We’ve all been there: a hot summer day, and suddenly and inexplicably your air conditioning stops working. Your first thought is probably to call American Air, but before you do, here are several reasons why your central air conditioner might not be working and the common AC repairs every homeowner should know, whether to do it yourself or to better understand the technician.
- Check if it is getting power at the circuit panel. Examine your main circuit breaker and any ancillary circuit panels for a blown fuse or tripped breaker. If you see any problem there, turn off the breaker to reset it. Remember that a central A/C must run on a dedicated circuit.
- A short in the system is likely if the circuit breaker continues to trip, perhaps in the capacitor, compressor, or fan motor. Call an American Air electrician immediately to examine this and solve the problem.
- Program the thermostat to COOL mode. Make sure that the temperature setting is at least 3 degrees lower than the room’s ambient temperature.
- Turn the power on. Check the switch in the air handler or furnace, and the external condenser. Make sure the compressor’s 240-volt disconnect, normally housed in a metal box and mounted near the condenser, is not shut off.
- Turn off the power to the AC and replace the batteries. Each thermostat model is unique but many have either a battery compartment that pulls out or the entire thermostat body pulls straight out from the base then replace the batteries. Make sure all wires are properly attached and placed on their terminals to avoid the cover from squeezing them. Put the cover back and wait for 3 to 4 minutes before trying the AC again.
- Checking the capacitor is not typically something that a home owner can do so if this has failed you will need to call American Air. The capacitor initiates both the fan and condenser. The air conditioner will not work if the capacitor has failed.
Checking the Outdoor Compressor
- Is the housing around the compressor and fan clogged with dirt, leaves and debris? If so then it may not be operating properly. Switch off the power. Switch off all the power to your AC before cleaning the compressor. Double check that the system is shut off completely.
- Ensure the compressor is functioning well. If ice is built up on the compressor then a professional may need to add coolant.
- Have the coolant examined. If the above steps did not work, call an AC professional and have your coolant recharged.
Identifying the reason why your air conditioning is not working or performing below par is crucial, as this will let you know when to perform one of the DIY common AC repairs or not. Many of these issues can be spotted by American Air if you have your unit serviced and cleaned in the fall and spring.