Whether your air conditioner has just broken down or it simply does not work the way you expect it to, it’s time to call in a technician ASAP. That is, unless you can solve the problem on your own. We do not recommend making any major repairs to your air conditioner. Without the proper training, you could injure yourself or make the problem with your air conditioner worse—and spend more than you need to correcting the problem.
However, we often show up to repair an air conditioner that really isn’t broken. The problem could have been fixed in a couple of simple steps, by double-checking the thermostat, or by a simple change in habits. So what can you do to try resolving a central air problem?
Low Airflow/Poor Cooling Ability
Maybe you’ve noticed a slow drop in airflow to some rooms of the home. Or perhaps temperatures just never seem to be quite right. There are many possible reasons for this issue, including a failing fan motor or a lack of refrigerant, issues that you’ll need a technician to resolve. Still, it’s possible that these tips will do the trick.
Change the Filter
Dirt and debris clog up an air filter and keep air from flowing smoothly throughout your home. It can also cause problems with the AC system itself, wearing down the components, which is why you need to change your air filter every three months. If you’re having airflow problems, try changing the filter first.
Open Air Vents
Are you sure that all of the air vents throughout the home are open? Double-check before calling a technician. We don’t recommend blocking off air vents in the first place, as this can cause problems with your air conditioner.
Note Heat Sources around the Thermostat
If your thermostat is located too close to a source of heat, like sunlight or heat from the kitchen, it could sense the temperature incorrectly and start to behave unusually.
Warm Air Moving Through Vents
If warm air is moving throughout your air vents, you might need to call in a specialist. It’s possible that refrigerant has leaked from your system or that your compressor has gone bad. Before you think the worst, though, make sure you try the thermostat!
Check the Fan Settings
Sometimes, the thermostat is not actually programmed to turn on the air conditioning system, but only to run the fan. Check to see that the thermostat is in cooling mode and not “fan” or “fan only.”
System Will Not Start Up At All
You turn down the temperature on the thermostat and your air conditioner does not respond at all. Hopefully, you only need to replace a small part like a start capacitor, but it could indicate compressor failure. Or you might be able to fix the problem yourself!
Double-Check the Thermostat
We know, we know. This is the first thing you looked at when you noticed a problem. But you wouldn’t want to call for nothing, right? Double-check that your thermostat is set in cooling mode, that the vacation or away settings are not currently in place, and that the temperature setting is lower than the temperature of the room.
Try the Circuit Breaker
Find the circuit breaker that operates your air conditioner and reset it (or replace a blown fuse).