When the summer heat rolls into town here in Commerce City, CO, you depend on your home’s AC to keep you cool. So, when something goes wrong with your AC, it’s natural to panic, at least a little bit. However, many problems that might affect your AC have simple solutions if you know what you’re looking for. That’s why the expert HVAC technicians at Smith & Willis Heating & Air Conditioning put together this simple list of basic AC troubleshooting steps. When your AC has a problem, it may require an AC repair, but running down this list may help you avoid unnecessary AC downtime.
Check Your AC Air Filter
If your home’s AC seems like it’s struggling to provide enough cool air throughout your home, the first thing you should check is your system’s air filter. Clogged or dirty air filters are the most common AC problem homeowners encounter. When your AC filter gets clogged, your system can’t draw in air to cool down and return to your home. At first, this will just rob your AC of some of its cooling efficiency. If you let the problem get bad enough, you’ll start having a serious airflow problem. You may even end up with a frozen set of evaporator coils, rendering your AC temporarily inoperable.
Check Your Condensate Drain Line
Dirty air filters aren’t the only thing that might cause your evaporator coil to freeze. The same thing can happen if your AC system’s condensate drain line gets obstructed or clogged. You may also end up with a puddle around your AC’s indoor unit. The simplest way to check for this is to look at the end of the drain line while your AC’s running. You should find it coming out of an outside wall of your home, typically near your outdoor unit. If you don’t see any water slowly dripping from the drain line, there’s a good chance you’ve got a clog.
If you’re lucky, the clog will be near the line’s outlet. This can happen as the wind pushes dirt and debris toward the drain. In that case, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to clear the drain line. However, if you don’t succeed using this method, your best bet is to call in some professional help from Smith & Willis Heating & Air Conditioning.
Check Your Thermostat
As obvious as it might sound, it’s a good idea to check your thermostat if you’re having issues with your AC. For example, if you keep lowering the temperature and can’t get your AC to turn on, you should check that your thermostat isn’t in heat mode. It’s surprisingly easy to inadvertently change your thermostat’s mode.
If your home still feels warm when your thermostat claims it’s reached your set temperature, it may need calibration. You can check this by placing a thermometer right next to your thermostat. If the two readings don’t match, your thermostat needs adjustment or replacement. You can call Smith & Willis Heating & Air Conditioning for help.
Check Your Circuit Breakers
If your thermostat seems fine but the AC still won’t turn on, the next place to look is at your home’s electrical panel. Your AC should have its own dedicated circuit, making it easy to check if its circuit breaker has tripped. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including power surges and dips coming in from your electricity provider. If your AC’s circuit breaker is in the off position, try turning it back on and seeing if your AC returns to normal operation.
If the breaker trips again after you’ve reset it, leave it off. This likely means there’s an electrical problem with your AC that requires professional attention.
Check Your Outdoor Unit
The last thing you should check if your AC isn’t operating properly is its outdoor unit. If your AC turns on but isn’t delivering sufficient cold air, your outdoor unit may be obstructed or dirty. In that case, you should cut the power to your AC and use a garden hose to rinse the dirt from your outdoor unit. You should also remove any debris that’s gathered near it.
If your blower inside turns on, but your outdoor unit won’t and you hear a buzzing sound from it, you should turn off your AC immediately. This indicates that you’ve got a failed capacitor or contactor in your outdoor unit. This isn’t something you can fix yourself, but it is a somewhat easy job for an HVAC professional.
Call the AC Repair Specialists
If you’ve tried all these troubleshooting tips but still need help with your AC problem, Smith & Willis Heating & Air Conditioning is the place to turn. We’ve served the Commerce City area since 2002, offering quality heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide indoor air quality services. And we never rest until you, the customer, are 100% satisfied with our work. So, for AC troubleshooting and repair, contact Smith & Willis Heating & Air Conditioning today!