If you’re like most homeowners, chances are good that you don’t pay much attention to your air conditioner until it stops working properly. At this point, you’ll need to pinpoint the problem and get it repaired to stay cool. Here, you’ll learn what you can check on your own and when to call an HVAC mechanic for repairs.
Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Kicking On
If your air conditioner simply isn’t coming on when it’s warm in your home, the number one culprit is the thermostat. Check to make sure that your thermostat is set to the “Cool” position, and be sure that you’ve set it to “Auto” rather than simply “Fan.” If this doesn’t resolve the issue, check to make sure your breaker has not been tripped or a fuse has not been blown. If after making these changes, your air conditioner still does not come on, you should call a professional HVAC mechanic for advice and a possible service call.
Warm Air is Coming from Vents
If your air conditioner is running but the air coming from your vents isn’t cold, this could signify anything from an incorrectly-set thermostat to a refrigerant leak. First things first, make sure your thermostat is set to “Cool” and “Auto” rather than simply “Fan”. Otherwise, your blower may be simply moving air around without cooling it first. Next, ensure that your air conditioner filter is clean, and that there is no debris around the outside of your outdoor condenser unit. If these things do not resolve the issue, it’s likely time to hire an HVAC mechanic to check for other possible problems.
Your Air Conditioner Cycles On and Off Too Quickly
If your air conditioner turns itself off before your home reaches the desired temperature, the usual causes are a dirty air filter, a poorly-located thermostat, or low refrigerant. You can check your air filter on your own, and be sure to replace it if it’s dirty. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, check to see that your thermostat isn’t placed directly above a cool air register. If this is the case, it will need to be moved to a better location. Finally, if your air conditioner still kicks on and off too frequently, you should call an HVAC mechanic to check your refrigerant levels.
There’s Ice on Your Condenser Unit
The primary cause for a frozen condenser is restricted air flow. This means that the refrigerant flowing through the copper tubing is too cold, and as it passes through the tubes and condensation starts to form, that cold will cause the condensation to freeze. This can occur due to a dirty air filter, several closed air supply vents, or blocked return vents. Be sure to check that all of your vents are uncovered and open, and that your air filter is clean. To defrost your system, turn your system to “Fan” and “On”, and allow the blower to simply move air through the system to thaw it. If it continues to freeze after following these steps, it’s time to call an HVAC mechanic.
These represent the most common issues experienced by homeowners, and the good news is that most of them are easily resolved. However, there are times when you’ll need to hire an experienced, professional HVAC mechanic to perform repairs and get your system back in working order.