If your air conditioner stops working or suddenly isn’t performing well, your first thought may be to get a maintenance specialist over as soon as possible to fix the problem. That’s because HVAC systems can be complicated. In many cases, a NATE-certified technician from Ambient Edge will be your best bet to get it working again.
Yet, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to assess your situation before making that call. You may find that your AC problem is a relatively simple fix that you can handle yourself in minutes, even without mechanical knowledge.
5 Things to Check on Your Air Conditioner Before Calling for Service
It never hurts to check your air conditioner before you call for service. Even if you don’t discover an easy DIY solution, you will be gathering more information that could help your technician get your AC working faster.
There are five main areas you’ll want to check.
1. The Power Supply
It may seem obvious, but there are more ways this can go wrong than you think. You know it right away when your power goes off in the evening because your lights will all shut off. However, AC issues often happen during daylight hours, so a widespread outage may not be readily apparent.
Test your AC’s power supply by:
- Checking your lamps or other electronic devices to see if they turn on. If they don’t, your home is probably being impacted by a larger scale outage. Your AC will most likely come back on when the power company restores your electricity.
- Look at your circuit breakers and see if the circuit the AC is on may have flipped. Then, switch the breaker back to the “on” position to deliver power to your unit again.
- Making sure the outside unit’s disconnect switch has not been turned off. This can sometimes occur when someone is doing maintenance.
2. The Thermostat
The thermostat is often the culprit behind a seemingly broken AC. To check it:
- Replace the batteries, especially if the screen doesn’t even come on, or seems faint. Fresh batteries may get your AC working instantly.
- Go through the thermostat’s settings to ensure it’s not set to “heat,” “vent,” or even “off.” For the AC to kick on, your thermostat setting needs to be on “cool.”
3. The Vents
Sometimes, the AC seems to be running, but your house isn’t cooling down. When this occurs, there are many potential causes, but it may just mean that your vents are blocked.
Walk into each room and check whether the vents are visible. If there’s anything (such as boxes, dust, or laundry) in the way, clear a space to allow adequate airflow. You should also check to make sure the vents are in the “open” position.
4. The Air Filter
A dirty, clogged filter won’t usually be the kind of thing that’s a complete make-or-break for an AC, but it can reduce its cooling efficiency. Some air conditioners are designed to turn off if they can’t get adequate air flow. Others will keep running, but much of the cool air won’t make it to the rooms of your home.
Air filters typically need to be changed every one to three months, but this will vary based on the filter type and your indoor air quality. If your filter looks dirty or it’s been more than a month since you changed it, try putting a fresh filter in to see if that helps boost your AC’s cooling power.
5. The Condenser Unit
The condenser is the part of the system that most people refer to as the air conditioner. The outdoor AC unit looks like it’s covered in vents, and it makes a humming noise when on.
Unfortunately, all those “vents” (which serve to protect its sensitive coils) can get blocked, and the lack of airflow may inhibit or shut down your AC. So, check around your condenser, clear away any debris, and move or trim back any plants growing up against it. Afterward, your AC may work fine again.
How Do I Know When to Service My AC?
If none of these tips get your AC working again, it may be time to call the professionals. An experienced HVAC technician will know what to look for and have the tools and parts necessary to restore your cool air quickly.
Lack of air conditioning on a hot summer day could even be considered an emergency. When temperatures in your home climb, it can be uncomfortable and even unhealthy. The last thing you want is to have to wait a week for an AC repair person to fit you into their schedule.
At Ambient Edge, we offer emergency AC services, so your call will be answered any time of the day or night. Plus, our 24-hour emergency AC repair team can be at your house quickly – often within hours after you reach out to us.
How Often Should My AC Be Tuned Up?
Even if you do get your air conditioning working again, regular maintenance of aircon is vital to prolong your system’s lifespan and keep it running efficiently for the long term. Therefore, you should have your AC unit checked and tuned up at least once per year.
These preventative maintenance visits can include:
- Lubrication for the moving parts of your machinery.
- A visual inspection to look for dirt, leaks, or wear.
- Checking your coolant charge.
- Testing air flow.
- Changing your air filter.
- Checking your electrical connections.
- Testing and recalibrating your thermostat.
A neglected and overworked AC is most likely to break down just when you need it most. So, don’t wait for an inconvenient and stressful breakdown before you schedule your next tune-up.
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Talk to an Air Conditioning Service & Repair Expert Today
It only takes a few minutes to look over your AC before scheduling your appointment with Ambient Edge. However, taking the extra effort could pay off by saving you the hassle and expense of an unnecessary service call.
If your AC isn’t working, our live on-call team can talk through any other steps you should check on your own. We’re happy to answer questions and troubleshoot your situation before sending someone out.
Give us a call or schedule your service online to talk to a professional today.