As your air conditioner ages, parts will wear and malfunctions occur. Regular spring HVAC maintenance will catch most of these potential problems before they are serious, but you should also know how to troubleshoot. If you've got an idea of what's going on with your A/C, then you'll know what you can do yourself, and when to call for help.
No Power to the A/C
Before you call a technician, find out if the power is out for the entire house. If the power's on, check the controls. Is the thermostat set on cool, and is the temperature setting lower than than the ambient temperature? Is the A/C set to on? Check the breaker to see if it's tripped. If it's none of these issues, you may have an electrical problem.
Air's Not Cool
First, set the thermostat lower and see if that helps. If your home doesn't get any cooler, then check the air filter. If it's dirty, change it. Also check the evaporator coils inside the indoor cabinet. If they're dirty, you can clean them and see if there's any improvement.
Frozen coils, which may occur from dirt buildup, may also impede cooling. Turn the A/C off but leave the fan on and let the ice evaporate. Clean the coils and see if the temperature cools down.
Low refrigerant charge may also cause inadequate cooling or frozen coils. A service technician should be called if you suspect this. The technician should also check for leaks.
Outside Fan Not Working
If the outdoor compressor comes on but the fan doesn't, turn off the A/C right away and call for help. Without the fan turning on, heat transfer can't take place and the compressor could break down.
Rattling or Clanging from the Indoor Cabinet
Something could be broken in the blower. Turn off the unit and call for help.
Ponding Water Near the Indoor Unit
The condensate drain could be blocked. Call a professional for help.
To learn more about air conditioner troubleshooting, call Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical. We've served the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz since 1962.
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