Though there are many tasks best left to professionals, troubleshooting your air conditioner is a step many homeowners can take before making that service call. It especially helps if you’re familiar with the basics of air conditioning, there are a few things you can safely find or fix the problem yourself.
Here’s a basic guide to troubleshooting your air conditioner.
If your air conditioner is not working at all, the odds are that it’s either not getting electricity, or the thermostat is not telling the A/C to turn on. Some things you can check to narrow down the problem:
- If you have a battery-powered programmable thermostat, make sure it still has battery power.
- Turn the temperature setting way down. Wait a few minutes to see if the A/C turns on.
- If it remains off, switch it from “Auto” to “On.” If you get any response — even the wrong response—by changing the thermostat settings, at least you know the unit is getting power.
- If the thermostat has no effect, check the circuit breakers.
If the A/C is running but is not cooling, the problem lies somewhere along the path of the refrigerant as it flows through the system.
- Feel the metal refrigerant lines. If both are warm/hot or both are cold, you likely have the wrong amount of refrigerant.
- Make sure the outdoor compressor and fan are running.
- If the coils have not been maintained, they may just need to be cleaned.
If little or no air is flowing, the problem is somewhere within the duct system.
- Look for anything that might be blocking the flow of air, such as an object covering the return air vent.
- Replace the air filter if it is dirty.
- Look for major air leaks in the duct system.
- Check to see if the cooling coil is covered with ice.
For help troubleshooting your air conditioner and getting the problem professionally fixed, contact us at Smoky Mountain Heating & Air in Asheville. We’re here to help!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Asheville, North Carolina and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about troubleshooting tips and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock