How to Troubleshoot Air Conditioning Problems

Air conditioning systems play a critical role in cooling homes especially during summers when temperatures go up making indoor spaces practically inhabitable. Because air conditioning units run for a long time, they develop problems from time to time thus calling for repairs and replacements.  However, not all repairs should cost you a dime because some of them can be solved with simple troubleshooting skills.

Below are some of the problems homeowners can fix themselves without incurring unnecessary expenses.

The Condenser is not Running

The first point to check whenever your condenser is not running is the power cable and plug. Ensure the unit is properly plugged in. If this doesn’t turn out to be the problem, check for the circuit breaker or fuse because there may be a trip or blow.Another potential cause is an improperly set thermostat. Try lowering the thermostat by about 5 degrees and see whether the system kicks on. If all the above fixes do not work, the problem could be a faulty compressor or motor. At this instance, you will need professional help.

Inadequate Air Cooling

If your air conditioning unit is not satisfactorily cooling your home, you can start troubleshooting by lowering the thermostat setting by 5 degrees. If that doesn’t solve the anomaly, you may want to check and fix the cleanliness of the evaporator coil. After the cleaning, allow the evaporator to run for a few hours. If the problem still persists, the size of your AC may be inappropriate for the space it is serving.You should also keep in mind that excessively hot days may impact the effectiveness of your unit. For instance, if outside temperatures are well above 100 degrees, achieving at least 62 degrees inside your home may not be feasible irrespective of the efficiency with which your AC blows cold air.Always consult with your AC professional before making a replacement decision due to this problem.

AC Unit Repeatedly Shuts On and Off

This is a common problem which is usually occasioned by a blocked or dirty condenser and evaporator unit. Most of the times, doing a thorough cleaning of these components and removing obstructions around it can solve the problem.

Air is not Coming out of Ceiling Registers or the Floor

This is another problem air conditioning units face and it is caused by a number of things. The beginning point is to check whether the fan located on the outside unit is running. If the fan is not running, go ahead to check whether the AC breakers are on. If the breaker is not tripped, the problem could be your thermostat, the control board for your air handler or the wires connecting the thermostat and the air handler.

If your AC unit has a condensate pump, do a quick check on the reservoir to ensure it is not full. Whenever the reservoir is filled to capacity, a limit switch usually stops the AC from running. This may call for a replacement or repair of the pump. If the breaker is tripped, shutting it off and then back on can reset it.

Ice on the Lines Connecting the Outdoor and Indoor Units

Having ice on the refrigerant line is a problem most homeowners encounter with their AC systems. However, this doesn’t mean that your unit is completely faulty and you can easily troubleshoot it. First, shut the outside unit off for a few hours but allow the blower to run. This will melt the ice. Turn the AC back on and allow it to run for about 5 minutes and feel the copper line. It should be cold and at least have condensation on it. If the line is not cold, then the problem could be the refrigerant. Have a technician inspect it and do a refrigerant replacement.

Remember troubleshooting has an extent beyond which you should allow technicians to come in and have your systems sorted.