As an HVAC company, we here at Air Tech of Houston want our customers to come to us with all of their heating and cooling problems. However, we recognize that not all AC issues warrant a visit from our technicians, which wastes both time and money for everyone involved. If your AC isn’t working, the problem could be as simple as flipping a circuit breaker or replacing some batteries. That’s why you should go through this air conditioner troubleshooting checklist before calling us for repairs:
1. Thermostat Settings
If your AC doesn’t seem to be working correctly or it’s off altogether, you should first check your thermostat settings. It’s pretty easy (especially with touch screens) to change the settings on accident while you’re adjusting the temperature, so make sure the thermostat is set to COOL and the fan is set to AUTO. Your thermostat screen will go blank when it needs more batteries, so simply replace them to restore power if this is the case.
2. Circuit Breaker Panel
Once you’ve confirmed that your thermostat is working correctly, the next step is to find your electrical panel if the system still isn’t working. It’s common for the indoor and outdoor units of your AC to be on different circuits, so make sure that both circuit breaks are flipped on. If one or both of the circuit breakers is tripped (in the middle position), flip it off, then on. Your AC should start working within a few minutes.
3. Air Filter and Vents
If you’ve ensured that your AC is on and set correctly but you’re still experiencing inadequate cooling, low airflow is the next likely problem. Insufficient airflow is a major cause of air conditioner inefficiency because it keeps the cool air from being distributed throughout your home. Not only will you not feel satisfied with your AC in this case, but you’ll also pay more on your energy bills.
To improve airflow, check your air filter and replace it if it’s dirty — you should do this every couple of months. Then, make sure all of your vents are open. If this was the source of the problem, you should start to feel the difference within an hour or so.
4. Outdoor Unit
Just like closed vents and dirty filters can cause low airflow, blockages in your outdoor unit can do the same. In fact, your outdoor AC unit plays a major role in properly circulating air through the system, so it’s important to keep it clear of the following:
- Plant growth
- Landscaping materials
If your outdoor unit has debris around it, shut the power off and clear it away. Many of our customers find that a hose with a spray nozzle makes the process easier!
5. Frozen Coils
If your AC is on but not blowing cool air, check for ice on the coils inside. This is caused when the dust on the coils collects condensation that would normally drip into the drain pan. The water on the coils freezes, preventing the transfer of heat that cools the air in your home. Frozen ACs are pretty easy to fix on your own, but if it happens more than a couple of times you should call in a professional.
Call the Pros
If none of these troubleshooting tips solved your air conditioning problems, it’s time to call the experts at Air Tech of Houston. We’ll send a technician to your home to inspect the system and recommend a solution.