A/C Not Working? Try These Simple Troubleshooting Steps!

January 10, 2018 at 3:41 PM Leave a comment

There’s nothing more frustrating than an air conditioner that’s not working properly – especially if it’s a hot day outside! And if you don’t know what the problem is with your A/C unit, it’s nearly impossible to find a solution.

The best way to get your A/C unit fixed is to call a professional. But until your service person arrives, there are some basic troubleshooting steps you can do to pinpoint the issue, and make servicing your A/C unit easier! Check out these simple troubleshooting steps now.

If Your A/C Is Not Working At All

If your air conditioning unit isn’t working at all, here are some troubleshooting steps you can take.

  • Be sure it’s receiving power – Okay, this is obvious – but is the unit receiving power? If it’s a wall unit, the outlet could have failed, or been switched off. Make sure your A/C unit is receiving power.
  • Reset switches/overloads – If your unit has a reset switch, make sure you press it. It’s possible that it could just need to be reset to work properly.
  • Check your surge protector – Wall units can often trigger surge protectors, especially in warm months when exposed to direct sunlight. Make sure that your A/C unit is plugged into a properly powerful outlet, and that it has not triggered your surge protector.
  • Check your thermostat – If you have central A/C, your thermostat could have failed. Make sure it’s receiving power, and change the batteries if necessary.

If Your A/C Unit Is On, But Not Cooling Very Well

If your A/C unit is running, but it’s blowing only slightly cool air, or otherwise is not delivering satisfactory performance, you can perform several quick checks:

  • Turn off the power and check the filter – If your filter is seriously clogged or dirty, it could be harming the performance of your A/C unit. Check either your central A/C filter, or remove the paneling of your wall unit to check your filter. Replace or clean the filter if it’s dirty.
  • Clean the condensate drain – The condensate pan is what collects condensation created by the cooling process. Usually, this condensate is drained effectively through a condensate drain. If it builds up, however, it can negatively impact cooling performance.

    Check the condensate drain of your unit, and dump any excess fluid. You should also clean the condensate drain to ensure that excess moisture can drain properly.

  • Check the compressor for debris and dirt – Over time, the compressor on your A/C unit can become very dirty. This reduces cooling performance. Take a look at your A/C unit’s compressor, and see if it’s visibly dirty, or there is any debris covering it.
  • Check for ice on evaporator coils – If your evaporator coils drop below freezing, ice can form on them, which decreases cooling performance. This can be caused by low levels of refrigerant, and can also be caused by restricted airflow in your home. Get your refrigerant levels checked, and ensure that all of the registers in your home are open, if you are using a central air conditioner.

If Your A/C Unit Is On, But Blowing Warm Air

If your A/C unit is on, but only blowing warm/room temperature air, there are a few steps you can take to diagnose the problem.

  • Check your thermostat settings – Okay, you probably already did this. But make sure that your thermostat is set to “cool” instead of “fan” or “auto”, and make sure that your desired temperature is at least 5 degrees below room temperature.
  • Look for dirt and debris on the condenser or filter – If your filter is clogged, or your condenser is covered in leaves, dirt, or other debris, the airflow in your A/C unit will be restricted, and it won’t be functioning correctly.
  • Check for refrigerant leaks – Low refrigerant is one of the most common causes of A/C units blowing warm air. If you have a refrigerant leak, this is likely the culprit. You’ll need an HVAC professional to test your unit for refrigerant leaks.
  • Look for leaky air ducts – While they are less common, air duct problems are a cause of A/C units blowing warm air. If you have a leaky air duct (or several) they may draw in warm air from attics, or other warm parts of your home, and blow that air through your A/C system. You’ll need a professional to check your air ducts.

Don’t Try To Fix Your A/C On Your Own – Call A Professional!

While there are some A/C issues – such as a clogged filter – that you can fix on your own, we recommend contacting professionals if you’re having serious issues with your A/C unit. HVAC professionals have the tools and knowledge that you need to get your A/C back in working order.

So don’t go it alone. Find an air conditioning services provider, and enjoy having cool air in your home once more!

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