Can I Troubleshoot My Unit Before Calling an HVAC Repair Company in San Ramon, CA?

August 23, 2023

It’s the middle of summer, and your air conditioner stopped working. You’re resigned to calling your local HVAC contractor. But not so fast. While you don’t have industry training and licensure, that phone call may be unnecessary. Troubleshooting the unit can enable you to a) find a simple solution, or b) explain the issue to a technician. Here are ways to troubleshoot the system before calling an HVAC repair company in San Ramon, CA.

How to Check Your HVAC Unit Yourself

Check the AC Filter

A dirty filter is the leading cause of air conditioner problems. Fortunately, resolving the matter is simple. You can clean or change the filter in minutes without any expertise. But neglecting to can lead to bigger and more expensive problems. If the filter is clogged, your AC may not blow cool air; it can also cycle more frequently or shut down. The smaller the filter, the more frequently it should be changed.

Check the Thermostat Settings

If the thermostat is set incorrectly, it may appear your AC isn’t working. For example, it may have accidentally been switched to heat mode or set to a higher temperature. A dead battery is another possibility. When the thermostat doesn’t respond to a setting change and/or the display screen doesn’t light, change the batteries or check the power source. Once the thermostat is powered, your air conditioner should work, and you won’t need an HVAC repair company in San Ramon, CA.

Also, set the thermostat to auto mode. Leaving the fan on constantly to cool things down can increase humidity levels. So, the controller is a good place to look if your home feels a bit clammy.

Unblock the Vents

Dust, furniture, or toys can obstruct airflow, so your air conditioning system isn’t effective. The return vents are especially important. These are usually larger than the supply vents and can be placed low on a wall or in the ceiling. Leaving them open and unblocked ensures your AC has enough airflow to do its job.

Go to the Circuit Breaker

Your AC seems to have broken down. But the issue may not be mechanical. Check the main electrical panel to see if the breaker switch for the air conditioner circuit tripped. Move the tripped breaker to the “Off” position and turn it back on after a few seconds. If the issue that caused the trip was just momentary, the system should now work fine. If the breaker keeps tripping, contact an HVAC or electrical contractor to diagnose and repair the underlying problem.

Clean the Outside Unit

The outdoor condenser is one of your HVAC system’s most important pieces of equipment. It can easily get clogged with leaves and debris. Plants may grow around it too. To correct any issues, clear off any debris, trim back nearby plants, and move objects away. The unit should have at least two feet of clearance on all sides.

Turn It Off and Back On

When your AC won’t work, turn it off and back on (as is the solution with many devices). Resetting the system can resolve many functional issues. If they don’t come back, you won’t need a technician. Check the user manual for how to reset the unit and how long to wait before turning it back on.

Clean the Condensate Line

Condensate lines can become blocked by mold, algae, and insect nests. If you find any obstructions, you can try to pull them out. Blowing compressed air into the line can also help dislodge obstructions. Mold can sometimes be removed by pouring a half-bleach, half-water solution into the line.

When to Call a Repair Technician

Call for help if these solutions don’t work. Don’t take any chances if you suspect a wiring problem, low refrigerant, or mechanical damage. A frayed wire can cause a fire, while a broken fan can contaminate the system with debris. If the unit keeps freezing up, there’s often an airflow issue or problem with a component that’ll lead to bigger issues if ignored.

Call an HVAC Repair Company in San Ramon, CA

A leading HVAC company in Northern California, Service Champions can diagnose and fix any problem. We get it right the first time whether your AC isn’t as effective or stops working. Discounts on repairs are available to members of our Maintenance Value Plan. If troubleshooting the unit yourself hasn’t resolved the issue, call 833-600-0991 for prompt service and to learn about specials and financing options.

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