Your Air Conditioner Goes Out, Now What

Its 95 degrees, the sun is out, the vultures are circling and you are in the middle of summer when your air conditioner goes out.  What do you do?

Stop!  Do not call an HVAC heating and cooling repairman out just yet.  It might be an issue you can fix.  If you cannot fix it then you still need to do some troubleshooting so that you have a general idea of what the problem is so that you know what the person is doing when he shows up.

Make Sure The Thermostat Is Set Right

This is a very common problem.  The temperate on your thermostat needs to be set fifteen degrees colder than the temperature outside.  If it is not set at least fifteen degrees lower then there is a good chance your central air conditioning system is not kicking in because it does not sense the house is warm enough.

Make Sure You Have Refrigerant

This is a very simple problem to spot even though most homeowners do not have the tools or knowledge to fix it.  But, at least you will know this is the issue. If your central AC is running but you are noticing no cold air is coming out the vents then your refrigerant levels are the most likely the issue.  Maybe there is leak?  At this point you need to have someone come over and re-fill it. Do not attempt to do this on your own.  Its a very dangerous substance and very volatile.

Air Ducts Are Compromised

Cold air is pushed through your home’s air ducts into various parts of the house.  If they are compromised in anyway then the delivery of cool air will be affected.  Check the air ducts for damage, leaks or excessive debris.  If they are extremely dirty you might want to get your air ducts cleaned by a professional service. You want your ducts to be as clear and dirt-free as humanly possible for cold air to pass through them.

Check Fan on Condenser Outside

The retangular box located on the side of the house is called the condeser.  It is the device that sucks the air from the atmosphere, cools it and sends in to the house via the evaporator coils. Make sure the fan is working like it should.  Is it broken or not spinning?  Is there a rock in it?  Sometimes an object is blocking it so that it does not spin properly.  Quite possibily, its broken and you will have to replace it.

Reset Breaker (aka Condenser Unit Breaker)

Your air conditioning unit has a reset breaker attached to it in case it detects a problem.  Manytimes it gets tripped accidentily (much like your home’s circuit breaker and oil burner).  Try pushing it in oder to reset the system.  Many times this will do the job and your central AC will come right back on.

Change AC Filter

This is an easy one.  When was the last time you had the filter on the AC unit changed?  If you do not remember then you need to do it.  Its really easy and the filters at less than $5 at most home improvement stores.  A clogged air filter can prevent a unit from sucking in the required air its needs to circulate it throughout the house.

These are just five common actions your typical homeowner can take to diagnose and possibily fix his air conditioning unit. Hopefully they will be just what you needed and you can get your system cranked up again.  We never appreciate the job these devices do until we do not have them anymore.