Like any other electro-mechanical equipment, air conditioning systems need regular checks and care to keep them blowing cool air and functioning smoothly. Maintaining an air conditioning system is critical to avoid frequent repairs and ensure that it works the entire heat spell without causing any trouble. Air conditioning maintenance and repairs can be costly when you have to call in a technician.
With that said, some problems may only require a quick fix that the average Joe can execute without calling in a professional. The following are some simple DIY checks and repairs you may perform if your air conditioner is not blowing cool air or not running at all.
Check the Breaker
If your AC does not power on, do not fret and rush to call in a professional, as it may just be your breaker. One of the most common causes of your unit not coming on at all could be that the circuit breaker that powers the air conditioner has tripped.
That is especially true when there are many appliances on the same breaker that can exceed the circuit limit, leading to an electrical overload and causing the breaker to shut off at the main electric panel. If that is the case, all you would have to do is switch the breaker back on, and your AC would be operational back again. This quick check is one many are unfamiliar with, and it could save you money and frustration.
Inspect the Thermostat
Have you checked your thermostat? As mentioned on this website, a faulty thermostat could be all that needs your attention and be reset to its original settings for the AC to start cooling again. It is important to set the thermostat temperature below the room temperature for optimal cooling and ensure the unit is not turned off or only set to the fan operating. You would also want to check the batteries as they may need replacement.
Clean or Change the Air Filter
If your AC is not cooling as it should, all that may be needed for you to do is clean or replace its air filter. Dirty and clogged filters disrupt the airflow by making it more difficult for air to pass through the coil. This has several implications.
Your AC will consume more energy than it needs, impact its cooling efficiency, and cause dust and allergens to circulate through your room, creating bad indoor air quality. Finding and cleaning the air filters does not require any specialized skills. It is advised to clean your air filters every three months, and if they are too dirty, it is about time to replace them to get optimal performance from your AC.
Examine the Ducts
Dirty ducts inhibit cool air from circulating properly. To check your ducts, you will have to climb into your attic to inspect the vents and make sure they are clean and that air is flowing out of them without any blockages. If they are dirty enough and blocking proper airflow, a quick cleaning will likely resolve your problem. If the ducts are clean, you would want to double-check to confirm that the registers are not closed all the way or even partly.
Clean Condensor Coil
The evaporator and condenser coils work together to transport cool air through the system and are essential components of your AC system. If your AC is giving little to no cool air, you may consider cleaning off the condenser coils.
Located on the exterior unit, its purpose is to send cool air and get rid of heat from the inside. If it becomes dirty by collecting dust, dirt, and grass and gets clogged, the heat cannot escape the condenser causing the motor to overheat and shut off. This would lead to inefficient cooling, rendering it crucial to keep it clean as part of regular maintenance.
You can open the fan cage using some basic tools like wrenches and screwdrivers, remove the grill, and check to see if there is any debris build-up that may be causing the problem. Do not forget to shut the power off to the AC from the breaker before you start to work around it.
Is there anything more disconcerting than an air conditioner that does not cool or works altogether during the dog days of summer? I am sure that is the last thing you want on a horridly humid day. While there could be instances when a costly repair is inevitable. But many times, you can troubleshoot your system only to find out that the problem demands an easy fix and does not require you to shell out hundreds of dollars on an HVAC repair company.