7 Troubleshooting Tips to Try Before Calling for Air Conditioner Service
Having your air conditioner stop working is annoying and in some instances can quickly become a safety issue. Before you pick up the phone to place a service call, however, here are a few simple things you can check yourself. Knowing these A/C troubleshooting tips can save you time, money and inconvenience.
1. Check the power to the unit.
Make sure both the indoor and outdoor unit power switches are turned on. This may seem obvious, but occasionally switches get flipped inadvertently.
2. Check the power to the house and the circuit breaker
Make sure power is reaching the house and the outlet used by the air conditioner. If the breaker trips repeatedly, this could be a sign of a larger problem that should be checked by an electrician.
3. Check the air filter and vents
Make sure the air filter is clean. Restricted air flow can cause the system to malfunction so the filter should be replaced regularly to prevent problems. Also, check to see that the vents are open and not blocked by furniture or other items.
4. Check the thermostat batteries
Make sure the thermostat has fresh batteries and that the settings have not been accidentally changed. If the setting and the ambient room temperature don’t match, the thermostat may be malfunctioning.
5. Check the condensation pump and the A/C drain line
Many units have a safety switch that turns the unit off in the event of a leak. Check the pan under the unit to see if the drain is clogged. If that is the case, empty the pan and flush the drain line. The unit may start working again. It is important not to bypass the safety switch or you could end up with serious water damage in your home.
6. Consider the outdoor temperature
On excessively hot days, the system may struggle to maintain the set temperature. The greater the difference between the inside and outside temperature, the harder it is for the air conditioner to maintain that temperature.
7. Clear any debris from the outside air compressor
Remove any debris that may be blocking the outside unit. Trim trees and hedges to prevent leaves and dirt from collecting around it. Keep landscaping around the unit to a minimum, allowing at least 2 feet of clear space all the way around.