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AC Unit Troubleshooting Steps You Can Perform at Home

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A malfunctioning air conditioner can mean cost and discomfort. A healthy AC is a vital part of your home running smoothly, so what’s your first step when it shows signs of trouble?

There is a way to execute some AC unit troubleshooting on your own before you call to have a service technician visit. 

Restore your comfort and protect your wallet by reading about some common AC issues and what you, as the homeowner, can do to avoid a potentially costly and inconvenient situation.

Dirty Air Filters

Do you notice weak airflow from your vents? Have you spotted ice forming on your refrigerant lines or noticed an overall lack of performance in your unit? These symptoms may be the result of dirty air filters.

When air filters become clogged with dirt, dust, or pet hair, it can mean detriment to your unit. Layers of debris on your filter will slow the efficiency of your unit and, in time, can stop the entire system from functioning.

Before you call for ac repair, check your filters. If they appear clogged and excessively dirty, remove and replace them with new filters. To keep your unit in top shape, it’s good to check those filters once a month.

Check Your Thermostat

It may seem like a no-brainer, but checking if your thermostat is set to the correct mode, heat or cool, can save a service call. It sometimes happens that it gets bumped to the opposite setting accidentally.

If the air is warm coming out of the vents and you expect cold, or vice versa, go straight to your thermostat. The same is true if your unit won’t turn on at all. Your thermostat settings could be keeping the unit from kicking on.

Might Be the Breaker

A tripped breaker means no electricity to your AC unit, and it won’t turn on. After you’ve checked the thermostat, take a look at your electrical panel.

Scan the switches for any that aren’t in the “on” position. Check the labels for off switches to identify if one belongs to your AC. If you notice a tripped AC breaker reset it to gain power back to your unit.

Clear Air Returns

At times, homeowners may inadvertently block or cover air or return vents, especially those on a lower wall or floor. If you notice that your AC unit seems to be working harder than usual, check that you don’t have any rugs covering floor air supply vents or items like a cabinet or couch pushed too close to a return air vent.

The air must circulate freely through these vents, or you will notice a decrease in the efficiency of your unit.

Call the Professionals

If you’ve gone through all of these steps and feel there is still a more significant issue at play, call your service company for an AC repair service call. An experienced HVAC technician will be the best to diagnose and repair your unit if you find that your troubleshooting didn’t reveal any result. They’ll also appreciate the insight you can provide when you ensure them you’ve gone through these initial first steps.

Try First With AC Unit Troubleshooting

AC unit troubleshooting is a good first step to ensure you don’t make an unnecessary call for heating and ac repair. Take a few measures yourself first.

Keep browsing for more articles you can rely on for help and information.


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