AC Repair: How to Troubleshoot and Fix an Air Conditioner

Published On: September 27, 20202 Comments on AC Repair: How to Troubleshoot and Fix an Air ConditionerTags: , Last Updated: February 9, 20245.4 min read

During a hot spell, local AC companies are often inundated with service requests. After all, most homeowners don’t turn on or even think about their air conditioners until the weather warms up. If you didn’t schedule a springtime AC inspection and maintenance visit, your cooling system might have a few surprises in store for you. From a broken thermostat to powerful, unpleasant smells, there’s a lot that can go wrong when cooling equipment is first turned on. So, to avoid that you can always opt for services from

How to Troubleshoot and Fix an Air Conditioner

Fortunately, there may be a few things that you can do to troubleshoot some of the most common, minor issues.

What To Do When Airflow Is Insufficient

One of the easiest air conditioner fixes that any homeowner can handle alone is changing out a dirty air filter. When too much dirt is allowed to accumulate on filter surfaces, airflow can decrease dramatically. Changing this component out will boost your indoor air quality (IAQ) and increase the delivery of cooled air to every room. Keep in mind, however, that even a dirty air filter can indicate a far larger underlying problem. For instance, if your ductwork has reached the end of its lifespan, air leaks could be causing your air conditioner to draw musty air and large volumes of potentially harmful particulates from attic areas. This makes it best to schedule a comprehensive, professional inspection even after successfully troubleshooting your airflow issue. If you don’t, your new, clean filter may not last for long.

When Your Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

As with every air conditioner issue, there’s a multitude of possible reasons why your AC won’t turn on at all. When troubleshooting, you want to start with the most basic causes first. For instance, check to ensure that there’s nothing wrong with the power supply to your unit. You may have a tripped circuit or a blown a fuse. Knowing how to check for these things will eliminate the need to call the professionals in. However, if the circuit repeatedly trips, be sure to connect with a licensed HVAC contractor or an electrician.

The Thermostat Isn’t Doing It’s Job

The thermostat is the central control of your HVAC system. If it isn’t working or if it isn’t reading temperatures correctly, your cooling system won’t engage. Try setting the thermostat to its lowest temperature and then wait a few minutes. If your AC still doesn’t turn on, this likely unit needs to be repaired or replaced. If you’ve recently upgraded to an advanced, smart thermostat, keep in mind that these units can be difficult to program, especially as you’re just getting used to them and their far more expansive array of functions and features. In this case, spend some time reading over the related user manual and learning various program functions.

In older homes, thermostats that are improperly located are often a problem. For instance, if your thermostat is positioned fairly near a heat source such as the stove, it will probably read temperatures as being slightly higher than they actually are. Having your thermostat relocated, replaced, recalibrated, or repaired are all simple and relatively inexpensive solutions.

The Air Coming Out Of Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Cold.

Your AC might turn on and run reliably, but may not have the ability to distribute cold air. If it’s been running for quite a while and your rooms still feel hot, put your hand close to a register or vent to test the temperature of the conditioned air that’s being released. Warm air may mean that there are problems with the condenser coil. If too much dirt and debris build up on this component, it can start to freeze over. Once it does, it will no longer function effectively and the air coming from your vents won’t provide the relief you need.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix an Air Conditioner - repairing AC

Take A Look At Your Condenser

Inspecting the outside condenser unit for your central HVAC system is always an important part of the troubleshooting process, even if you don’t expect problems to start in this area. This primary component of your AC is constantly exposed to the elements. Although it’s likely got a durable and well-designed cover, dirt and other materials can easily get blown in. Moreover, uncotrolled weeds and other growths can block your condenser and negatively impact both airflow and heat transfer. Be sure to remove excess foliage from around this area. If this doesn’t fix your problem it will at least serve the purpose of making the condenser more accessible to your HVAC service provider.

A Clogged Drain Line

In addition to cooling your home, your air conditioning system also helps moderate indoor moisture levels. Without this helpful function, your living environment might feel hotter than it truly is, condensation could start collecting on your windows, and mold and mildew problems may abound. Although it might not seem like there’s a ton of excess water to collect from the air, the moisture that is harnessed by your AC adds up to quite a bit over time. This moisture accumulates in a drain pan where it is fed through a relatively thin drain line before exiting via an actual drain. When the drain line becomes clogged, the drain pan overfills and moisture damage occurs at and around the area. If you open your air conditioner to discover an overfilled drain pan, clean up the residual water and contact a local HVAC service right away.

Tread Carefully With Your Air Conditioner Warranty

One of the most important air conditioner troubleshooting tips for every homeowner to bear in mind is to never attempt work that might void the manufacturer’s warranty. Fortunately, parts that homeowners should never tamper with are often clearly labeled by manufacturers. Breaking these labels and removing covers from complex, moving components could leave you having to foot the bill for repairs that might otherwise be warranted. When in doubt, always call a professional.

Some of the most common air conditioner problems are not as serious as they initially seem. Don’t panic if your air conditioner won’t turn on. Fixing it could be as simple as replacing a burned-out fuse or resetting the circuit. When more serious issues arise or troubleshooting efforts don’t work, you can always turn to a reputable HVAC company or directly contact to get quick fixation.

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Leave A Comment

  1. Jennifer green June 29, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    I read your article A to z. By following your guide I have solved my problem easily. Your blog gives the best and the most interesting information. I wonder if we can gather such practical information about it, a great post definitely to come across.

  2. Green Leaf Air January 11, 2021 at 4:08 pm

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