There’s never a good time to experience a problem with your air conditioning – but if you ask us, the middle of summer is one of the worst times. You may not want to spend money on a repair, but you still need the unit to keep your home comfortable for the next few months. Before you rush to any decisions, it’s a good idea to figure out what the exact problem is.
If your air conditioning isn’t turning on, the most common causes are a power issue (such as a tripped breaker) or a faulty thermostat. When the unit turns on but doesn’t cool the home effectively, there are many other potential root causes.
Problem 1: The AC won’t turn on all
When the air conditioning refuses to turn on at all, there are two common explanations.
- Tripped breaker. There are a few reasons why the air conditioning would trip the circuit breaker, and not all of them are causes for concern. Go to the breaker box and flip the breaker switch back to the ‘on’ position to reset the system. Next, pay attention to whether the AC turns back on or if the breaker trips again. If this becomes a repeated issue, then you’re dealing with a more serious electrical issue that requires the attention of an HVAC professional.
- Faulty thermostat. The thermostat is the control center of the AC – if this small component fails, so will the rest of the system. First, make sure the thermostat is set correctly, meaning that it’s on, turned to the ‘Cool’ setting, and set to the appropriate temperature. If that looks fine, move on to checking the battery (if applicable) and that the wiring and connections on the back of the panel are intact. Finally, it’s also possible for a thermostat to fail, which would prevent a signal from being sent for the AC to turn on. Replacing the thermostat can be a relatively simple DIY job, or you could bring in a licensed HVAC technician.
Problem 2: The AC turns on but isn’t cooling the home
In this scenario, you can hear the air conditioning unit kick on, but not enough cool air comes out of the vents to make the home comfortable. In many ways, this can be just as frustrating as having an AC that doesn’t turn on at all.
There’s a wide range of problems that would lead to an underperforming air conditioning, including (but not limited to):
- Dirty air filter
- Ice build-up on evaporator coils
- Refrigerant leak
- Dirt or debris on evaporator coil or condenser
- Blocked or damaged ducts
- Worn-out compressor
Have an air conditioning expert fix your AC
As you can see, several air conditioning problems can arise that all have one thing in common – they leave your home hot and uncomfortable. Instead of wasting time and energy trying to troubleshoot yourself, have a licensed HVAC technician inspect and repair your system.