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How To Troubleshoot AC Issues: Tips and Tricks

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How To Troubleshoot AC Issues

Today, almost every household depends on the AC system to keep their home cool and comfortable through the hot summer season. The AC, like everything else, is prone to problems and can break down when least expected. So, a little knowledge of how to troubleshoot AC issues is essential.

 

A minor issue with the AC, say fans not turning on or a water leak, can be a cause for concern, a reason it should be diagnosed and fixed immediately to prevent a breakdown.

 

Although experts recommend having your AC unit serviced at least once every year (just before summer) to keep it functioning correctly, there are times when issues will pop up nonetheless. Your AC might have been working correctly one moment, then suddenly start malfunctioning the next.

 

What you do next can be the difference between the AC breaking down and saving it. Has your AC system been misbehaving lately but can’t put the finger on the central problem? Here are a few tips on troubleshooting and fixing the issue quickly. 

Check the Thermostat

A malfunctioning or inaccurate setting on the thermostat can be the reason the AC system isn’t cooling your home as it should. For this reason, the first step should be to check the thermostat before proceeding to the AC unit itself. Checking the thermostat is especially crucial for AC systems with smart thermostats, as these tend to fail at times.

 

The unit won’t start altogether if the thermostat fails to auto-start the AC. Check to confirm if the thermostat is working, and if possible, reboot it. You might also want to replace the thermostat’s batteries (if you haven’t done so in a long time).

Check The Circuit Breakers

If the AC still can’t turn ON, the chances are the circuit breaker tripped. A tripped circuit breaker can happen if there’s an unexpected load or power surge in your area, causing the breaker to trip. Try resetting the breaker to see if it solves the problem. Should the breaker continue tripping, there’s a problem with the electrical system or circuitry and a reason to involve or call a certified electrician. 

Check the Air Filter

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If the AC turns on but cannot cool the house adequately, you should check for a clogged air filter or a frozen unit. A blocked air filter makes it almost impossible for cool air to pass through, resulting in higher-than-normal energy bills. If you can’t remember the last time you had the filters checked or replaced, it’s time to do so. Check the filters to confirm their state, and switch to clean or new ones if they seem opaque and dirty. 

Inspect the Outdoor Unit

Most AC systems have outdoor and indoor units. If unchecked for some time, dirt, grime, or even leaves will cover the unit. Take a trip outside to see if this is the case. If dirt or leaves cover the AC system, it needs proper cleaning. While you might be comfortable cleaning the unit yourself, it’s probably best to call an expert. HVAC technicians have the technical know-how and materials/equipment required for the job and are less likely to damage the system. 

Inspect The Air Vents

Blocked air vents can cause the AC unit to start malfunctioning, leak, freeze, or even shut down unexpectedly. Dust and grime can collect in these vents producing a thick ‘mattress’ that blocks are from circulating correctly. Check every room and outlet to see if the ducts are open and note any blocked ones. Sometimes all it takes to unblock air vents are to vacuum them or use pressurized air.

 

Be sure to move any objects that might be blocking the air vents, such as pet beds, curtains, clothing, or even furniture. Although you might not notice at first, blocked air vents can cause uneven cooling and even strain the AC in the long run. Blocked air will be most notable with increasing energy bills. 

How To Troubleshoot AC Issues – Call the Experts

If you’ve followed every step on this list but the AC unit still won’t work, it’s time to call the pros. Call your preferred AC technicians for professional troubleshooting and have any problems fixed. Although the technician might be able to get it working again, they will advise you accordingly on how to care for the same and start saving for a new one.

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