depending on the humidity where you live, water from condensation can amount to several gallons a day.

This water must go somewhere. Usually, it’s drained from your air handler through an attached tube or a section of PVC pipe. From there, it’s pumped outside or pulled outside by gravity.

If you see water pooling or active leaks below the indoor unit of your air conditioning system:

  • Look for cracks or leaks in the tube or pipe responsible for channeling condensation out of the unit.
  • Next, look for any obstructions within the tube or pipe. If ice is blocking the line, check for dirty air filters or inadequate refrigerants.
  • If your American Standard air conditioner has a condensate pump, your indoor leak may result from a pump malfunction.

6. You hear strange noises coming from the vents.

Strange or unusual noises coming from your air conditioning vents may indicate a clogged air filter. They could also stem from furniture obstructing the system’s return or supply vent openings.

But if your troubleshooting eliminates these potential candidates, you may have bigger problems, including worn-out AC system components or poorly installed or inadequately sized air ducts.

When to Call Chief for Help

While simple DIY fixes can solve some air conditioning issues, others demand the expertise of someone familiar with American Standard’s designs. Attempting to perform repairs you’re not qualified to do could cost you more in the long run and even lead to serious injury.

At West Coast Chief Repair, we’re up-to-date on American Standard’s approach to AC manufacturing and have years of experience working on the company’s products. We apply this expert knowledge during every service call. Plus, we can show you how to keep your newly repaired system running strong. Call us today!




  1. James Venable

    My airconditioner is going into Lock Out and will not start the compressor in the heat mode. Service tech from Az Perfect Comfort tell me everything checks out just fine. I can’t go out and reset the circuit breaker to get it going every day! Not reasonable. What can cause this thing to lock out and can it be fixed. This thing is 5 years old and has cost me a fortune!

    Unhappy customer.

  2. Thomas Bolt

    Well seems to be the problem everyone with American standard ac systems mine is less than 5 years old and have had to have a new part every year since purchase it’s sad I should have kept my old 30 year old ac

    • Joe Arico

      I just had an American Standard A/C installed in April 2023. At shut down it makes a rattling noise. From what I’ve read its because of the compressor does not having a check valve thus causing a reverse during shutdown. Have you experienced the same noise ?


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