You may have had your air conditioner working perfectly for years and then boom, it doesn’t turn on at all. Or maybe you thought you were set up for the summer, but once it starts, you’re air conditioner just doesn’t cool your house… or at least not how it used to.
Our usual reaction is to try to fix it by ourselves: technicians cost money. While we would certainly argue (with good reason) that fixing you’re A/C is a job you definitely want to leave to a licensed HVAC professional, there is some troubleshooting your can do to check whether your actually need it.
In this article, we will focus on the two issues written above: the air conditioner doesn’t turn on at all, and the air conditioner doesn’t cool properly.
The A/C doesn’t turn on at all
The first thing to check out is that the thermostat is set on “cool”. This is an easy one to skip, but many times it is actually the problem. Also make sure that the temperature that you have on the settings is below the actual temperature of the room.
As we know, when the thermostat gives the signal that the environment is too warm, the air conditioner should go on automatically. If it doesn’t do that, chances are problem is either a defective thermostat or lack of electrical power.
Many thermostats in air conditioners actually run on batteries, so one of the things you can try is to replace them with new ones. The batteries can be found by pulling out the thermostat cover.
If the problem with the thermostat is that it is defective, your will probably need to call a technician to take a look. However, if the problem is the electricity, you can check a few places for it return.
The first thing you want to check is the power switch on the furnace. The second thing to check is that the power switch on the outdoor condenser, which would be located mounted above the outdoor unit, has not been shut off.
The next place to check is the main electrical panel on your house, as there is a chance that the A/C breaker just tripped, or maybe there is a blown fuse. Of course, if this is just a tripped breaker you got lucky, as turning it off and then on will solve the problem. A blown fuse is a bit harder, but you only need to replace it.
If you can’t find the issue after trying these, please call a HVAC technician to get a professional diagnosis.
The A/C doesn’t cool properly
This is not only a problem to your comfort; it is also a problem to your pocket. If your air conditioner is not working well, it will almost certainly use more energy than usual to try keep up with its job. So if you have noticed a decrease in performance, this is an issue you do want to take care of, even if you think that the way it works now is ‘cool enough’.
So yeah, it turns on and starts running, but it doesn’t cool very well, or not as well as it used to. A common reason for this is the state of the filter, because the dirt and dust that accumulates there with time prevents an appropriate air flow. This issue is fairly easy to resolve by yourself, even if you decide to replace the filter instead of just cleaning it. You only need to pull out the door on the front of the air-handler cabinet to find it.
In the same way the air-flow can wear down the filters with dirt and dust, the water it creates wear down the drain. This water is the result of the moisture your A/C removes from the air, and it is evacuates through a little plastic drain pipe that comes out from one side of the air-handler.
However, while dealing with filters is pretty easy, dealing with a leaking drain is notably more complex. There’s some more disassembling you would need to do, and the chances that some part needs replacement are very high. In this instance, getting a professional to take care of it is probably the wisest option.