When you have discovered that your air conditioner is not working there are many different things you can check out before calling a repairman to come out and fix the simple problems. It will save you time and the cost of expensive repairs by doing a checklist on your A/C unit. With just a little mechanical knowledge you can troubleshoot and fix many problems.
Before checking out your air conditioner, make sure you shut off the breaker to the A/C unit. Here are a few common problems that you should check out.
Your Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On
If your unit will not turn on, first check to make sure that the condenser unit is running outside. Check to make sure that it is plugged in and then check your thermostat inside the home. Make sure it is set on cool and not heat. Some thermostats are tricky. Put your thermostat 5 to 10 degrees lower and see if that fixes your problem. If not, try reading the manual before calling in a repairman. You may find out that it is just a simple problem that you have overlooked and could save you money to read first.
Check your condensation pump to see if it is full. Many units are programmed automatically to shut down if the pump is full. Your unit should turn on once you clean up the pump.
Fuses or Breakers
Some homes have a breaker box and some have fuses. If your A/C unit is not working at all then check your breaker box or fuses. Your air conditioning unit is protected by your breakers and fuses by turning off or blowing if the A/C units compressor or motor is overheating. Overheating may be caused by clogs or leaks and they can be fixed easily, so the fuses can be replaced and the breakers turned back on.
The refrigerant in your unit must match what is recommended by the manufacturer’s specifications. Just putting in more refrigerant if you think it is low is not a solution. If the refrigerant is low, there must be a leak. This problem needs to be taken care of right away. For small leaks in a residential home, you could buy a Freon leak repair kit. The compressor of the unit will suck the sealant into the A/C unit and repair any small leaks.
The Units Blower Motor Won’t Turn On
When the motor does not turn on and the air conditioner fails to start, there are a number of issues to consider. The breaker could have been tripped. Check the breaker panel first. Most panels have two different breakers for the A/C unit. One is for the condenser and the other for the fan. If the breaker is tripped halfway, make sure you turn it off completely and then turn it back on. If the breaker keeps flipping off, it might be a faulty breaker and will need to be replaced.
The problem may be in the overflow shut-off switch. A clogged drain line will set off the switch and kill power to your unit, or the switch might have gone bad. Clean the drain line and hose and the unit should start back up. Check the wiring and make sure there is no frayed lines and repair anything that is worn to the thermostat or anywhere else.
A Frozen Coil
One of the most common reasons for an A/C unit not blowing cold air is a frozen coil. This problem is easily repaired without calling in a professional repairman. The unit may be freezing up because of the airflow being restricted from a dirty filter, broken parts, low temperatures outside or the unit may be low on refrigerant. The easiest way to fix the problem is to turn off the A/C unit and have the fan run automatically. Do this by turning your thermostat to the auto setting to melt any ice around the coil.
Check the evaporator coil for dirt and debris as well as the air filter. Clean these up and the unit may start right back up again. You should also check to make sure that no registers are blocked and that the ductwork is free of obstacles or disconnections. Check the level of the refrigerant, if it is low, you could have a leak that will make the coil freeze up. The refrigerant line could also be damaged and should be repaired.
Your A/C Unit Cycles Off and On
This problem can be caused by a couple of problems. The unit may be too large for the home, the thermostat may be bad, a refrigerant leak or dirty filter. Your thermostat may also be placed in the wrong area.
The first thing to do is to clean the filters. Dirty filters are the most common problems for air conditioners not working properly. Again, there may also be a leak in the refrigerant that should be fixed.
Water that collects in your HVAC system creates bacteria that builds up and will give off a foul odor. It will smell like vinegar or urine. When this happens, your A/C pushes these odors throughout your whole home. You could also have leaking antifreeze, an old filter, or a nest from animals in your HVAC box.
Inspect your outside unit to see if there is any damage. Look at the filter, it might need replacing or an animal might have gotten into the unit. If there are no signs of an animal nesting in the outside unit, then you may have a leak. Check the hose and the lines and replace them as needed.
Your Air Conditioner is Blowing Hot Air
The first thing to check is your thermostat. Make sure that you have switched the thermostat to air conditioning and not left it on heat or fan. The problem will be fixed if you change it to cool or auto. If everything is set properly then it may be the air condenser. Check to make sure it is not blocked. Check the outside unit and clear away anything that is blocking the unit so the air can circulate properly.
If you have the unit set on auto and are still getting hot air then you should check the filters. If they are dirty or blocked then it will keep the cool air from traveling through your system. Make sure you use the right size filters and change your filters every two months and your A/C will blow nice cool air.
The Air Conditioner is Weak
Have you noticed that the air is not as cool as it once was coming out of your air conditioner unit? If it takes a while for your AC to cool down your home then the problem may be that the air conditioning unit is clogged. Your HVAC system is made up of two main parts. It has an inside unit and an outside unit. The units work together to remove the heat and odors from your home. In order for your A/C to work properly, both units must work efficiently. The airflow needs to be unrestricted in your outside unit.
The first thing to do is to check the outside unit. Make sure that there are no debris, brushes, weeds or grass pilings built up against your outside unit. It must be clear of all objects.
If all is clear outside the unit, then check to make sure that the drains are not clogged. Unclog them by using a plumber’s snake or a shop vac. This process is usually easily done and does not take much time.