July 12, 2016

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a life without an air conditioner. If this thought gives you pause, you know the gravity of finding out when something is wrong with your air conditioner. Before you spend any of that hard-earned money on an HVAC service, here are 10 ways to troubleshoot your malfunctioning AC.

1. The AC Won’t Turn On

If your air conditioner won’t turn on, start by checking the exterior unit. Ensure the unit is plugged in and the thermostat is properly set. If everything looks good yet the AC still won’t work, inspect it further for any blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers.

2. Runs, But Doesn’t Cool the Air

In this case, your AC runs with the thermostat on, but you won’t notice any change in the surrounding temperature. When you spot this AC malfunction, start by checking the outdoor unit. Remove any debris or weeds that impede air circulation.

The second step should be to check your filter and ensure that it’s clean. Remove it, and try to see through it. If you can, it’s clean, but if not, you should replace it.

Related: How Changing Filters in Your Air Conditioner Can Keep You Cool and Save You Money

3. Cool But Not Cold Enough

To fix this, look for restrictions like twigs, debris, leaves, and shrubbery that may prevent air from reaching the condenser. If your AC is exposed to the sun, consider creating shade around it.

4. Produces Weird Noises

You may hear weird noises when the AC starts up or as it runs. The noises could include rattling sounds, buzzing and ticking.

Stop these sounds by tightening a loose screw or lubricating the joints. If that fails, you may need to buy a fan blade or the motor that runs the fan.

5. Starts but Shuts Off After a Short Time

If you experience this air conditioner malfunction, the problem could be the location of your thermostat. Relocate it to a different position and see if the air conditioner works properly.

6. Water from the AC Leaks into the Ceiling or Walls

The accumulation of water may signal a blocked or disconnected tube. To fix this, check for any restrictions in the drain line to ensure the condensation drains freely. Unclog all tubes and connect them firmly.

7. High Electricity Bills

When you’re at home, lower the AC’s thermostat setting to about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, or when you’re away from home, raise the temperature. This strategy can help you save on your air conditioning bills by 5 to 15 percent.

Related: Can a Programmable Thermostat Lower My Cooling Bills?

8. Weak AC

Is your AC not operating as powerfully as it used to? Does it take longer to cool down the home? To solve this, check the outer unit, pipes, and drains for any debris and remove it.

9. The Thermostat Red Light is on

The red light of the thermostat should only flash or stay on during an emergency. If you see it during the normal operation, chances are a hitch has triggered the outside unit to shut off. To solve this, switch off the thermostat, wait for thirty seconds and switch it back on.

10. The AC Blows Hot Air

When you notice this, check the thermostat to ensure you didn’t set or leave it in the “fan” or “heat” mode. Correct this by setting it to the “auto” or “cool” mode.

If you ever notice an AC system failure that you can’t fix, do not hesitate to contact us at The Cooling Company (702) 567-0707.

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