If you have not yet checked out your air conditioner this year, right now is the time to do so because summer is right around the corner. There’s really nothing worse than sweating it out in the middle of July because you didn’t take the time to spot some problems with your cooling system before the heat hit.
Hopefully, all is well with your AC unit, but if you do discover that something is wrong, check out these steps you can take to troubleshoot and maybe even repair your air conditioner yourself.
Not Blowing Cold Air
This is one of the most common AC problems, but unfortunately, there is not one, simple solution. You will need to check the state of several components before you can determine what the problem is.
- Air filter – Most people are aware that they should change the AC’s filter, but may not realize how often this needs to be done. You should follow your manufacturer’s instructions, but generally, air filters need to be changed at least once a month in order to ensure maximum cooling power. Check your filter for dirt and debris and change it if necessary.
- Dirty unit – Sometimes the cooling power of the AC may not be working correctly because of dirty condenser coils on your AC’s outside unit. Inspect the coils and their housing for dirt and grime. If you find any, turn off the power to your unit by switching the breaker and use a brush or rag to clean it.
- Loss of coolant – Air conditioning coolant, or Freon, is what is used to cool the air that flows into your home. Unfortunately, it can leak out over time. If you suspect that this is the problem, you should call an AC repair service to get the Freon replaced. You cannot do it yourself because you need a permit from the EPA to work with Freon.
Frozen pipes are another common problem that can cause extensive damage if it is not looked at promptly. A properly functioning AC unit should never have frozen pipes, so if you see this with your unit, you know that something is not right.
- Blocked air flow – Frozen pipes typically happen when there is something blocking or restricting the airflow in the ducts. Check for obstructions in the ductwork including collapsed ductwork. After clearing any blockages, allow your AC to thaw out before trying to run it again.
- Poorly functioning blower motor. You will likely need a professional AC service to check this out. Replace the motor, if needed, before this becomes a more serious problem.
Check your outside unit for leaks. If you notice any water around it, this may be a sign of a problem, as normally the condensation that is removed from your home will drain into the condensation pan. Have an AC repair professional take a look to see if anything is wrong.
You should check out your AC at least once a year to make sure that everything is running properly. If you suspect that anything is amiss, get it taken care of by someone before you have to deal with a non-functioning air conditioner later.