Getting through the scorching heat of the summer season is not an easy task. Unbearable heat is why most households are now reliant on AC systems to keep a comfortable and cool home. Most people can now call it necessary, especially when the heat is intolerable. However, like everything else, the AC does experience some issues along the way. Some problems are minor, while some happen when you least expect them to. And more often than not, these issues, when left unaddressed, can cause a system breakdown. Regardless of what it might be, having the basic knowledge on how to troubleshoot your air conditioner will come in handy.
A water leak or a malfunctioning fan is a minor AC issue. But when these issues are left unfixed and ignored, they can contribute and lead to a breakdown which can be very concerning for homeowners.
Check out Air Conditioner Installation Guide
Experts recommend having your AC unit serviced annually (preferably before summer season hits) to ensure it is in tip-top shape. AC service is like a health check-up to make sure you still have a perfectly working unit and prevent any issues. But since AC systems can be unpredictable at times – working ideally one moment, and then in a blink of an eye, go malfunctioning – there might be issues every once in a while.
Is your AC system not functioning quite right lately, and you can’t determine the root cause of the problem? Your next steps will determine the fate of the AC unit – either break it or save it. Following are common AC problems with tips on how to troubleshoot your air conditioner and address these AC issue quickly.
Checking the Thermostat
Is your AC system not doing its job in cooling your home? An incorrect or defective thermostat can be the culprit. Check the thermostat first, especially for AC units with smart thermostats, before looking into the AC unit itself.
The AC unit won’t operate altogether if the thermostat ceases to function. Examine if the thermostat is running as it should and then reboot it if possible. You can also opt to change the batteries if you haven’t had them replaced.
Examine the Circuit Breakers
Your AC not turning on might signify that your circuit breaker tripped. This scenario can occur if there is a power surge or unexpected load, leading the breaker to stagger. The solution can be as easy or hard – depending on if it responds to your first aid. Try to reset the breaker and wait if it now functions back to normal. If, in any case, it still is malfunctioning, then you might be dealing with trouble with the circuit or electrical system. You will need to seek professional help from a licensed electrician.
Look into the Air Filter
Is your AC unit turning on, but it won’t cool down your home as it should do? You might be dealing with an obstructed air filter or a “frozen unit.” If you haven’t had your filters assessed in a long time, it may indicate that you have to do so now. A clogged air filter gives you a higher power consumption as it makes it difficult for cool air to go through – a reason why it is vital to have them checked or replaced if needed. Inspect your air filters to make sure they are still good to go. If they seem dirty, a good clean or replacement will be your best bet.
Checking the outdoor unit
If left unchecked for some time, dirt can accumulate on outdoor or indoor units of AC systems and take a toll on its normal functions. To make sure you are not having any issues because of this, you can always hop in to check. If there is an accumulation of dirt or leaves covering it, this calls for cleaning time. While you can always do it yourself, it is best to seek help from an expert. Since HVAC technicians know the proper procedure and have suitable equipment to perform the cleaning, they are unlikely to cause any system damage.
Search the Air Vents
Congested air vents can cause leaks, freeze, unexpected shutdown or a malfunctioning AC unit. As dirt particles can build up in these vents, they produce a somehow thick sheet that blocks the circulation – preventing proper function. You can check each outlet to inspect if the ducts are open and remember clogged ones. Most times, a simple task of vacuuming or using pressurized air to clean the build-up will get you by. You have to make sure that you move any object that obstructs the path of the air vents (e.g., curtains, clothes, furniture, pet beds). Even if this is not a noticeable issue, in the beginning, clogged air vents strain the AC system in the long run and cause inadequate cooling, which will lead to higher power consumption and a spike in your energy bills.
When to Seek Professional Advice to Troubleshoot Your Air Conditioner
Followed all of the above tips on how to troubleshoot an air conditioner and your AC is still not working? It’s time for you to call the experts. Consult your trusted AC technician so they can perform troubleshooting and have the issue addressed before it causes further damage. If luck runs out and they can’t get it back on track, we’re sure they would still give you the correct advice on how to proceed. Professional advice, whether on AC care or to start saving for a replacement, is never wrong. You can even ask your AC tech what will be best suited for your home.