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How to Troubleshooting Air Conditioner Issues

Posted on The Cooler Blog April 5, 2013

There’s nothing wrong with taking central air conditioning for granted during summer. But what do you do when it produces little-to-no cool air? These types of A/C unites will need professional maintenance, but many minor issues you can easily fix yourself, with some knowledge and basic tools. Before you call All Year Cooling & Heating, here are some tips to help you successfully repair the air conditioner.

No Air Flow
If you barely feel air flow from your cooling vents, make sure the air filter is clean. If need be, replace it with a new filter. If the issue isn’t with the air filter, inspect the air ducts to ensure everything is connected properly. Check the ducts in the attic, basement, crawlspaces, and other areas that aren’t necessarily easy to access. Make sure the registers in each room are open.

No Power
A common issue with central A/C is that the system won’t turn on. Make sure the thermostat is set to “Cool” and not “Off” or “Heat”. Next, set it below the current room temperature. Then check the circuit breaker that controls the A/C unit, as well as the breaker that controls your furnace. Reset the popped fuses (if necessary); replace the damaged ones. Then, turn on all switches around the air conditioner. Make sure the external safety switch, located on an outdoor wall near the condenser, is on. Check the overflow tray; if there is too much water in the tray, the unit will automatically shut off. Once these steps are completed, check the air handler’s blower door so that it’s closed and secured.

Humid Air
The air conditioning unit should be the right size for your house, but excessive moisture in the house points excessive humidity. This can be caused by open windows, water leaks, or lack of adequate condensation drainage from the furnace’s evaporator coil. Ensure that all of your windows are closed and check the A/C unit’s drainage system for blockage. If your air conditioner isn’t the right size, the only solution is to replace it. An A/C system that isn’t pulling moisture is likely too large for your house. Expanding the home’s air ducts into your garage, attic, or basement can help alleviate the issue.

Short Cycles
Another common issue is that the air conditioner runs a very short cycle. If this is the case, make sure there is nothing blocking the thermostat. Check the unit’s condensing fins as they can become bent, dirty, or obstructed; these issues can interfere with the cooling cycle. If any of the condensing fins are bent, fix them with a fin comb. Next check the air filter, but you may need to replace it if you can’t clean it thoroughly. If none of these steps resolve your issue, call an All Year Cooling technician ([php snippet=1]) to check the refrigerant charge, look for leaks, and possibly replace the condensing unit if it is too large for your house.


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