Air Conditioner Repair Checklist
1. AC Won’t Turn On
There can be a few causes why your AC unit won’t run: a blown circuit breaker, wrong thermostat settings, a shut off switch or an overflowing condensate drain pan.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
Your system won’t start when you have a blown breaker.
To check if one has gotten overloaded, go to your residence’s main electrical panel. You can locate this silver box on the wall in the basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry before you work on the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker labeled “AC” and ensure it’s in the “on” position. If it’s triggered, the switch will be in the "off" position.
- Steadily transfer the switch back to the “on” location. If it instantly flips again, don’t touch it and reach us at 515-344-3579. A breaker that keeps turning off could indicate your home has an electrical problem.
Inaccurate Thermostat Settings
If your thermostat isn’t giving a sign to your equipment to run, it won’t activate.
The most important part is checking it’s set to “cool” and not “heat.” Otherwise your air conditioner will probably not switch on. You could also have warm air blowing from vents since the heater is on instead.
If you’re using a traditional thermostat:
- Put in new batteries if the screen is clear. If the readout is displaying garbled numbers, get a new thermostat.
- Make sure the correct option is on the display. If you can’t update it, override it by decreasing the temperature and pressing the “hold” button. This will make your AC start if scheduling is incorrect.
- Test setting the thermostat 5 degrees cooler than the room’s temperature. Your AC won’t work if the thermostat matches the house’s temperature.
Once your thermostat is set correctly, you should receive refreshing air promptly.
If you’re using a smart thermostat, including ones produced by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch, look at the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you’re still having problems, contact us at 515-344-3579 for support.
Your AC usually has a shut-down lever near its outdoor unit. This lever is generally in a metal box mounted on your residence. If your AC has recently been fixed, the lever may have inadvertently been turned off.
Overflowing Condensate Drain Pan
Condensate drain pans catch the surplus water your equipment removes from the air. This pan is located either below or within your furnace or air handler.
When there’s an obstruction or clogged drain, water can accumulate and initiate a safety control to turn off your unit.
If your pan includes a PVC pipe or drain, you can drain the surplus condensation with a custom pan-cleaning capsule. You can purchase these tablets at a home improvement or hardware shop.
If your pan has a pump, look for the float switch. If the lever is “up” and there’s water in the pan, you might have to install a new pump. Contact us at 515-344-3579 for help.
2. AC Blows Warm Air
If your AC is working but not providing cold air, its airflow could be obstructed. Or it may not have sufficient refrigerant.
Your equipment’s airflow can be limited by a plugged air filter or dusty condenser.
How to Change Your Air Filter
A dusty filter can create a lot of troubles, such as:
- Limited cooling
- Icy refrigerant lines or evaporator coil
- Uneven cooling
- Larger electricity bills
- Making your system break down faster
We recommend installing new flat filters monthly, and pleated filters every three months.
If you can’t recall when you last replaced your filter, shut off your system totally and take out the filter. You can find the filter in your furnace or air pump’s blower compartment. It might also be located in a connected filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
Tilt the filter up to your light fixture. If you see a lot of dust, you should buy a new filter.
4 Steps to Cleaning Your Cooling Equipment
Brush, plants and bushes can obstruct your condensing unit. This may restrict its airflow, make it less energy efficient and change your comfort. Here’s a way you can get your equipment working smoothly again.
- Turn off electricity fully at the breaker or outdoor switch.
- Get rid of greenery debris around the unit. Once you’ve gotten rid of bigger refuse within a two-foot range, you can use a paint brush or vacuum to slowly remove dust from the equipment’s fins. Distorted fins can also hurt performance.
- Use a hose nozzle to gingerly clean the fins from inside the equipment. Make sure to avoid getting moisture on the fan motor.
- Turn on the power.
When air conditioning systems don’t have ample refrigerant, they’ll have to work much harder to remove heat and humidity from your rooms.
Here are several signs that your system is seeping refrigerant:
- It takes a long time to refresh your space and you’re regularly turning down the thermostat.
- Air conditioning moving through the ducts isn’t as chilled as it should be.
- You’re hearing whistling or bubbling noises when cooling is on.
- Your evaporator coil is frosted as a result of having difficulty handling heat.
Worried your unit is seeping refrigerant? You need a qualified heating and cooling service professional to repair the leak and refill the correct level of refrigerant in your equipment. Reach us at 515-344-3579 for support.
3. AC Not Blowing Enough Air
When it feels like you’re not getting enough cold air, there’s likely a blockage or separation somewhere in your AC unit.
- The initial step is examining your air filter. Replace it if it’s dusty.
- Make sure the ductwork is open throughout your residence.
- If you’re still not getting sufficient chilly air, you should have your duct system checked by a professional like Heartland Heating & Cooling. Your ductwork might need to be fixed or hooked up again in tricky spots like your attic, basement or crawl space.