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AC Troubleshooting: Things to Check Before Calling a Tech
When you need relief from the heat, you need it fast. No one wants to wait around in the smoldering heat for your AC system to be fixed, but with high demand for AC professionals, you may not have a choice.
Plenty can go wrong with your AC system, but before calling in the professionals, take a look at Getzschman’s guide for things to check before calling your tech.
When Your AC Unit Won’t Turn On
- Check your thermostat: Make sure your thermostat is set to cool instead of heat or being off completely.
- Check Your Electrical Panel: Make sure the breaker isn’t tripped.
- Check the Power Switch: Sounds silly, but make sure your furnace/AC unit’s power is switched on. Also, make sure to check to outdoor unit for the same thing.
- Check the Batteries: If none of these work, you may need to replace the batteries in your thermostat.
When Your AC Runs But Doesn’t Cool
- Check the Filter: A dirty air filter can cause a lot more problems than you might think, and in some cases, can shut down your entire AC system! To avoid this drama and make sure your system runs smoothly, we recommend changing your filter every month.
- Check for Ice: Take a look at behind the front door of your unit and look for ice. If it has frozen over, turn on the fan to let it thaw out. Remember to be patient. This may take a few hours. If your system thaws and then quickly freezes up again, it may be time to call a professional.
- Check the Drain: Algae has a tendency to build up in the condensate drain, the plastic pipe that comes out of the side of the indoor unit. Failure to clean this regularly could result in the failure of your AC unit.
- Check the Outdoor Compressor: Make sure your outdoor compressor is working by turning on your AC system and listening for it to kick on. If you find the fan isn’t moving, try pressing the override button, or a reset switch if possible. If this doesn’t work you may need to clean it and try giving the fan blade a little push to get started. If all it needed was a little push, this means you have a bad capacitor that needs replacing.
When Your AC Motor Runs But Doesn’t Blow Air
- Check the Belt: When your motor is running, but the fan isn’t moving air, this could mean your belt is broken. The belt connects the motor and the fan, so you need to turn off this unit before opening the door to check the belt. If you have a gas unit, make sure you turn the gas off before doing the same.
- Check the Fan: Some fans and motors have sealed bearings that require oiling from time to time. Your problem could be that you need to lubricate the fan. If this is the case, follow the manufacturer’s directions and oil the bearings accordingly.
Still No Signs of Life?
Time to call your tech. Utilizing these troubleshooting tips can save time and money, but if you’ve tried everything and still have no luck, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.