DIY AC Troubleshooting: Is It Time To Call a Pro?

Published On: November 17, 20230 Comments on DIY AC Troubleshooting: Is It Time To Call a Pro?Tags: , Last Updated: January 23, 20243 min read

A malfunctioning air conditioner can quickly turn your home into an uncomfortable sauna. There are several DIY AC troubleshooting steps you can take before calling in the professionals. It is potentially possible to identify and solve common AC problems yourself. However, there are many circumstances where it is wise to get professional help to fix the problem.

troubleshooting indoor AC unit

If you search AC repair Weiser ID, for example, you will be able to find the professional help you need. In the meantime, here’s a guide to help you troubleshoot your air conditioning unit and get it back up and running efficiently.

Start by checking your air filters

A good starting point would be to check the condition of your air filters. Clogged or dirty air filters can soon hinder airflow. This reduces the efficiency of your AC system. Aim to check and replace your filters regularly, usually every 1-3 months. This ensures proper airflow and prevents strain on your unit.

Is your thermostat faulty?

Another thing to do when looking for a fault is to inspect the thermostat. A faulty thermostat could be the root cause of your AC issues. Check to see if it’s set “cool”. Also, check that the temperature setting is lower than the current room temperature. It might also be a battery problem. Sometimes, they need replacing, or the thermostat requires recalibration.

Check the condenser unit is clear

Your outdoor condenser unit can often accumulate dirt, debris, or foliage. This can obstruct airflow. Make sure you turn off the power before clearing away any obstructions. You can do this using a soft brush or cloth to gently clean the fins without bending them.

Check for Refrigerant Leaks

If you are experiencing low refrigerant levels this can be the sign of a leak. Look for telltale oil stains or wet spots near the refrigerant lines.  If you find evidence of these contact a professional technician to handle these refrigerant-related issues.

checking outdoor AC unit

Carry out a cursory inspection of electrical connections

Faulty electrical connections can lead to operational issues. Always turn off the power before inspecting electrical connections, then check that they are tight and not corroded. If you notice any problems, consult a professional. This is not a DIY fix.

Is your drain line clogged?

A clogged drain line can lead to water backup and damage your AC system. Locate the drain line, which is usually near the indoor cooling coil, and use a wet/dry vacuum to clear any blockages.

Inspect the Air Ducts

Inspect the air ducts for any leaks, gaps, or blockages. You will find that sealing leaks or insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces can significantly improve the efficiency of your system.

Inspect the fan blades for damage

Again, turn off the power supply before inspecting the fan blades for any damage or obstructions. Even a slight bend can disrupt airflow. If you see this, carefully straighten the blades if needed.

Test the Capacitors are working

Capacitors are designed to help start the motors in your AC unit. A faulty capacitor might be the reason for your system not starting properly. Use a multimeter to check the capacitance and replace it if required, provided you are competent at this task. These troubleshooting steps are designed to help with minor issues. However, many AC problems require professional assistance.

If at any point you feel unsure or uncomfortable performing these DIY AC troubleshooting tasks, it’s always best to contact a certified HVAC technician. This will avoid further damage to your unit and keep you safe.

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