Air Conditioning Troubleshooting

Homeowners should have some air conditioning troubleshooting skills

Photo Courtesy of Wootang01 via Flickr

How does a homeowner perform air conditioning troubleshooting?

An air conditioning system, whether central or a room unit, can last for a long time if it’s well serviced. Though some things, like an annual inspection, should be left to an HVAC professional, there are many things that the homeowner can do themselves over the year to make sure their air conditioner is in good working order. Here are some things a homeowner can do if the central AC system’s not running, if it runs but isn’t cooling, if it’s cycling too often, or if the cooling is uneven. There’s also a tip for troubleshooting a room unit.

• The AC Isn’t Running At All

This might be the result of the thermostat being set incorrectly or it might be the result of no power getting to the unit. The homeowner should check to see that the power is on by checking the main power switch and the circuit breakers. They should also make sure that the temperature of the room is above the thermostat’s setting.

• The AC is Running But Isn’t Cooling The Room

The unit might need refrigerant or there’s something interfering with the air flow. The homeowner should check to see that the filters are unclogged and the blower isn’t malfunctioning. They should clear away any blockages around the condensing unit. If the unit needs refrigerant, this needs to be done by a professional.

• The System Cycles Too Much

This might also be the result of a blocked airflow or a thermostat that’s not working. The homeowner should once again check to see that the air flow isn’t impeded, then check the thermostat.

• The AC Doesn’t Cool Evenly

For a central AC this means that the duct system needs balancing, or the AC isn’t powerful enough to cool all the rooms in the house evenly.

•A Room Unit Gurgles or Drips Down the Front

This might mean that the cabinet’s outer section isn’t sloping toward the condensate drain. The homeowner should turn off the unit and make sure, with a level, that it’s sloping properly. Also, the homeowner should make sure that the condensate drain isn’t clogged.

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