Every AC problem is frustrating—some are even a crisis. But not all problems require a professional to fix. Whether your problem is AC not coming on at all, or simply not working well enough, here are 10 things you can check on your air conditioner before requesting a service call.
10 Things to Check on AC Before Calling for Service
- Check if there’s power to the home. It’s rare, but there are times when AC is off simply because of a temporary power outage. If it’s daytime, it’s hard to notice. Try turning on a light or appliance to see if the home has power.
- Check the thermostat settings. Double check that AC is turned on (“Cool” mode on most thermostats) and that the temperature is set low enough.
- Check the thermostat batteries. If your thermostat requires batteries, try those next. Replace them with fresh ones and see if AC will come on.
- Check the fuse box. If the circuit to the air conditioning has been tripped, resetting it may bring AC back on. Note: if this happens multiple times you have a potentially serious AC problem and need to call a professional.
- Check ducts and windows. Are all the windows closed? Are all air vents in the “open” position, free of dust, and clear of any obstructions like furniture? Making sure they can blow freely can dramatically improve AC performance.
- Change the air filter. How long has it been since you changed the AC air filter? Replace it with a new one and see if AC performance improves.
- Check the air handler’s safety switch. Your AC system may have one or more emergency on/off switches. The first one to check is by the air handler, a fan unit typically located where the AC enters the home—often a garage or attic. The switch can get tripped by someone moving things nearby or children playing. Locate it and make sure it’s on.
- Check the compressor’s disconnect switch. Your compressor unit outside should have its own safety switch as well, known as the disconnect. It may be an actual switch or it could be a plug that should be plugged in. Be careful: this controls a large amount of electricity—to the tune of 240 volts. Exercise caution and do not attempt to use it in wet or hazardous conditions.
- Clear the area around the compressor. If the outside unit is surrounded by landscaping or weeks, or has any debris on or around it, trim it back and clear it away. It needs air flow to run well.
- Check the drain pan. If your AC system has a drain pan below it to catch condensation, there is likely a sensor to stop the unit if the pan fills up. Remove the pan, empty it, and flush out the drain. Then put the pan back in. In many cases, this will get AC running. Note: this pan may have its own safety switch, so make sure that is in the “on” position as well.
If none of these steps make any difference, you can rest assured: you’ve tried everything you can reasonably do on your own, and the best thing you can do is get a professional on the job. Even if the AC still works, it’s always a good idea to call for a service appointment sooner rather than later, because small problems tend to get worse if they’re not addressed—often very quickly.
And if AC isn’t working at all, it might be time to get an emergency service call for the same or next day.
We Can Be at Your House in Hours
Ambient Edge offers top-rated AC servicing from professionals who care. We are available for 24/7 emergency repairs, as well as scheduled repairs and AC tune-ups. We can be at your house fast—often within hours of when you call. Let us help you. Call us at 888-628-5890 or fill out the form to your right and get your AC problem solved today.