Having an air conditioner that is not functioning properly could be really troublesome, especially in peak Bay Area summers. Calling an HVAC technician as soon as you encounter a problem in your air conditioner could be unnecessary, expensive and could take a while.
Sometimes, the AC doesn’t function right due to some minor glitches which can easily be rectified on your own. If you know what to look for, you could probably pin point the cause of the problem and resolve the issue yourself, without spending too much time or money on it.
Here is a simple guide to troubleshooting your AC so that you can get it running smoothly again.
1. Check the thermostat settings
One of the most common causes of a malfunctioning AC is wrong thermostat settings. When seasons change, you may forget to change the settings from Heating to Cooling. This can cause your AC to give out hot air making you wonder what the problem is.
2. Check the thermostat batteries
If the batteries in your thermostat are dead, it will not be able to communicate with the air conditioning unit and no matter what setting you keep it on, the AC will not provide you the temperature you are looking for. So, replace the batteries if required.
3. Clean or replace the air filters
AC units, especially the new ones are quite sensitive to clogged air filters. Unclean filters hamper air flow and will result in your air conditioner working poorly or not at all. So, clean the air filters or replace them if they haven’t been changed for a long time. There are guides available to help you do this on your own.
4. Ensure that all air vents are clean and clear
Clogged air ducts and vents will again affect air flow. Vermin infestation can also dirty the ducts and clog them enough to halt air flow. Also, make sure that no air vents are getting blocked by furniture or curtains. This will result in rooms not cooling even when the AC is running.
5. Check the circuit breaker
Reset the circuit breaker connected to the air conditioner in case it has tripped. This could go unnoticed and you may end up waiting for an HVAC technician when you could have easily set this right on your own.
6. Keep the outdoor unit clean
Ensure that the outdoor unit of your AC does not collect a lot of dirt and debris. Keep it covered when not in use, and away from trees and plants whose leaves and twigs could clog it.
In certain cases, you may be able to find the cause but will still have to call an HVAC technician to fix the problem for you.
In case of a refrigerant leak, for example, the AC will not provide efficient cooling. You will need to get the leak checked and refrigerant level topped up. Or if you notice that the system has been improperly installed, an HVAC technician will be required to remove the unit and reinstall it correctly.