Troubleshooting Common Air Conditioning Problems

An air conditioning repair can be costly to your budget.  However, there are a few basic things you can do on your own to troubleshoot issues before you call a repair person.  Even if you need them to make a service call to fix the unit, you can eliminate some of the checks they will have to do when they arrive.  This can save them time diagnosing your unit’s problem.

Check the Filter

One of the first things you should do if your air conditioning is not working properly is to look at your filter.  If it is dirty, it needs to be replaced.  Once it gets dirty, it can clog up the unit so that it doesn’t work properly.  An air conditioner is designed to pull hot air out of the house and it can’t do that if the unit becomes clogged with dust and dirt.

Clean the Condenser Fins

Dirt also gets on the fins of the condenser and needs cleaning periodically.  You can buy special brushes to clean this area. 

Check the Freon

Low freon is often a problem that causes air conditioners not to be able to cool out the house.  You can check the level yourself but if you find that it is low, you will need to contact a professional because it indicates that there may be a leak somewhere in the system. 

The psi for the freon should be between 65 and 70.  You can get a gauge to measure on the high side to find out if it is below that.  However, you will have to contact a professional to add more since it requires a license.

Other Issues

A motor can also be the problem for your air conditioning unit.  Wired could burn up or the motor may need to be replaced.  The unit may also be tripping the circuit breaker or blowing a fuse that shuts it off.  If the unit outside is not running, you may want to check this.  If this is the problem, turn the breaker back on or replace the fuse.  If it does it again, this is an indication that the air conditioner is not running properly and needs a professional to look at it.

If the inside unit is running but the outside is not, it can be an indicator that the outside condenser fan is not working and needs to be replaced.  You will want to shut the air conditioner off immediately to prevent further damage.  If you leave it running, the outside unit will continue to try to cool itself off and can end up warping or melting the seals.

Even if you are not an expert, you can rule out some basic issues with your air conditioner when it doesn’t work right.  Any information you can provide to the professional who will be repairing your unit will help solve the problem that much quicker.  Learning to troubleshoot a air conditioner unit is something any homeowner can do.

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