If your air conditioner suddenly stops working or isn’t performing well, your first thought might be to call a maintenance technician as soon as possible to fix the problem. This is due to the complexity of HVAC systems. A NATE-certified technician will be your best bet in many cases to get it working again.
However, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take before making that call to assess your situation. You might discover that your AC problem is a relatively simple fix that you can handle in minutes, even if you lack mechanical knowledge.
5 Things to Check Before Calling for Service on Your Air Conditioner
Before calling for service, it never hurts to check your air conditioner. Even if you don’t find a simple DIY solution, you’ll be gathering more information that will help your technician get your AC up and running faster.
There are five major areas to inspect:
1. The Power Source
It may appear obvious, but there are more ways for this to go wrong than you realize. When your power goes out in the evening, you immediately notice because all of your lights go out. However, because AC problems frequently occur during the day, a widespread outage may not be immediately apparent.
Check the power supply of your AC by:
- Checking to see if your lamps or other electronic devices turn on. If they don’t, your home is most likely affected by a larger-scale outage. When the power company restores your power, your air conditioner will most likely turn back on.
- Examine your circuit breakers to see if the circuit that your air conditioner is on has flipped. Then, return the breaker to the “on” position to restore power to your unit.
- Ensure that the disconnect switch on the outside unit has not been turned off. This can happen when someone is performing maintenance.
The thermostat is frequently to blame for a seemingly broken air conditioner. Check it out:
- Replace the batteries, especially if the screen does not illuminate or appears dim. If you replace your batteries, your air conditioner may start working immediately.
- Examine the thermostat’s settings to ensure that it is not set to “heat,” “vent,” or “off.” Your thermostat must be set to “cool” for the AC to work.
3. The Ventilators
The air conditioner appears to be running at times, but your house isn’t cooling down. There are numerous possible causes for this, but it could simply mean that your vents are blocked.
Check to see if the vents are visible in each room. Clear a path for adequate airflow if there is anything in the way (such as boxes, dust, or laundry). You should also ensure that the vents are in the “open” position.
4. Air Filtration
A dirty, clogged filter isn’t usually a deal-breaker for an air conditioner, but it can reduce its cooling efficiency. Some air conditioners are programmed to shut down if they don’t receive enough airflow. Others will continue to run, but much of the cool air will not reach your home’s rooms.
Air filters should be changed every one to three months, depending on the type of filter and the quality of your indoor air. If your filter appears dirty or you haven’t changed it in more than a month, try replacing it to see if it improves your AC’s cooling power.
5. The Condenser Unit
The condenser is the component of the system that most people call the air conditioner. When turned on, the outdoor AC unit appears to be covered in vents and emits a humming noise.
Unfortunately, all of those “vents” (which serve to protect its sensitive coils) can become clogged, and a lack of airflow can cause your AC to malfunction or shut down. Check the area around your condenser for debris and move or trim back any plants that are growing up against it. After that, your air conditioner may resume normal operation.
How Do I Know When to Service My Air Conditioner?
If none of these suggestions work, it may be time to call in the professionals. An experienced HVAC technician will know what to look for and will have the tools and parts needed to quickly restore your cool air.
On a hot summer day, the lack of air conditioning could even be considered an emergency. When the temperature in your home rises, it can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. You don’t want to have to wait a week for an AC repairman to fit you into their schedule.
We provide emergency AC services at Ambient Edge, so you can call us at any time of day or night. Furthermore, our 24-hour emergency AC repair team can be at your home quickly – often within hours of your call.
How Often Should My Air Conditioner Be Tuned?
Even if you do get your air conditioning working again, regular air conditioning maintenance is essential to extending the lifespan of your system and keeping it running efficiently in the long run. As a result, you should have your air conditioner checked and tuned up at least once a year.
These preventative maintenance visits may include the following:
- Lubrication for your machinery’s moving parts.
- A visual examination to detect dirt, leaks, or wear.
- Checking the charge of your coolant.
- Airflow testing
- Replace your air filter.
- You should double-check your electrical connections.
- Your thermostat should be tested and recalibrated.
- A neglected and overworked air conditioner is more likely to fail when you need it the most. So, instead of waiting for an inconvenient and stressful breakdown, schedule your next tune-up now.