Air Conditioner Repair Checklist
1. AC Won’t Turn On
There can be several explanations why your AC equipment won’t cool: an overloaded circuit breaker, wrong thermostat settings, a switched off switch or a full condensate drain pan.
Blown Circuit Breaker
Your AC won’t start when you have a tripped breaker.
To check if one has tripped, go to your residence’s main electrical panel. You can find this metallic box on the wall in the basement, garage or closet.
- Confirm your hands and feet are dry before you work on the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker labeled “AC” and make sure it’s in the “on” location. If it’s overloaded, the switch will be in the "off" position.
- Quickly transfer the switch back to the “on” position. If it instantly trips again, leave it alone and reach us at 503-663-8033. A fuse that keeps tripping could mean your home has an electrical problem.
Wrong Thermostat Settings
If your thermostat isn’t telling your AC to start, it won’t activate.
The key step is making sure it’s on “cool” and not “heat.” Otherwise your air conditioning might not start running. You could also get hot air moving from vents being the heat is running instead.
If you’re using a traditional thermostat:
- Put in new batteries if the readout is empty. If the monitor is showing garbled letters, replace the thermostat.
- Make sure the proper program is displaying. If you can’t change it, cancel it by lowering the temperature and pushing the “hold” button. This will force your AC to work if scheduling is not right.
- Attempt to set the thermostat 5 degrees lower than the house’s temperature. Your AC won’t cool if the thermostat is set the same as the space’s temperature.
Once your thermostat is calibrated correctly, you should start getting refreshing air quickly.
If you have a smart thermostat, like one produced by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch, check the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting. If you still can’t get it to work, call us at 503-663-8033 for assistance.
Your AC typically has a power-cutting device near its outside unit. This device is typically in a metal box attached to your house. If your AC has recently been fixed, the device may have unintentionally been turned off.
Blocked Condensate Drain Pan
Condensate drain pans hold the additional condensation your AC takes out of the air. This pan can be situated either below or within your furnace or air handler.
When there’s an obstruction or clogged drain, water can accumulate and initiate a safety setting to stop your equipment.
If your pan involves a PVC pipe or drain, you can drain the additional condensation with a custom pan-cleaning capsule. You can buy these tabs at a home improvement or hardware store.
If your pan involves a pump, find the float switch. If the lever is “up” and there’s liquid in the pan, you may need to install a new pump. Contact us at 503-663-8033 for help.
2. AC Blows Warm Air
If your equipment is working but not delivering cold air, its airflow could be congested. Or it could not have adequate refrigerant.
Your system’s airflow can be decreased by a clogged air filter or dusty condenser.
How to Put in a New Your Air Filter
A dirty filter can lead to many problems, including:
- Reduced cooling
- Frozen refrigerant lines or evaporator coil
- Intermittent cooling
- Higher utility expenses
- Causing your system to stop working sooner
We recommend installing new flat filters once a month, and pleated filters every three months.
If you can’t remember when you last replaced your filter, shut off your system completely and pull out the filter. You can spot the filter in your furnace or air pump’s blower compartment. It might also be situated in an attached filter box or wall-mounted return air grille.
Hold the filter up to the sunshine. If you see a lot of dust, you need to replace it.
How to Clean Your AC System
Weeds, plants and leaves can get in the way of your condensing equipment. This can reduce its airflow, lower its energy efficiency and change your comfort. Here’s a method you can follow to get your equipment operating smoothly again.
- Turn off power completely at the breaker or outdoor lever.
- Get rid of yard debris around the air conditioner. Once you’ve cleared all the clutter within a two-foot range, you can use a paint brush or vacuum to gingerly clean the equipment’s fins. Misshapen fins can also hurt effectiveness.
- Use a hose nozzle to gingerly clean the fins from inside the unit. Be careful to avoid getting liquid on the fan motor.
- Turn the power back on.
Low Refrigerant Levels
When cooling systems don’t have enough refrigerant, they’ll have difficulty removing heat and humidity from your residence.
Here are a few symptoms that your system is leaking refrigerant:
- It takes a long time to cool your space and you’re continually turning down the thermostat.
- Air coming through the ducts isn’t as cold as it should be.
- You’re hearing hissing or burbling sounds when the AC works.
- Your evaporator coil is frosted because it’s having trouble absorbing humidity.
Suspect your equipment is seeping refrigerant? You need a certified heating and cooling service expert to fix the leak and replenish the correct level of refrigerant in your system. Call us at 503-663-8033 for help.
3. AC Not Blowing Enough Air
When it feels like you’re not having ample amounts of cold air, there’s usually an obstruction or separation somewhere in your cooling equipment.
- The beginning step is looking at your air filter. Buy a new one if it’s soiled.
- Make sure the ductwork is open across your home.
- If you’re still not receiving adequate cold air, you should have your duct system checked by a professional like Honke Heating & AC. Your ductwork may need to be serviced or rejoined in difficult locations like your attic, basement or crawl space.