Central air conditioning systems are the best!
When the heat and humidity hit, boy do we love them. Wouldn’t want to live without them.
The problem is, well, there can be problems, and problems always seem to happen at the worst possible time.
Your air conditioner only seems to start acting up when it’s 90 degrees, sunny, and humid.
That’s because the heat and humidity and running for hours, days, and weeks at a time can put a lot of strain on them.
DIY Central Air Conditioning Troubleshooting
Before you call for air conditioning repair service, take a few minutes to review our basic troubleshooting guide.
It might be possible for you to fix a minor issue with your air conditioning yourself and save money on a service call.
If you can define the symptom of your air conditioning problem, you may be able to diagnose the problem and determine how serious this issue is and if you can DIY the problem.
There are many common air conditioner problems that are likely cause of the problem.
- Expansion valve
- Evaporator Coil
Common Central Air Conditioning Issues
- Air conditioning won’t turn on
- AC turns on but the air is not cool
- Very little cool air blowing through vents
- The air turns on and off frequently
Air conditioning won’t turn on
If the central air is not turning on, then there are a few likely causes for this. It could be a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. It could be an issue with the thermostat, including it not being set to “Cool”, a low enough temperature, or a broken thermostat that needs repair or replacing. Another possibility is an internal switch on the unit is turned off.
What to do
Check the thermostat. Make sure it is “ON”, set to “COOL”, and that the temperature is set to 70 degrees or lower. Make sure the cooling temperature is set to at least two degrees below the current room temperature.
Check the circuit breaker that controls your air conditioning is set to the ON position. If a circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse is blown, reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse.
If you have to reset the breaker or replace the fuse but they still trip or go out again, call an air-conditioning service repair services, as this can indicate a more serious problem, such as a short circuit.
Check all of the switches on and around the air conditioner to check that they are set to ON. Check the external safety switch, which is usually located on the outside wall next to the condensing unit.
Make sure the blower door on the air handler is securely closed. This is located indoors, on the main furnace blower unit.
Check the water overflow tray (if your unit has one) for water. Most will go to a drain but some have a tray. It may have a sensor that turns the unit off when the tray is full.
AC turns on but the air is not cool
First, check the thermostat, make sure it is set to ON and that the temperature is set to at least two degrees below room temperature.
If the thermostat is set correctly but the AC is not cooling, it is possible you may have a dirty or blocked air condenser. Check the outside cooling unit and make sure there are not plants, weeds, or debris that have grown around it and are blocking the air circulation.
Next, check the air filter on your indoor HVAC circulation unit. If it is dirty, it can restrict airflow and cause the coil to freeze.
If your air conditioner is still not cooling air, you may have a problem with your compressor or refrigerant and will need to contact a professional.
Very little cool air blowing through vents
If the air seems cool but it doesn’t seem to be coming out of the air vents as it should, this could be an issue with a dirty air filter or air ducts.
Check the thermostat – it’s always the place to start and make sure it is set to ON and a cool temperature.
Check register dampers on vents in the rooms to make sure they are fully open.
Check the air filter. If it’s not clean, replace it. They need to be changed every 1-3 months and can become very dirty.
Check your ductwork. Make sure it hasn’t become dented or disconnected anywhere in the home, including the attic or basement where you might not have noticed.
The air turns on and off frequently
If your compressor is turning on and off constantly, this could be caused by an obstructed thermostat, leaking refrigerant, iced over coils, and sometimes an improperly sized cooling system.
Check your thermostat
Check the condenser fins on your outside condensing unit to make sure they are not dirty or excessively bent, which impedes the flow of air and makes your system work inefficiently.
Check your air filter and replace it if it is dirty.
If these simple troubleshooting fixes don’t work, it may be time to call a professional.
Time to call an air conditioning professional?
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