The Top 4 Air Conditioning Issues & How to Troubleshoot Them
Imagine walking into your home on a blazing hot day and feeling the cool air as you breathe a sigh of relief. Then imagine instead of coming home to comfort, you feel more stifling heat. Nobody enjoys having their air conditioner malfunction unexpectedly, but if it does, there are steps you can try to correct the issue and possibly avoid a service call. Below are the 4 most common problems that can cause your air conditioning system to break down and the simple troubleshooting tips that can fix them.
1. Outdoor air condenser isn’t running.
- Make sure the unit is getting power. Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
- Check the thermostat. Make sure it is set to “cool.” Test it by lowering the temperature setting by five degrees. This should cause the air conditioner to turn on. If it doesn’t, try replacing the batteries.
- Clear any dirt or debris from around the condenser that may be preventing the air from circulating properly.
2. Air conditioner is not cooling adequately.
- Check the thermostat by lowering the temperature by five degrees to see if the air conditioner turns on.
- Carefully clean the evaporative coil.
- Check the outdoor temperature. If it is extremely hot, your air conditioner may not be able to cool to the same low temperatures you’re used to.
- Replace the filter and be sure to do so regularly. A dirty air filter inhibits air flow and can lead to more serious problems.
3. Air conditioner is blowing warm air.
- Make sure nothing is blocking the condenser. Clean any dirt and debris.
- Change the air filter.
- If the problem is a faulty component or that the unit is low on refrigerant, you will need to call a technician.
4. Air conditioner turns on and off repeatedly.
- This is also typically caused by a dirty or blocked condenser unit or a dirty evaporator. Thoroughly clean the entire unit and remove any obstructions. Remove any foliage blocking the outside unit and maintain at least one foot of clear space around it. Keep any stored items or other debris away from the inside unit.
- Change the filter.
5. Bonus tip.
The best way to prevent these issues from occurring is by having your air conditioner inspected and maintained on a regular basis. The cost of regular maintenance is easily recovered through increased efficiency (lower utility bills) and fewer repairs — not to mention preventing the inconvenience of having your system stop working.