Spring is in the air! And, with the changing of the seasons comes longer days and warmer temperatures. Although you may not be turning on your air conditioner quite yet, hopefully when you do, it will start right up without issue.
Unfortunately, after a long winter of not using your air conditioner, you may try to turn on your AC unit for the first time in many months, only to find that it won’t work. But, why would this be if it worked just fine last fall? There are many reasons why your air conditioner may suddenly stop working, and you can troubleshoot many of them on your own. Here is a list of some of the most common things to check if your air conditioner isn’t working.
It’s frustrating when you can hear the air conditioner running, but there’s little or no cold air coming out. Keeping your AC running with the hopes that it will eventually cool your home is not only inefficient, but it’s also just a waste of money. Here are a few things to check if your AC is running but it’s not cooling your home.
It might sound silly, but oftentimes, the simplest things can cause the biggest problems. If you hear your air conditioner running, but your home isn’t getting cooler, make sure to check the setting on the thermostat. It could be that someone in your house turned up the temperature, or worse yet, changed the setting to heat during the last late-season freeze. Checking the thermostat setting only takes a few seconds but ruling out this easy fix can save you a lot of time and headaches.
The part of your air conditioner that resides outside of your home is the condenser unit. The fan inside of the condenser draws air into the unit as a way to pull heat energy out of your home. If your condenser fan gets overly dirty or clogged with leaves and debris, it will block the airflow and prevent it from working properly. Oftentimes, just doing a thorough cleaning in and around your condenser can help your air conditioner function better.
One of the most common causes for a malfunctioning air conditioner is, believe it or not, a clogged or dirty air filter. Just as your condenser needs a fresh supply of air, so too does your air filter. Most filters need to be changed every three to six months, depending on the type of filter and cooling system you have. If your air filter is not changed regularly, it can become clogged, reducing airflow and making the air conditioner work harder than it should. The best way to prevent this is to change your air filter regularly.
Have you recently done a home renovation or addition? Don’t forget that fine particles generated from wood, drywall, and other types of construction materials can plug up your air filter in no time. The same is true if you live in a particularly dusty environment. If any of the above applies to you, it’s a good idea to check (and change) your filter more often.
If you turn on your air conditioner or set the thermostat to cool and nothing happens, you might be wondering where to begin troubleshooting the problem. Although there are several causes to consider, the following are some of the most common.
One of the most common causes of an air conditioner not turning on is a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. If the fuse or breaker is not providing power to the unit, then it will not be able to turn on. To troubleshoot this issue for yourself, find the fuse box or circuit breaker panel and look for a tripped switch. If you find one, then you will need to reset it to restore power to the unit.
The thermostat is responsible for controlling the temperature of your air conditioner. If the thermostat is not set correctly or is broken, then it won’t be able to send the proper signals to the air conditioner to turn on. To fix this problem, the thermostat either needs to be reset or replaced. Both of these solutions are better left to an HVAC technician to perform.
The condensate line carries moisture away from your AC, and if it’s clogged, it can cause the AC to shut off (or not turn on in the first place). To fix this issue, you’ll need to locate the condensate line and try to clear the clog. Many times, this is easier said than done. If you’re unable to clear the clog, or if your air conditioner still isn’t turning on, it’s probably time to contact a professional.
Your AC has two fans – an outdoor fan and an indoor fan. If either of these fans isn’t working properly, the AC won’t turn on. There are several reasons why the fan would stop working – it could be because of an electrical issue, problems with the capacitor (they can go bad over time), or a burnt-out fan motor. Most of the time, if your AC is running but your fan isn’t, you’ll probably need to replace the fan motor.
Troubleshooting a malfunctioning air conditioner is not always easy, but following these basic steps can help you diagnose the issue and determine what needs to be done. If you’ve already tried troubleshooting common problems, or if you just want to save time and make sure the problem is resolved quickly and effectively, give WM Buffington a call! We service homes and business in and around the Harrisburg, PA area.