diagnosing ac problems

AC Tips: Diagnosing AC Problems and Finding Solutions

The home’s air conditioning system tends to fail when you need it the most. Yes, that time when there’s too much heat, and you need something to blow some cool air into your skin. Well, this is also the time when you’ll easily notice that your AC system has a problem.

So, what do you do when your AC system doesn’t work? Don’t call a technician yet because sometimes diagnosing AC problems require a DIY project. Of Course, this applies to those problems with easy fixes.

So what are some AC problems, and how do you solve them? Here are a few AC tips to help you repair common problems without spending a fortune.

1. Blow Circuit Breaker or Fuse

Sometimes your AC problems can be as simple as blown circuit breakers or fuse that only need very easy fixes. But you must know for sure if this is the problem with your AC before you start any diagnosis. If you have a tripped breaker, your AC will refuse to turn on.

You’ll need to head to your home’s main electrical panel and check if your circuit breakers aren’t ‘ON.’ If it’s labeled, check the label of ‘AC’ or ‘Air Conditioner.’ If the label shows that it’s tripped, push it firmly into the ON position and try running it again.

After doing this, your AC might go back to its normal working state, or the breaker can trip again once the AC starts running. If it trips again, then this means the problem is not so simple, and you need a professional to work on the system.

2. Wrong Thermostat Setting

When the thermostat is not set to cool, your AC will not blow the cool air that you desire so much. You need to check if the thermostat is in the correct setting, which is, set to cool for summer temperature. 

You should also ensure that the setting is at least three degrees below the ambient room temperature. If that’s not the case, you need to check if it’s set to ‘off’ or ‘heat.’ Set back your thermostat to AC mode and lower the setting of the temperature. 

3. Blocked Condenser

Sometimes your AC will be running as required, but you can’t get the cooling effect. The main reason for this problem might be because something is blocking your air. This could be as a result of a blocked condenser.

Your condenser may be blocked by dirt, debris, grass, or tall weeds. Check to see if it’s dirty or any dirt is blocking it. If that’s the case, start removing the blockage, which you can do using a hose or a gentle setting.

If the condenser is covered with a thick layer of dirt, which will not be easy for you to remove, call a professional to do some deep cleaning.

4. Diagnosing AC Problems in the Capacitor 

The run capacitor is the big compressor units outside the house, sometimes placed on the roof. This is the boost that starts the condenser and fun, and if it’s spoiled, your home’s cooling will be doomed. You need to make sure the problem is your capacitor and not the contactor to start this diagnosis.

One indication of a capacitor problem is a click followed by a buzz or hum. This means your fan motor is attempting to start, but the boost from the capacitor is not enough to do it. There’s no doubt that your capacitor would have failed.

An easier solution is to get the compressor fan to spin by pushing with a thin stick. This will only work for a circle before the capacitor fails again once you switch on the AC. One permanent solution to this is to replace the capacitor.

5. Problem in the Refrigeration System

When your AC is running as it should, but you notice that the air being blown is not cold, you might have a problem with your refrigeration system. The problem could be with low refrigerant levels. The low levels can be a result of leaks causing the problem over time.

You need to check on the lines and recharge your system. Call a professional to do the AC repair because problems with the refrigerant system could be quite complicated for an amateur. 

6. Disconnected Panel

Sometimes your air conditioner problems may be as a result of disconnected wires. If you suspect that this may be the case, you need to inspect the inside of the access panel. Make sure the power is off before starting the inspection. Carefully remove the access-panel retaining screws and then remove the panel.

Check if the parts inside have rodent nests or chewed wires. If you find chewed or broken wires, discharge the capacitor and start repairing the wires and cleaning the nests. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, it’s best to call a professional.

7. Ice Blockage

Sometimes ice in the air handler can stop your AC system from working as intended. Reduced airflow or low refrigerant levels can cause the air conditioning unit to freeze. If it’s the refrigerant level, then call a pro to refill.

If the problem is reduced airflow to the system, check and see what’s blocking the air. Clean your filter and coils and see if the airflow improves. Also, make sure you run the unit with just the fun and melt off the ice.

Restoring Your AC System Is Simple

Diagnosing AC problems is very simple as long as you can figure out the cause of the problem. Some solutions are as simple as doing some cleanups, while some require a professional touch. 

Sometimes your unit might be too old that you should consider doing a replacement rather than constant repairs. Make sure you only check the most reliable models in the market when you finally consider upgrading your unit. This could save you from any future problems, such as consistent fixes.

Whether you need to repair, upgrade, or seek professional services to help with your AC problems, we will be here to help you out. Contact us through phone, text message, or email for all your AC questions and find reliable answers.

AC stops working

What to Do If Your AC Stops Working in the Middle of the Summer Heat

When your air conditioner stops working, doesn't it always seem like it happens on the hottest day of the year?

The average temperature in July throughout Texas is around 87-degrees F. Living in a house during this type of heat is not pleasant.

So, what do you do when your AC stops working when it's really hot outside?

If you're not sure what to do, here are some tips to help you know precisely what you should do when this happens.

Check the Thermostat

When you initially notice that your AC stopped working, you should check your thermostat. Your thermostat is the device that controls your AC's operations.

If someone changed a setting on the thermostat, your AC system might not be turned on. If it's not on, it can't work.

Therefore, your AC system might not have anything wrong with it. It might simply be turned off. If this is the case, you can turn it back on by switching the setting to "on" or "auto."

There is also a chance that your thermostat might be on the correct setting but might not be working correctly. You probably won't be able to tell if your thermostat is faulty on your own, but you could find this out by hiring a contractor.

If you have a bad thermostat, there's a chance that your AC system is fine. In this event, a contractor could replace the thermostat to get your system running once again.

Examine Both Parts of the Unit

If you can't find a problem with your thermostat, you should check both parts of the central AC system. There are many reasons for an AC system to stop working, and one of the issues might involve a component of the system.

A central AC system has many components, but these systems have two main parts: the indoor part and the outdoor part. Examining both parts can help you find the problem.

As you check these parts, look for ice buildup. Ice buildup on an AC system is relatively common when a system stops working. When you see ice on either part of the system, it can indicate several issues.

The first issue it can indicate is low coolant in the system. The second issue is the restriction of airflow. An AC system needs enough coolant in it and proper airflow for it to run efficiently and accurately.

These are two common reasons that cause systems to stop working.

Remove and Check the Filter

One of the easiest fixes for an AC system that is not working is replacing the air filter. If you don't replace your air filter regularly, your system will not work correctly.

The air filter controls the quality and flow of the air the system receives. The system must receive enough airflow to process and cool the air, and it must receive clean air.

When is the last time you changed your filter? If you never changed it, you'll likely find a dirty, clogged filter in your device. After replacing it, you might notice that your system is running just fine.

If you are not sure if you need to replace the filter, remove it, and look at it. A new air filter is white. If your filter is black, it's an excellent indication to change it.

You can buy air filters from a local hardware store. You should check your filter's size before going to make sure you buy the right size.

Contact an AC Repair Company When Your AC Stops Working

By this point, you'll likely know if you can fix the problem or not. If you can't fix it yourself, the best thing you can do is contact a local AC repair contractor.

By calling soon, you'll receive services faster. AC contractors tend to have busy schedules during hot spells, so you might not receive same-day repairs, but you will receive repairs soon.

When calling an HVAC company, make sure you tell them the problems you have with your system.

For example, if the system is running but is blowing hot air instead of cold air, tell them. If your system doesn't even turn on, make sure you tell them that, too. Explain the issues you are experiencing, and tell them when you first noticed the problem.

Keep Up on the Repairs and Maintenance

While you're waiting for the repair technician to arrive, you might want to learn more about the proper maintenance of your system.

If you are not currently providing the right maintenance to your system, you will probably experience more problems.

Your AC system needs maintenance, and here are several things you should consider doing to keep up with this vital maintenance:

Replace the Filter Regularly

The first thing you should do is change your filter regularly. If you're not sure how often you should do this, ask the technician when he or she arrives. They might tell you to do this every other month or three to four times a year.

Schedule a Tune-Up in the Spring

Next, you should consider scheduling an AC tune-up every spring. A tune-up involves several steps, and the purpose is to keep your system running efficiently.

A tune-up includes cleaning your system and checking the coolant level. It also includes replacing any worn-out parts.

If you get a tune-up each year, you might be able to prevent outages in the future. You may also save money on utility expenses, as a well-maintained system operates more efficiently.

Stay Cool in the Meantime Through These Methods

When your AC stops working, it might be challenging to stay cool while waiting for the contractor to come and fix it. If you're having trouble staying cool, turn on your ceiling fans, and turn on additional fans around your house.

You can also stay cool by wearing fewer clothes and by avoiding the use of your oven.

If your AC is not working, give us a call right away. When you contact us at P&M Heating and Air Conditioning, we'll send a technician to your home to evaluate and repair your system. After getting the necessary repairs, you'll be cool in no time!