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5 Ways for Troubleshooting Air Conditioner Issues

5 Ways for Troubleshooting Air Conditioner Issues

Is your home AC not turning on? Perhaps the AC works intermittently or does not cool the house as needed. Either of these issues can lead to great discomfort and inconvenience, especially if the AC stops working suddenly, without warning. 

We understand the frustration and thus have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you go about fixing AC issues in your home. Below are the five things you can do yourself when your AC is not working

  1. Inspect and Clean Air Filters
  2. Check and Clean Condenser Coils
  3. Check and Clear Drainage Lines
  4. Verify Thermostat Settings
  5. Inspect and Seal Air Ducts 

In our guide, the top air conditioning repair experts from Air Pros USA will go into depth about each step. Is your AC unit not working? Read on to get the help you need to fix those issues. 

A Word on Safety: Preparing for Central Air Troubleshooting

Before diving into the DIY central air troubleshooting techniques, we want to equip you with some safety tips. After all, the safety of you and your family is our highest priority. 

1. Turn the AC Unit Off Before You Begin

First, turn off your AC unit before troubleshooting any of the issues you come across. This is important because most air conditioning units run on electricity, which can shock you. Please follow this safety precaution and never attempt to fix anything when the AC is still on.  

2. Have All Tools and Materials Ready

It’s important to have the right tools and materials on hand to safely and effectively inspect and address issues. Here are some of the tools and materials you need: 

  • Phillips-head and flat-head screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Multimeter
  • Vacuum cleaner or shop vacuum
  • Condenser coil cleaning brush
  • Pipe cleaner or drain cleaning brush
  • Gloves and safety glasses
  • Fin comb
  • Duct tape or AC tape
  • Flashlight
  • Spray bottle with water and mild detergent
  • Rubber mallet

3. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines 

Finally, locate the manufacturer’s manual and read it carefully to ensure that you follow all the safety and troubleshooting guidelines to the tee. 

What To Do When Your AC Stops Working 

It is never easy when the air conditioning unit fails to produce the comfort you need in your house. However, with the five easy steps outlined below you may be able to restore your AC unit to order. If neither of these steps works to fix the AC, you may have a larger issue at hand that will require the assistance of a qualified AC professional. 

1. Inspect and Clean Air Filters

There is nothing that will cause your AC unit to stop working as fast as a clogged air filter. Air filters are extremely important as they remove dust and debris from the air flowing through them before infiltrating through the house. As they provide this important function, they become overwhelmed with dirt, dust, and debris. The airflow will slow down and the air conditioning unit will appear to be broken because the house won’t cool off as efficiently. 

How to Inspect and Clean the Air Filters

  1. Locate the air filters along the wall or floor, hidden behind a set of vents. 
  2. Lift the vents away and inspect the condition of the filters. 
  3. Clean the filter by vacuuming, rinsing it with water, and allowing it to dry before reinstalling it. 
  4. *Alternatively, you can just replace the dirty filter with a brand-new one. 
  5. Reinstall the filter and turn the AC unit back on. 

2. Check and Clean Condenser Coils 

Condenser coils play a critical role in releasing the heat absorbed from the house into the outdoors. Over time, the condenser coils can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris, slowing down the efficiency of heat transference. 

Cleaning Condenser Coils Safely

  1. Find the condenser unit located outside, typically along the perimeter of your home, and remove the outer panel of the unit. 
  2. Check the condition of the coils and look for dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris. 
  3. Using your condenser coil cleaning brush, gently sweep away any dust and dirt from the coils by working from the top down. 
  4. Rinse the coils with water and allow them to air dry. 
  5. Put the outer panel back on.
  6. Turn the AC unit back on to see if it helps restore the proper function of the AC unit. 

3. Check and Clear Drainage Lines 

Drainage lines are responsible for removing excess moisture and condensation accumulating during the cooling process. To prevent the damage and poor AC performance caused by excess water in the AC system, it is vital to clear the drainage lines by following these steps: 

  1. Locate the drainage lines that are typically near the air handler or evaporator coil
  2. Remove the access panel on the air handler 
  3. Check the drainage lines or blockages, dirt, and algae that may block the proper flow of water in the system
  4. Use a wet or dry vacuum to clear any blockages in the drain lines
  5. Flush the drain line with household bleach or a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to prevent future clogs. 
  6. Place the panel cover back on and test the AC to ensure this step helped restore its function. 

4. Verify Thermostat Settings

The key to the optimal energy efficiency of your central air conditioning unit is setting it with the correct temperatures.  If the AC unit is not working, the thermostat’s settings can be the issue. 

Ensuring That Your Thermostat is Working Properly

  1. Check that the thermostat is on and its display screen is set to cool or warm your home, depending on the current season. 
  2. Use a separate thermometer to measure the room temperature and compare it to the thermostat reading. If there’s a big difference in the temperatures, you may need to calibrate the thermostat. 
  3. Set your thermostat settings within a 10-degree margin of the outside temperatures to create balance and comfort in the home. 

5. Inspect and Seal Air Ducts

Air ducts are a crucial component of a central AC system, responsible for distributing cooled air throughout your home. However, leaky or damaged air ducts can significantly affect the airflow, efficiency, and overall performance of your AC system.

How To Check and Seal the Air Ducts

  1. Using your flashlight, inspect the ducts for visible cracks that cause air leaks. Pay special attention to joints as these areas often have holes and gaps. 
  2. Use foil tape, mastic, or duct tape to cover any gaps or holes. 
  3. Make sure that nothing is obstructing the airflow from vents, such as furniture, curtains, and plants. 
  4. Turn the AC back on and test to see if this air conditioning fix helped with improving its cooling power. 

Still, Having Issues? Call Air Pros USA Today! 

If you went through all of these AC troubleshooting steps and still find that your AC is malfunctioning, it may be time to call the pros. Call an Air Pros USA brand in your area today, and we will assess the situation and quickly restore the AC in your home ASAP! 

Check out the list of all Air Pros USA locations to get help from our team of expert AC Techs in your area. 

Contact Air Pros USA technicians in FL, GA, AL, LA, TX, MS, CO, and WA today for a thorough assessment of your AC System.

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