When the air conditioner stops working, it’s absolutely normal to be concerned.
It’s true that many issues can require the help of our professional techs so that we can diagnose and solve the issue for you, so you can get the cool air back on. (Plus, for certain issues you may be having, it may be safer for us to handle.)
But at the same time, we want to equip you to also be able to do a bit of safe troubleshooting, in case one of these common issues can help you get the AC back on.
Take a look at this list to see what you can do if you notice your AC isn’t working as it should:
But first, a reminder about regularly replacing your air filters
Before we break down a few of the potential issues you’ll be able to potentially solve on your own, remember just how important it is to regularly change out your air filters. We can’t emphasize this one enough!
Changing your air filter—and doing so regularly—protects your heating and cooling system, and it allows it to last longer. If you’re filter is clean, your HVAC can work optimally; on the other hand, if it’s dirty, it restricts the airflow and it makes your HVAC actually have to work harder to get the same amount of work (if it can do that!) done.
Not only does it have to “work harder,” but imagine this scenario: your air filter is restricting the airflow through the return ducts because it’s dirty. That reduced airflow means there’s less pressure across your blower. And, in turn, typically the air pressure can be imbalanced throughout your home as a result! In short, not only is your system working inefficiently and ineffectively, but the actual comfort in your home is impacted.
Second, also make sure you are doing other proper HVAC maintenance, including your tune-ups. For most home-owners, that’s twice a year. If you sign up for our annual preventative maintenance plan, you not only save but you don’t have to worry about the maintenance getting done or not.
To recap: By changing your air filters on-time and by doing adequate maintenance, you’ll be able to do your best to prevent issues happening to your heating and cooling system.
Now let’s get back to the list of things you can do if you see your AC isn’t working as it should.
Check to see if a tripped circuit breaker is to blame
If you feel comfortable enough to do so, it could be worthwhile to double check there isn’t a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
Be aware of the big picture: if the breaker tripped because the circuit was overloaded, recognize it could happen again. If it continues to trip on you, call us to help diagnose the problem.
Check the thermostat
A great first step after you’ve reset the circuit breaker and still had no change is just to do a little test of thermostat. If you lowered your thermostat 5 degrees, see what happens. After all, you may think the thermostat is indeed set to cool but someone else in your home might have changed it without you knowing.
It also might be beneficial to read your thermostat manual if you find yourself having lots of issues with it.
We also see many instances where the thermostat batteries are dead as well. Be sure that’s not the reason, which would explain why the AC isn’t working.
Make sure excessively dirty or clogged air filters aren’t to blame
If you haven’t already at this point, you want to ensure all the vents are open and that the air filters aren’t extremely clogged with dirt and debris. After all, if the vents aren’t open or if the air filter is clogged, you aren’t going to get the air flow you need and that might cause the evaporator coils to freeze, which will only make the situation worse.
Check your outside unit and remove any debris
If your AC can turn on, and you’ve already tested that the thermostat is set up properly and batteries aren’t to blame, it might be worth checking the outside unit to be sure the cause of the issue isn’t there.
See if there is any major debris or other materials that are blocking air circulation. Even things like weeds and dirt around the unit can cause issues. If enough debris or dirt is around the unit and if air circulation is blocked, that might be your issue. If at this point you see the AC is still not cooling air, it might be time to call us.
See if the outdoor disconnect switch somehow got turned off
For those that feel comfortable and knowledgeable enough to take this step: after seeing that the indoor disconnect isn’t off, you can see if the outdoor disconnect switch has been hit and turned to “off.”
You never know if someone mistakingly hit it or if kids (or dogs!) playing in the yard somehow hit the switch. (Note: never do anything you don’t feel safe doing on your own! Always call the professionals at Greater Comfort if you have any concerns about your heating and cooling system.)
Home AC Not Working? Turn to Greater Comfort for Expert AC Service
After all there are many reasons why the AC may not be working properly. If its wiring issues, a stuck fan relay, a blown transformer, the system is old, it’s not the right size for your home, or if it was installed improperly, that could be part of the problem, and there’s quite a few other issues that could be to blame.
As described, since so many of the problems we see are preventable, do your best to keep up with your seasonal tune-ups with us and changing your air filters regularly. That way, you can avoid the larger issues that come with a broken AC.
We want you to be safe and not make the situation worse (or for you to do harm to yourself!), so when in doubt, give us a call for expert help. Contact Greater Comfort today or call 859-491-4915 to schedule service or your tune-up.