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Troubleshooting Guide to Fix Your Air Conditioner: What to Do When Your AC is Not Working

When your air conditioner doesn’t work properly it can be a major inconvenience, especially during the heat of summer. Rather your AC is not cooling, or won’t turn on at all. We've compiled a list of simple steps that you can take to try to fix the air conditioner yourself before calling the HVAC experts.This guide provides you with simple, step-by-step instructions to troubleshoot your air conditioning system. Should you need our AC Repair Services, we offer free service & diagnostic calls is repairs are needed. Here's a checklist of simple steps your can try in the meantime to fix your air conditioner:

1. Inspect the Air Filter

  • A clogged air filter can restrict airflow and cause the system to shut down or start blowing warm air due to overheating. Check the filter and replace it if it's dirty.

2. Check Your Thermostat:

  • Batteries : If your thermostat is battery-operated, the batteries might be dead. Replace them to see if that resolves the issue.
  • Settings: Ensure the thermostat is set to "cool" and the temperature setting is lower than the current room temperature.
  • Programming: If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure it's not set to a schedule that prevents the AC from turning on.

3. Inspect the Circuit Breaker:

  • If the circuit breaker connected to your AC unit has tripped, the system won't receive power. Check your breaker box and reset any tripped breakers.

4. Examine the AC Unit Power Sources:

  • Outdoor Disconnect Switch : Most outdoor AC units have a disconnect switch nearby. Ensure it hasn’t been accidentally turned off.
  • Indoor Switch: Some systems have a wall switch near the indoor unit for safety and servicing. This can sometimes be mistaken for a light switch and turned off.

5. Check the Condensate Drain Line:

  • If the drain line is clogged, some AC units have a safety switch that turns the system off to prevent water damage. Clear any blockages in the drain line.

6. Inspect the Air Vents:

  • Make sure all supply and return vents are open and not obstructed by furniture or curtains.

7. Listen for Any Unusual Noises:

  • If you hear any strange noises when you try to turn on the AC, it might indicate a mechanical problem that requires professional attention.

8. Look for Visible Damage:

  • Check both the indoor and outdoor units for any visible signs of damage or wear that might affect the system's operation.

When to Call a Professional

If after checking these areas, your AC still won't turn on, or if you're uncomfortable performing any of these steps, it's best to call a professional. HVAC technicians can diagnose and fix problems that are not apparent to the untrained eye, such as refrigerant issues, electrical faults, or mechanical failures. Remember, attempting to fix complex AC problems on your own can lead to further damage or void warranties.

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Common Reasons AC Systems Quit Working:

  • Thermostat Issues : Incorrect settings, dead batteries, or a malfunctioning thermostat can prevent the AC from turning on.
  • Tripped Circuit Breaker : A tripped breaker or blown fuse can cut power to the AC unit.
  • Dirty Air Filter : Clogged filters restrict airflow, causing the unit to freeze up or function poorly.
  • Refrigerant Leak : Low refrigerant levels due to leaks can lead to inadequate cooling and can prevent the AC from turning on.
  • Dirty Condenser Coils : The outdoor unit’s coils can become dirty, reducing the system's ability to expel heat and causing it to shut down.
  • Faulty Capacitor or Contactor : These electrical components help start the compressor and fan. If they're malfunctioning, the AC won’t operate.
  • Clogged Drain Line : A full or clogged condensate drain line can trigger a safety switch that turns off the AC.
  • Frozen Evaporator Coils : Insufficient airflow or low refrigerant can cause the coils to freeze, hindering the AC’s ability to cool.
  • Worn Out Compressor : The compressor is the heart of the AC system; if it's failing or dead, the entire system won’t work.
  • Faulty Control Board or Motor : Electrical issues, such as a faulty control board or a burned-out blower motor, can prevent the AC from starting.
  • Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) Issues: A malfunctioning TXV can restrict refrigerant flow, affecting the AC's performance.
  • Improper Installation : Incorrect sizing or installation can lead to inefficiencies and operational problems.
  • Age and Wear : Over time, wear and tear on AC components can lead to decreased efficiency and eventual failure.

AC Repair Service Experts

If your AC isn't working, it's essential to diagnose the problem accurately, as the underlying issue could range from a simple fix to something requiring professional repair. If your system need repairs, we will waive the $69 diagnostic fee. If your system is down our HVAC technicians will test your air conditioning system and pinpoint areas that are causing cooling malfunction.