Air Conditioner Repair Checklist
1. AC Won’t Turn On
There can be several reasons why your central AC system won’t cool: a triggered circuit breaker, incorrect thermostat settings, a shut off switch or a full condensate drain pan.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
Your air conditioner won’t start when you have a tripped breaker.
To check if one has tripped, locate your home’s main electrical panel. You can find this silver box on the wall in the basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry before you work on the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker identified “AC” and confirm it’s in the “on” position. If it’s tripped, the breaker will be in the "off" position.
- Quickly shift the switch back to the “on” location. If it instantaneously flips again, don’t reset it and reach us at 520-201-3871. A fuse that keeps flipping might indicate your home has an electrical problem.
Incorrect Thermostat Settings
If your thermostat isn’t telling your equipment to work, it won’t switch on.
The main step is ensuring it’s switched to “cool” and not “heat.” Otherwise your AC might not switch on. You might also get warm air moving from vents being the heater is running instead.
If you have a digital thermostat:
- Put in new batteries if the screen is blank. If the screen is displaying garbled characters, get a new thermostat.
- Make sure the correct setting is showing. If you can’t update it, reverse it by decreasing the temperature and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause your AC to run if scheduling is not right.
- Attempt to set the thermostat 5 degrees colder than the house’s temperature. Your AC won’t start if the thermostat matches the house’s temperature.
Once your thermostat is calibrated properly, you should receive cold air fast.
If you have a smart thermostat, such as one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch, look at the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting. If it still won’t work, call us at 520-201-3871 for help.
Your air conditioner probably has a shut-down device by its condenser. This switch is generally in a metal box hung on your house. If your AC has recently been tuned up, the device may have unintentionally been turned off.
Clogged Condensate Drain Pan
Condensate drain pans catch the surplus liquid your equipment removes from the air. This pan is located either beneath or in your furnace or air handler.
When there’s an obstruction or clogged drain, water can accumulate and trigger a safety feature to switch off your system.
If your pan has a PVC pipe or drain, you can clear the extra liquid with a formulated pan-cleaning tab. You can get these capsules at a home improvement or hardware store.
If your pan has a pump, look for the float switch. If the mechanism is “up” and there’s liquid in the pan, you could need to get a new pump. Contact us at 520-201-3871 for assistance.
2. AC Blows Warm Air
If your system is on but not providing cold air, its airflow might be congested. Or it might not have adequate refrigerant.
Your system’s airflow can be limited by a blocked air filter or dirty condenser.
How to Put in a New Your Air Filter
A filthy filter can create many problems, such as:
- Limited airflow
- Frozen refrigerant lines or evaporator coil
- Inconsistent cooling
- Increased cooling bills
- Leading your system to break down more quickly
We suggest changing flat filters monthly, and pleated filters every three months.
If you can’t recall when you last replaced your filter, turn off your system fully and remove the filter. You can locate the filter in your furnace or air pump’s blower compartment. It may also be located in an adjoining filter holder or wall-mounted return air grille.
Tilt the filter up to your light fixture. If you see a lot of dust, you should get a new one.
4 Tips on Cleaning Your Air Conditioning Equipment
Weeds, plants and sticks can block your condensing system. This can limit its airflow, lower its energy efficiency and affect your comfort. Here’s a way you can get your unit working well again.
- Turn off electricity fully at the breaker or outside switch.
- Remove vegetation rubbish around the AC. Once you’ve removed bigger refuse within a two-foot space, you can use a soft brush or vacuum to gingerly remove dust from the condenser fins. Deformed fins can also impact effectiveness.
- Use a hose nozzle to gingerly take off dirt on the fins from inside the unit. Don’t get water on the fan motor.
- Turn the power back on.
When air conditioning equipment doesn’t have ample refrigerant, they’ll have to work much harder to remove heat and humidity from your rooms.
Here are a few flags that your unit is losing refrigerant:
- It takes too long to cool your space and you’re constantly decreasing the temperature on the thermostat.
- Air coming through the ducts isn’t as chilled as it should be.
- You’re noticing whistling or gurgling noises when the AC is on.
- Your evaporator coil is frozen due to having an issue handling warmth.
Suspect your system is losing refrigerant? You need a qualified heating and cooling service specialist to take care of the leak and restore the right level of refrigerant in your equipment. Contact us at 520-201-3871 for assistance.
3. AC Not Blowing Enough Air
When it feels like you’re not getting adequate amounts of chilled air, there’s probably a clog or separation somewhere in your air conditioning equipment.
- The beginning place is looking at your air filter. Replace it if it’s dirty.
- Make sure the registers are open across your house.
- If you’re still not getting adequate chilled air, you should have your ductwork inspected by a specialist like Ambient Air. Your ducts might need to be fixed or hooked up again in tricky areas like your attic, basement or crawl space.