When your air conditioner breaks down, it can be overwhelming to figure out why it’s not working and if you can fix it. You might not even know where to start if you’re unfamiliar with the equipment.

Luckily, there are common problems that air conditioners face which are fixable, and some of them even have simple solutions. While there isn’t any harm in inspecting your AC unit and attempting to troubleshoot some issues, there are times that require a professional.

This guide will help you troubleshoot the most common reasons we see air conditioners stop working. Read on to learn about the symptoms of each type of AC problem, what you can do about it, and when you should call a professional.

Thermostat Settings are Wrong

The thermostat is the first thing you should check if your AC is not working properly. Your thermostat should be set to Cool – if it’s set to Off or on Auto, you won’t be getting the airflow you want. If it is already set to Cool, you can try to lower your thermostat’s temperature by a few degrees and wait to see if that makes any difference.

If your thermostat is set to Cool and lowering the temperature doesn’t make a difference, you should see if it needs new batteries. Switch them out for new ones, turn your entire AC system off, wait, and then turn it back on again and see if that helps.

If none of these tips get your air conditioning to run like normal again, it’s time to call the experts at Heritage Home Service.

Dirty Air Filters

After you’ve checked the thermostat for any issues, inspecting the air filters should be the next step in figuring out what type of issue you are dealing with. A dirty or clogged air filter restricts airflow, making your house feel warmer than the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat.

Check if your air filters have lots of dust and debris, then switch them out. This will help the airflow through your home and cool it down. It is recommended to change out your air filters every 6 months. If this doesn’t help, you likely have a more serious problem with your air conditioner.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

If you have a frozen evaporator coil, this is when it’s time to call a professional to get to the bottom of the problem. Here are signs you should look out for to see if your coil is frozen:

  • Ice around the refrigerant line
  • Evaporator coil has ice or condensation around it
  • Drain pan is overflowing

If you notice any of these signs, you can do the following to prepare for an HVAC professional to take a look at your system:

  • Turn off your AC
  • Replace air filters
  • Call a Heritage Home Service

Dirty Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is the part of the air conditioner that cools the refrigerant. If it is dirty, it will cause your air conditioner not to cool properly. You can clean the condenser coil yourself by brushing off any dust or dirt on it and then spraying it with a garden hose.

Blown Fuse or Tripped Circuit Breaker

If you’ve already checked the above reasons your AC may not be working, it could be that your circuit breaker tripped. You can see if this is the problem on your own by going to your circuit breaker, resetting it, and turning your AC system on again.

You could also have blown a fuse in your AC which you can’t tell unless you have a professional inspect it. At this point, you should simply call a professional to look at your ac system to diagnose the problem.

Improperly Sized AC Unit

Another major issue that you may encounter if your AC is not cooling properly is that you have an improperly sized AC unit. When installing a new air conditioner, an HVAC professional should estimate the size needed based on the square footage of your home, how much sunlight comes into your home, and your personal cooling preferences.

Unfortunately, if your air conditioner is undersized, the only way to fix it is by installing a new AC unit that is the proper size to cool your home.

Still Having AC Problems? Call the Professionals!

After checking for the above issues, hopefully you’ve discovered the source of your air conditioner problems. If you were able to fix it yourself, even better!

If you’re still unsure why your AC isn’t working, or you don’t know how to fix the problem yourself, the best thing you can do is just call Heritage. Our team of HVAC technicians have extensive training and the experience to diagnose your AC and fix the problem quickly and effectively.