With summer so close, it’s time to service the air conditioner to ensure functionality for the extreme temperatures. After a long winter season, there are a number of things you need to do to prepare your unit for operation, one of which is an inspection from a skilled specialist to check all the technical components for defects or potential issues.
As far as homeowner responsibilities, if you run into any difficulties with your unit, troubleshooting can save unnecessary repair visits. Your system will inevitably need repairs from an air conditioning service from time to time, but if there are quick fixes that you can handle with just a few simple steps, you’ll save time and cost. It’s just a matter of knowing the difference between a significant problem and a DIY issue.
Steps To Troubleshooting Air Conditioning Issues
An air conditioner is responsible for taking hot, muggy air and replacing it with a cooler, drier atmosphere. In the elevated temperatures of the summer, the system is among the most appreciated components in the home until a problem arises. At that moment, a homeowner begins to panic at the thought of the discomfort and potentially harmful air quality they’ll experience. As dire as situations such as this may seem, there are instances where you could possibly take some steps to resolve what may be a simple problem.
By troubleshooting the symptoms, some air conditioning issues have the potential for a quick, easy, and affordable DIY fix. It just takes a little investigation if you have a list from your service professional of simple things to check, some research, and narrowing it down to the exact problem.
- The recommendation is always to check the unit’s thermostat before you do anything else. Make sure the display is showing power. There could be a simple need for a new installation of batteries in the thermostat. The batteries are something that you should check and change periodically with the thermostat. There are a few maintenance tips for homeowners to follow at https://www.familyhandyman.com/heating-cooling/air-conditioner-repair/21-air-conditioner-maintenance-tips/
- Ensure that the selection for the thermostat shows the appropriate setting for the season that you’re experiencing, whether it be cool for summer or heat for winter and that the temperature is at a level where the system will actually engage. The temperature setting will need to be below that of the room temperature for the cool setting and above room temperature if you need heat.
- Before making any calls for repairs, always check that the circuit breakers are on for inside and outside units. Ensure that the inside furnace and the AC unit outside condenser switches or disconnects are engaged.
- The drain lines close and the condensation drip pans need to be clear at all times. An HVAC system that has a backed-up drain line or inside coil drip pan, the safety float switch may trigger, causing the system to shut down to prevent flooding within the home. Taking care of keeping the lines and the pan free is part of a homeowner’s maintenance of the system. Click for advice on central air repairs.
- The unit will shut down if the door panel to the furnace or the air handler shakes loose and the safety switch activates. It’s wise to periodically check to make sure that the door is secure and in place to save a lot of headaches and panic when the unit stops working. A door being open may be one of the last things on your mind in a frantic state.
- Filters with HVAC are a common issue when the system is not functioning up to capacity. It’s essential always to make sure that the air filter is clean. Filters that are dirty or clogged will restrict the flow of air causing the heating or air conditioning unit to either shut down or operate poorly. Changing the filter regularly is another essential component in homeowner’s maintenance, and one neglected all too often. It needs to take place at least every three months with the suggestion being on a monthly basis to be more effective depending on the system and your air quality.
- Ensure that the air registers have no obstructions and that they are open. The system will not function correctly without sufficient flow. If the returns have blockages either with furniture or other obstacles, it will affect the way your unit cools.
- The outdoor coil needs to be clean and have proper airflow that has no obstructions. Check for any type of debris, dirt, or plants that may be preventing proper flow. A system is consistently operating to push cold air over warm coils. The performance of the outside condenser has a significant impact from coils that are dirty or fins that are clogged. If the unit is dirty, use a hose to spray the outside to wash the debris away gently. The fins can bend if you use a hard stream, so you must be careful when spraying.
Sometimes you will find that none of the things you try in your attempts at AC maintenance is helping, and the unit is still not functioning at optimal performance or not operating at all. In that instance, you need to contact a service professional.
You could cause further damage by attempting more complex repairs without knowledge or experience. The technicians will solve the problem and get back in top shape, so you’re all set for another hot summer season.