Sometimes your air conditioner and heating system would catch you off guard and breakdown all of a sudden – this may happen in the middle of the night or on busy hours when it’s impossible to call for a technician. In cases like this, a practical homeowner should have basic troubleshooting skills
to try and figure out what is going wrong with his/her units.
Here’s a handy checklist of simple AC troubleshooting tips to try.
1. Check the power supply.
APPLIANCE REPAIR RULE #1:
Make sure the plug is in the outlet and the connection is firm.
APPLIANCE REPAIR RULE #2:
Check whether a power outage. This is increasingly common in the summer months.
2. Check the HVAC registers.
You may feel that the AC is not cooling if your HVAC registers (wall vents that channel heated or cooled air into your room) are closed or blocked. Open the registers wide to allow the cooled air to circulate adequately. Move anything that might be obstructing the circulation, such as curtains,
large pieces of furniture, even an oversized houseplant.
Play it safe: Always, ALWAYS turn off the electrical power before you try the following do-it-yourself AC repair tips.
3. Check the filter. If your AC is running but not cooling, the culprit could be a clogged filter, which is restricting airflow to the system so that the motor runs without producing any results. This is especially likely if:
- You’ve been using the air conditioning heavily
- You have furry pets in the house
- Your house or neighborhood is exceptionally dusty
Clean or change the filter as necessary. Then continue inspecting the filter every month. BONUS: Using a clean filter can reduce your air conditioning costs by as much as 15 percent.
4. Check the outside unit. Clean the condenser coils. Remove spider webs, fallen leaves, weeds, or other debris and trim any trees or bushes that might be blocking the unit and causing your AC problems. Follow up by gently rinsing off dirt with a garden hose.
5. Check the thermostat. If your thermostat display isn’t lighting up, change the batteries. Next, adjust the thermostat fan setting to “Auto,” rather than “On” (which will cause the fan to run constantly and result in your AC blowing hot air at times). Set the thermostat at “Cool,” with the temperature 5 degrees below current room temperature.
6. Check the switches. Your home cooling system includes on-off switches to the indoor and outdoor components (usually located near the air handler and the compressor, respectively). Make sure these have not been accidentally flipped to the “Off” position. In addition, your unit might be equipped with a water safety switch to prevent water leakage if the AC drain becomes clogged. If this is the case, the drain will need to be cleared.
Fixed it? Congratulations!
If, on the other hand, you would rather be safe and have someone else to check it for you or you’ve tried all these tips and your AC is still not performing up to par, chances are that there is a more serious problem.
Better get a professional. We are at your service. Talk to us.