When something seems to be a little off with the air conditioner, there is no need to panic. Before calling the HVAC technician for repair, you can do a couple of checks on your own. These checks may prove to save you the hassle of going without the AC and also save your time and money. So today, we shall have a look at those five things that you should check before scheduling an AC repair.
5 Things To Check Before Scheduling AC Repair
1. Check The Air Filters – Most AC troubles occur because the homeowners forget to change the air filters periodically. The air filters are designed to capture the dust and debris in the air and remove them from circulation. Over time, if you fail to change the air filters, they become clogged. As a result, the air is no longer able to flow smoothly without hindrance. When this happens, the AC receives less air and also blows out the same quantity, which is not sufficient to cool the home. Consequently, the air conditioner has to work harder, and that puts it under a lot of strain. This combination of events often leads to overheating of the equipment due to which it may stop working. Changing the air filters with brand new ones will take care of the issue. The best part is that you can easily do it as a DIY activity. The only thing to remember is to get the same type of air filters as before.
2. Check Whether The Unit Is Receiving Power – Many times when there is a power surge, the circuit breaker trips. At face value, the tripping circuit breaker may seem like an inconvenience. However, the truth is that it saves the unit from getting fried. So, the next order of business should be to check whether the circuit breaker is tripped. If it is, push it back in position, and all should be well once again. The other thing that could be wrong is a blown fuse. When the fuse wire is weak and unable to support the AC’s power needs, it fries. This is often referred to as a blown fuse. In this case, you need to replace the fuse with one that is of the correct strength. You can contact your local HVAC technician to figure out the best capacity of fuse for your AC. Buy the same from your local hardware store and change the one that blew. Most importantly, while you make the switch, flip the circuit breaker to “OFF” so that you don’t get an electrical shock. Push it back to “ON” once the job is completed, and you should have a perfectly working unit without scheduling any AC repair.
3. Check Thermostat Batteries – There are times when the thermostat malfunctions, and that too for a very silly reason. You forgot to change its batteries. The older ones died and could no longer power the thermostat such that the air conditioner stopped working. So, all in all, there was nothing wrong with the air conditioner. Before scheduling an AC repair, it makes sense to check the charge on the thermostat batteries. This can be seen on its display screen. If the charge is very meager or the display is off, switch the batteries with a new set, and that should take care of the problem. While at it, you should also check the thermostat settings. For all, you may know, somebody may have by mistake altered the programmed settings, and that may be causing the trouble. Giving the thermostat a once over is a good idea before calling your air experts for AC repair.
4. Check The Vents And Registers – Vents and registers play an equally important role in ensuring the free flow of air to and from the air conditioner. Failing to clean them every few years can lead to buildups inside them. The drawback of these buildups is that they restrict the flow of air. Essentially, that leads to the same problem as dirty air filters. So while you are inspecting whether the air conditioner is receiving ample quantities or air, it would not harm to check the vents and registers as well.
5. Check The Outdoor Unit For Obstructions – The unit that is installed outside seldom gets any attention. It is mostly taken for granted and left to bear the adversaries of nature. Often bushes grow around it, or leaves and other debris pile up, cutting off the air supply to it. When that happens, the air is unable to pass through the grilles in ample quantity leading to overheating of the unit and its subsequent shutting down. Once you clear the obstructions around the condenser unit, your AC should start working normally. Another possibility is that the condenser coil is encrusted with dirt and debris. This leads to improper cooling as heat can no longer be released efficiently. Cleaning the condenser coils will address this problem, and you will once again have a cool and comfortable home.
Other Things To Check Before Scheduling AC Repair
These are a few other things that you can check with ease and cut the chances of calling the technician unnecessarily.
1. Make sure that all the vents and registers are open. Sometimes while giving the home a new look, we shift around the furniture and unknowingly block them.
2. The drip pan should be checked for leaks and the drain line for obstructions if there are water puddles on the floor or wet walls in the house. Changing the drip pan and sucking out the obstruction using a vacuum cleaner will take care of the dripping water.
If you invest routinely in the annual maintenance of your air conditioner, you should ideally not face any problems. During the annual AC tune-up, the technician will check your cooling unit for all the above-mentioned conditions. Barring the changing of air filters at least once every quarter and seeing to it that the outdoor unit is free of obstructions, you don’t have to do anything.