Is your air conditioner running? Well then, why don’t you catch it? Stupid jokes aside -- this is the time of year when the heat and humidity catch up with aging air conditioners, and the price of fixing them is no laughing matter! So if your AC isn’t running, is there anything you can do yourself to fix it? There are five things you should try before calling an air conditioning service.
1. Examine The Outdoor Unit
If you notice your air conditioner won’t turn on, your first instinct may be to call a technician. But if you step outside to check out the outdoor unit, you may notice debris, branches or twigs obstructing the fan from moving – and therefore stopping the AC from working properly. To fix it, make sure you turn off the power before you reach your hand in to clean the unit.
2. Check The Fuses And Circuit Breakers
Another major culprit that causes a lifeless air conditioner is a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. Go to your electrical panel and check the circuits. Our resident expert, Keith Hill, technical support manager at MN Air, says there are typically two circuits – one for the furnace and one for the outdoor unit.
“Remember, you have a small disconnect box outside that may have fuses in it also,” he says.
However, be aware that a breaker usually trips for a reason, so it may not be a permanent fix.
Keith also reminds homeowners that some units have a time delay to prevent short cycling, which can damage the compressor, so wait at least 5 minutes.
3. Clean/Change The Filter
Another reason why your AC may not be running – or running hot – could be because of a problem with airflow, which could be an issue with a dirty filter. Check your filter and see if it needs to be cleaned. If it’s a disposable filter change it regularly to prevent airflow problems. A clean filter means a cleaner system and cleaner air, so it’s important to change regularly. We’ve got a checklist of items to look at if your AC is blowing hot air and a post on how to pick the proper air filter, too.
4. Clear Obstructions
Once you’ve checked the filter for proper airflow, you’ll also want to inspect the registers and grilles around the house to make sure they are open and unobstructed. If they are blocked by furniture, pet hair, or dust, it can prevent your AC from running efficiently.
5. Inspect The Drain Lines
Finally, if you see water near the floor of the furnace, Keith says to check those drain lines as they may be plugged.
He says sometimes the blockage can be flushed or snaked out, but bigger problems could require special tools that you’ll need to hire a professional to use.
If you’ve tried these five simple steps yourself and still aren’t sure what’s causing the issue, that’s when you call a pro, like the team at StayComfyMN.com. They’ll bring you the peace of mind you need to get you back up and running – and that’s no joke!