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Minor Air Conditioner Problems You Can Troubleshoot Yourself

April 24, 2014 | Blog

The heat and humidity will blanket the Coastal Bend in a few short months.  And when it does, you don’t want to be caught off-guard by air conditioner problems. If you turn on the A/C and it doesn’t sound quite right, or it’s not cooling like it usually does, take a look at these DIY troubleshooting tips before you make a pricey and time-consuming emergency repair call:

When your A/C doesn’t turn on at all —

  • Check the breaker box for a tripped breaker. The circuit your A/C is on should be labeled. If it’s tripped, reset it.
  • Adjust the thermostat down five degrees—it may be set too high, which prevents the unit from running.
  • If the inside unit is running and the outside is not.  A common problem is when yard work has been done around the outside unit and the small control wire is cut with a weed eater or mower.

If the A/C is running, but not cooling enough —

  • Check your air filter and make sure it is not dirty and restrictive.
  • Your A/C evaporator might be dirty. If it’s accessible, and not covered with insulation, you can clean it with a soft brush or a shop vac.
  • Again, ensure your thermostat is set lower than the current air temperature in your South Texas home.
  • If the cooling is uneven, you’ll need to balance the system by adjusting the balancing dampers (also called volume dampers) in your home’s ductwork (not at the individual air vents).

When your A/C isn’t producing any cool air, or it’s cycling off and on —

  • Check the condenser unit for blockages, dirt and debris. The condenser unit sits outside your home, and it’s essential that air flows freely around it. You should inspect and clean the condenser annually before the cooling season starts. Ensure there isn’t tall grass or vines blocking the condenser. Then use a garden hose to rinse off any remaining dust.
  • These are also symptoms of the evaporator being dirty. If you’ve already cleaned it, you need a professional to diagnose your air conditioner problems.

Instead of waiting for expensive emergency repairs, try fixing these common air conditioner problems yourself.  If you have a problem you just can’t diagnose and need a professional opinion, contact CCAC, serving Corpus Christi-area customers since 1979.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air conditioner problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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