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Do It Yourself: A Guide for Common Air Conditioning Problems

Air conditioning systems can be a headache at times. When they don’t receive their regular maintenance, they begin to perform poorly and will often break down. This can lead for your home to become a sauna or waste energy.

Once it breaks down, what’s the first thing that you do? You call someone to come into your home and do the necessary repairs, which can take a lot of time, especially when it is the hottest day of the year. To help eliminate this frustration lets take a look at some of the most common issues that air conditioners tend to have as well as a few do it yourself solutions.

Your System Won’t Turn On At All

  • Thermostat – Take a look at your thermostat and make sure that your settings are all correct. Ensure the “COOL” setting is enabled and the temperature is set below the current temperature in the house. There are often several ways to set your thermostat, so be sure to consult your thermostat manual on the proper way to use your Air Conditioning system to meet your needs.
  • Breaker and Fuse – Your circuit breaker protects all the wiring in your home during a power surge. Often times during a power surge too much electricity goes through your home and will throw a breaker or kill a fuse. If this happens, all you need to do is replace the fuse or reset the breaker and you’ll be good to go.
  • Furnace – From time to time, the furnace may get switched off. There’s an outdoor condenser that might be faulty or switched off. If that’s the case, replace the condenser or switch it back on.
  • Compressor – To test if it’s your thermostat or compressor, disconnect the power supply to your thermostat and remove the outer covering. Take the wire from the “Y” terminal and connect it to the “R” terminal. If the compressor starts working again, then your thermostat is the problem.

My System is Blowing Hot Air

  • Air Flow – The outdoor condenser often gets blocked with leaves, dirt, and paper. Try removing the debris, cleaning the equipment thoroughly and then try running it again.
  • Coolant – Over time your refrigerant will run low and need recharging, or there may be a leak that needs to be corrected. Have an air-conditioning service provider come to your home and take a look for you.

My System turns on, but there’s No Air Blowing

When you can hear the motor inside the air conditioning running but the air itself is not coming through, it is often due to a broken conveyor belt that connects the motor and the blower. Follow these steps to repair common air conditioning problems :

  • Switch off the power supply to the unit: If you have a gas furnace, be sure to turn off the gas valve as well.
  • Replace the blower: To do so, you will need to remove the air-handler cabinet. Once you remove this you can reach the blower.On the blower there is a part number that will tell you which one you will need to purchase.
  • To replace the belt: Start by slipping the belt onto the motor pulley (the smaller of the two pulleys). Then pull the belt over the larger pulley, which belongs to the blower. If you are finding this difficult, you can move the mount to give the belt some slack.
  • Depending on the type of air conditioning unit you have, you may need to lubricate the motor and blower bearings.

Leaking Water

If the equipment is leaking water, here are some problem points to check:

  • See if the condensate pump is receiving power. If the power is working, check the tubes and make sure that none of them are leaking or need to be replaced.
  • The water in the pump is managed by a floating ball. Pour and empty water to see if the ball actually floats. If the ball does not float accordingly clean the water pump. If the ball still doesn’t float, replace the part.
  • Clean the drain tube as well. They are prone to algae growth which can clog the tube.
  • If the tube is clogged with ice, then the refrigerant is low. Reach out to an air conditioning service to have a technician recharge it.

Lots of Noise

  • The belt may need to be realigned or replaced. Over time belts slip and become loose or misaligned.
  • Metal pipes can create sound as air passes through them. Have the surfaces the metal pipes run on insulated to help dampen the noise.
  • If there is a rattling sound, that means the pipes aren’t firmly fixed. Some screws may have become loose or fallen out. Tighten the screws and replace the missing ones.

The steps above are some of the basic issues that you may run into with your air-conditioning. You can follow the steps on your own to trouble shoot the problem, but if you’re still experiencing trouble with the unit, call an air conditioning repair company for any help.

Air conditioning systems can be a headache at times. When they don’t receive their regular maintenance, they begin to perform poorly and will often break down. This can lead for your home to become a sauna or waste energy.

Once it breaks down, what’s the first thing that you do? You call someone to come into your home and do the necessary repairs, which can take a lot of time, especially when it is the hottest day of the year. To help eliminate this frustration lets take a look at some of the most common issues that air conditioners tend to have as well as a few do it yourself solutions.

Your System Won’t Turn On At All

  • Thermostat – Take a look at your thermostat and make sure that your settings are all correct. Ensure the “COOL” setting is enabled and the temperature is set below the current temperature in the house. There are often several ways to set your thermostat, so be sure to consult your thermostat manual on the proper way to use your Air Conditioning system to meet your needs.
  • Breaker and Fuse – Your circuit breaker protects all the wiring in your home during a power surge. Often times during a power surge too much electricity goes through your home and will throw a breaker or kill a fuse. If this happens, all you need to do is replace the fuse or reset the breaker and you’ll be good to go.
  • Furnace – From time to time, the furnace may get switched off. There’s an outdoor condenser that might be faulty or switched off. If that’s the case, replace the condenser or switch it back on.
  • Compressor – To test if it’s your thermostat or compressor, disconnect the power supply to your thermostat and remove the outer covering. Take the wire from the “Y” terminal and connect it to the “R” terminal. If the compressor starts working again, then your thermostat is the problem.

My System is Blowing Hot Air

  • Air Flow – The outdoor condenser often gets blocked with leaves, dirt, and paper. Try removing the debris, cleaning the equipment thoroughly and then try running it again.
  • Coolant – Over time your refrigerant will run low and need recharging, or there may be a leak that needs to be corrected. Have an air-conditioning service provider come to your home and take a look for you.

My System turns on, but there’s No Air Blowing

When you can hear the motor inside the air conditioning running but the air itself is not coming through, it is often due to a broken conveyor belt that connects the motor and the blower. Follow these steps to repair common air conditioning problems :

  • Switch off the power supply to the unit: If you have a gas furnace, be sure to turn off the gas valve as well.
  • Replace the blower: To do so, you will need to remove the air-handler cabinet. Once you remove this you can reach the blower.On the blower there is a part number that will tell you which one you will need to purchase.
  • To replace the belt: Start by slipping the belt onto the motor pulley (the smaller of the two pulleys). Then pull the belt over the larger pulley, which belongs to the blower. If you are finding this difficult, you can move the mount to give the belt some slack.
  • Depending on the type of air conditioning unit you have, you may need to lubricate the motor and blower bearings.

Leaking Water

If the equipment is leaking water, here are some problem points to check:

  • See if the condensate pump is receiving power. If the power is working, check the tubes and make sure that none of them are leaking or need to be replaced.
  • The water in the pump is managed by a floating ball. Pour and empty water to see if the ball actually floats. If the ball does not float accordingly clean the water pump. If the ball still doesn’t float, replace the part.
  • Clean the drain tube as well. They are prone to algae growth which can clog the tube.
  • If the tube is clogged with ice, then the refrigerant is low. Reach out to an air conditioning service to have a technician recharge it.

Lots of Noise

  • The belt may need to be realigned or replaced. Over time belts slip and become loose or misaligned.
  • Metal pipes can create sound as air passes through them. Have the surfaces the metal pipes run on insulated to help dampen the noise.
  • If there is a rattling sound, that means the pipes aren’t firmly fixed. Some screws may have become loose or fallen out. Tighten the screws and replace the missing ones.

The steps above are some of the basic issues that you may run into with your air-conditioning. You can follow the steps on your own to trouble shoot the problem, but if you’re still experiencing trouble with the unit, call an air conditioning repair company for any help.

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