With sweltering summers, a fully functional air conditioning (AC) system is no less than a savior. But what happens when the AC isn’t delivering that much-needed coolness? AM Heat Cool offers valuable insights and tips to help homeowners diagnose and possibly, remedy the situation. However, remember that certain issues require professional expertise.
Basic Troubleshooting Steps
1. Inspect the Thermostat
The first stop in the quest for coolness is the thermostat. Ensure it’s set to ‘cool’ and the temperature is lower than the current room temperature. If the display is blank, it might be time to replace the batteries.
2. Check the Circuit Breaker
If the AC isn’t powering up, it might be due to a tripped circuit breaker. Check the home’s electrical panel, and if the circuit for the AC has tripped, reset it by flipping the switch back to ‘on.’
3. Examine the Filters
Dirty or clogged filters can significantly reduce the AC’s efficiency, leading to inadequate cooling. If the filter is visibly dirty, replacing it might improve the system’s cooling capability.
4. Inspect the Outdoor Unit
Over time, leaves, dirt, and other debris can build up around the outdoor unit, restricting airflow and reducing the system’s cooling efficiency. Cleaning around the unit might help restore some of its cooling efficiency & capacity.
More Advanced Troubleshooting Steps
1. Inspect the Condenser Coils
The condenser coils in the outdoor unit can also become dirty over time, impairing the system’s ability to cool the home. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, these can be cleaned with a special coil cleaner. However, extreme care must be taken not to damage the delicate fins on the coils.
2. Check for Icing
If the AC is blowing air but not cold, there could be ice formation on the evaporator coil. If there’s visible ice, shut off the system and let it thaw. Once fully defrosted, turn the AC back on. If it starts to cool, the icing is likely the issue. However, if it worsens, a professional should be called to investigate further.
3. Examine the Coolant Levels
If the system is low on refrigerant, it can’t cool effectively. While homeowners can’t check this themselves, low refrigerant might be the culprit if the other steps haven’t resolved the issue. This is a job for a professional, as handling refrigerant requires special training and certification.
When to Call a Professional
Some issues, like replacing a faulty motor, repairing a leak, or refilling refrigerant, need the expertise of a professional. If the AC still isn’t cooling after following the basic and advanced troubleshooting steps, it’s time to call in the experts.
Additionally, if the AC frequently has problems or is over 10 years old, it might be more cost-effective to consider a replacement. A professional can advise on whether to repair or replace based on the specific situation.
The Importance of Regular Maintenance and Preventative Measures
Regular maintenance ensures the air conditioning system remains at peak performance. It’s advisable to schedule a professional maintenance service at least once a year, typically in the spring before the cooling season begins. This allows technicians to spot and fix potential issues before they escalate into more serious problems.
During a maintenance visit, professionals thoroughly clean the system, inspect components for wear and tear, and check refrigerant levels. They’ll also lubricate moving parts and ensure the system operates as efficiently. Regular maintenance ensures consistent cooling and can extend the system’s lifespan and reduce energy bills.
For those households with pets or allergy sufferers, it might be beneficial to change the filters more frequently than the standard recommendation every 30-90 days. A clean filter not only improves indoor air quality but also enhances the efficiency of the AC system.
Additionally, using window coverings to block out the sun and running ceiling fans to circulate cool air can reduce the burden on the AC system, making it work less to cool the home.
By implementing these preventive measures, homeowners can avoid many common issues that might cause the AC to perform below par.
Don’t Stand The Heat
While no one wants to face a day with an underperforming AC, understanding what to do when your AC isn’t cooling your home can alleviate some of the frustration. A systematic troubleshooting approach can help identify and potentially rectify common issues.
However, not all problems can or should be handled by homeowners. When in doubt, it’s always best to call a professional to avoid causing further damage to the system. When AC problems arise, remember that the AM Heat Cool team is just a phone call away. They are ready to provide prompt and reliable service to recharge the cool air.
So don’t wait in the sweltering heat! Call AM Heat Cool now to troubleshoot, repair, or discuss upgrading the AC system for optimal cooling performance and comfort!