The Basics of Fixing Your Air Conditioner



While a lot of people are going to call in the professionals to handle the work with a broken air conditioner, you will find that some of the minor problems will be easy enough to fix on your own if you have a bit of time and experience. But how are you able to get this done? You first need to know some of the common signs of a problem with the air conditioner and then look to see whether the problem is basic enough that you can fix on your own or if it is something that will need a technician. Let’s take a closer look at some of the basics that you can use to fix your air conditioner in no time.

What are Some Common Signs the AC is Malfunctioning?

First, we need to recognize some of the earlier signs that the air conditioner is not working well. This will help you catch a potential problem quickly and gives you more of a chance to fix it yourself. Some of the common signs that the AC is about to go down include:

# Doesn’t cool properly. If your home struggles to get down to a set temperature, then you may have a problem with the refrigerant levels, air handler, or the thermostat.

# Unusual noises: This can be things like rattling, grinding, and squealing. They are all signs of a mechanical problem in the unit.

# Short cycling: This is when the AC unit frequently turns on and off all the time. This can be a problem with the air flow, compressor, or thermostat.

# Water leaks: Leaking water or too much condensation around the unit could be a clogged drain or malfunctioning condenser.

# Bad smells: If you have a musty smell out of the system, this is a sign that the evaporator coil is dirty or that there is mold in your ductwork. A burning odor is often an electrical issue.

Troubleshooting the Thermostat

One issue that can come up with your air conditioner is the thermostat. If it doesn’t work, then the rest of the system is not able to do the work that it should. You will need to check the thermostat to ensure that it is working and on, or you will never get anything else to work on the AC unit in the first place. Some of the ways that you can check the thermostat includes:

# Check and adjust the settings: Make sure that the thermostat is on cool and that the temperature is at a setting lower than what your home currently is. If it is programmable, you can check that the schedule is working for your current needs.

# Replacing the batteries: Sometimes the problem is so simple that you don’t even think about it. Simply changing the batteries can help to solve some of the AC problems you have.

# Fixing a programmable thermostat. Sometimes, the problem is that the programming does not work. You will need to look at the manual for the thermostat to reprogram or reset it.

Maintaining the Air Filter

It is possible that a clogged air filter is going to cause some problems with your AC unit. The more clogged it is, the more problems you will potentially have. The good news is that this is a relatively simple thing to fix on your own and often just asks you to go through and replace the air filter or clean it off if you have a disposable one to work with. Some of the steps that you can take to help with this include:

# Locate and inspect your air filter: This is often going to be close to the air handler or the air duct. You should take a look at it each month and see whether it is getting dirty. If it is, then it is time to replace it.
# Clean the reusable filters: If you have a washable filter, clean it with some water and soap and give it time to dry off completely before you put it back in.

# Replace the disposable filters: You should do this every 1 to 3 months to keep the air in your home as safe and clean as possible and to help the AC unit work well.

Electrical Components and Power Supply

Sometimes, the problem with your AC unit is going to be electrical. You can work on a few of these, but if the steps below do not allow you to fix it, then you will need to call in a technician to help out. Electrical issues are common culprits if your air conditioner stops working. Some of the steps that you can do when you think there is an electrical problem includes:

Check and reset the circuit breakers: You need to head over to the electrical panel and check whether the breakers have been tripped that connect to the air conditioner. You can reset them if this seems to be the problem.

Make sure the AC is getting enough power: You can look at the power switch and see if it is on and if the unit is plugged in. This may help the problem.

Finding and fixing the common electrical issues: Look for some visible signs that the electrical components that hook up to the AC unit are worn out or damaged. You can get a multimeter to check for continuity in the wiring and the different components so that you can get the electrical fixed and the AC back on and running.

If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting electrical issues, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.  When you notice a problem with your HVAC system, either in the summer or the winter, the experts at Egberts Air Conditioning & Heating Repair ‌are here to take care of all your HVAC needs, no matter how big or small. We welcome you to contact a member of our team and learn more about some of our services or have us come out when it is an emergency with your heater or air conditioner. Don’t be miserable in your own home. Contact us today to get started.

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