How to Troubleshoot 3 Common Problems with Your Air Conditioner

May 28, 2015

How to Troubleshoot 3 Common Problems with Your Air Conditioner

When your air conditioner suddenly stops working, you may be alarmed. However, the issue may be something as simple as a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. While many problems with your air conditioner will require a professional technician to repair the issue, sometimes homeowners can help fix simple problems with a little troubleshooting. 

These are three of the most common problems you may encounter with your air conditioner. Please note that many common problems with air conditioners can be caused by inadequate maintenance. To help avoid any future issues, we recommend that you get set up on an annual maintenance plan for your heating and cooling systems. For more information about the maintenance plans we offer at A.J. Perri please visit our website or contact us today. 

1. Your Air Conditioner Won't Turn On 

If your air conditioner isn't turning on, first check your unit outside to determine if the condenser is running. Make sure that the unit is plugged in and your thermostat is set properly. It sounds simple, but lower your thermostat 5 to 10 degrees and see if that fixes your problem -- and make sure your thermostat is set to cool. Some thermostats can be tricky to use, so be sure to read the manual to make sure you’re setting it the right way. 

If the AC is still not working, you may have blown a fuse, tripped your circuit breaker, or frozen your coil. You may have a problem with your motor or compressor and will need to contact a professional to repair your system. 

2. Your Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling the Air 

If your air conditioner will turn on, and your thermostat is set properly, but your system is not cooling you may have a dirty or blocked air condenser. Your first step is to check the outside unit and clean around and remove any debris or weeds that are blocking air circulation. Next, check your filter and make sure it is clean. A lot of times, we find the filter is dirty, and when it restricts the air to the evaporator coil, the coil can freeze. 

If you have pets or run your a/c often, you may need to change your filter more frequently. A good test is to pull your filter out and check if you can see through it. If your air conditioner is still not cooling air, you may have a problem with your compressor or refrigerant and will need to contact a professional. 

3. Your Air Conditioner Isn't Adequately Cooling Your Home 

If your air conditioner is on and set properly but is still not cooling your home to your standards, you may have a unit that is not sized appropriately for your home. Keep in mind that your system should be sized to keep your home cool on the average summer day. The average system should be able to maintain a 20-25 degree temperature difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature. In other words, your air conditioner is not designed to keep your home at 68 degrees when it is 95 degrees outside. If it is a normal summer day and your air conditioner still can't keep up, you may have a problem with the charge or a frozen evaporator coil. If you see icing on your outdoor unit, shut it off and call a professional.

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Last Updated: June 27, 2023