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Air Conditioner Problems? Try These Simple Solutions!

Posted by Brittany on Jun 16, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Air Conditioner Problems? Try These Simple Solutions!Since air conditioning units are now manufactured to be more efficient and higher quality, you can expect them to be more reliable, too. But with digital sensors, computerized dashboards, and other new technology, the easy, do-it-yourself fixes aren’t always as obvious. We turned to our resident expert—Keith Hill from Minnesota Air—for some helpful advice on some of the most common concerns. So, when you have air conditioner problems, try these simple solutions. 

Problem: It Doesn’t Run 

Solution: When the thermostat is on, and if neither the indoor unit (furnace) nor outdoor unit comes on, it could be a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. Keith says to check your electrical panels. 

“Typically there are 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. Realize that the breaker trips for a reason. Just resetting it may not permanently solve the problem,” he says. 

Keith says if your home experienced power issues recently, that may be the cause, but if it continues to happen, seek professional help.

Problem: It Takes Too Long To Cool The House

Solution: If the AC system just isn’t keeping up, you may first want to look at the coil on the outdoor unit. Keith says it can get clogged with cottonwood, dirt, or other debris. 

“Sometimes the crud is imbedded in the fin area,” he says. “Just because it looks clean doesn’t mean it is.”

He says to properly clean imbedded dirt you will need to remove the top and spray it with water – and spray it opposite to the airflow. When the water comes out consistently across all areas of the coil, then it’s clean.

Because different units require different cleaning methods, Keith suggests hiring a pro the first time to show you how to do it. 

The other culprit if you’re getting low capacity out of your AC is usually a dirty air filter. Just remember to clean or replace it frequently – even in the summer. 

Problem: A Noisy Outdoor Unit 

Solution: If you are hearing clanging, banging, or other noises coming from your outside AC unit, that’s an indication that the fan blade is hitting something. It could be something as simple as a stick or branch in the grille, or even a long shrub or bush that grew near the fan blade.  To fix it, make sure you first turn off the power and inspect the unit. You may need to take off the top to clear the obstruction. If you see a bent fan blade, don’t try to bend it back in place. Call an expert and get it replaced. 

Problem: Water Leaks

Solution: If you are noticing water on the floor by the furnace, it may be a sign that the drain line is plugged, says Keith. 

“In some cases you can flush the blockage or snake it out,” he says. “Other problems typically require specialized tools and specialized skills, for those you will need to hire a pro.”

If you can’t fix an issue safely and easily by yourself, then it’s best left in the hands of a professional. And lucky you, you now know a team of them at, waiting to help you find a solution. 

The Essential Guide to AC

Topics: Cooling