top of page

knowledge is power.

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioner Before Calling a HVAC Technician

If your air conditioner isn’t working properly, try these steps before calling a technician. These troubleshooting tips might help you fix the problem quickly and save on service costs.

Step 1: Check the Thermostat

1. Ensure the thermostat is set to “cool”:

• Make sure it is set to a temperature lower than the current room temperature.

2. Check the power source:

• Replace the batteries if the thermostat is battery-powered.

• Confirm the thermostat is properly connected to its power source.

Step 2: Inspect the Air Filters

1. Locate the air filter:

• This is usually near the return air duct or the air handler.

2. Check for dirt and debris:

• If the filter is dirty or clogged, replace it with a new one.

• Filters should typically be replaced every 1-3 months.

Step 3: Examine the Circuit Breaker

1. Find your electrical panel:

• This is often in the basement, garage, or utility room.

2. Check for tripped breakers:

• If the breaker for the air conditioner has tripped, reset it by flipping it off and then back on.

Step 4: Ensure the Outdoor Unit is Clean

1. Locate the outdoor unit:

• This is the condenser unit outside your home.

2. Clear away debris:

• Remove any leaves, dirt, or other debris around the unit.

• Ensure there is at least 2 feet of clearance around the unit for proper airflow.

3. Clean the coils:

• Turn off the power to the unit.

• Use a garden hose to gently rinse the coils. Do not use high pressure.

Step 5: Check for Obstructions

1. Inspect the vents:

• Ensure all supply and return vents inside your home are open and unobstructed.

• Remove any furniture or objects blocking the vents.

Step 6: Verify the Drain Line

1. Locate the condensate drain line:

• This is usually a PVC pipe near the indoor air handler.

2. Check for clogs:

• If the line is clogged, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the blockage.

• Pour a mixture of water and vinegar through the line to help clear any buildup.

Step 7: Assess the Refrigerant Lines

1. Inspect the refrigerant lines:

• These are the copper pipes running from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit.

2. Check for ice or frost:

• If you notice ice on the lines, turn off the unit and let it thaw. This could indicate a refrigerant leak or other issue requiring professional attention.

Step 8: Listen for Unusual Noises

1. Turn on the air conditioner:

• Listen for any unusual sounds such as grinding, squealing, or rattling.

2. Identify the source:

• If you hear strange noises, this might indicate a mechanical issue that needs a professional inspection.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, it’s time to call a professional HVAC technician. Be sure to provide them with details of the steps you’ve already taken, which can help speed up the diagnosis and repair process.


Featured Post
Recent Posts
bottom of page