Air Conditioner Troubleshooting by Symptom
There are many ways to go about air conditioner troubleshooting. But our family’s been repairing air conditioners for more than 50 years, and we’ve found that the easiest way is to go by symptoms (ac not cooling, fan not blowing etc.) These are the easy things to check, that a person without an HVAC background could fix themselves.
If you don’t find the answer below, then you can click on the Symptom titles, and they’ll take you to the more in depth pages of troubleshooting.
If you are not able to find the solution to your problem within our many troubleshooting pages, you can also ask us questions directly on the Q & Ac Tab.
Side Note: Many times flipping the breaker or changing the air filters get the job done, and these things don’t take much to try out first.
Below are some of the most common air conditioning problems and what to check.
AC Won’t Turn On
If your condenser unit won’t turn on at all, you may have a faulty motor or the unit may not be receiving power. First check the breaker. If the breaker is good, then make sure the unit is plugged in and examine all the wiring. This may seem simple, but we’ve gone to homes an reset breakers and plugged units back in (it happens.)
The breaker for your air conditioner may look like the the one above-left, or above-right depending on your home and style of air conditioner.
AC Not Cooling the House
The “not cooling” problem usually gets referred to other symptoms.
If the fan is blowing, then see the symptom below.
If the fan is not blowing see above.
AC Working But Not Cooling the House
If you do not feel air coming out, see next symptom.
If the fans are working, then you’ll need to listed for that big grey box outside to kick on.
If it doesn’t, then check to make sure its plugged in. If it’s plugged in, then be sure to check the breaker.
If that big grey box is turning on, and you can see that fan moving, then make sure your filters and ducting are clean.
Note: Never underestimate the power of a clogged filter.
AC Fan Not Turning On
If the breaker is not tripped, then the problem may be your thermostat, the furnace/air handler control board, or the wires between the furnace/air handler and the thermostat.
AC Won’t Turn Off
If there is to be an easy fix for this problem, it will be your condenser coils. If the condenser coils are dirty, they won’t be able to their job as effectively.
If the coils are significantly dirty, the air conditioner will not be able to maintain the proper temperature, and the compressor will run continuously in an attempt to cool the room. Check the condenser coils to determine if they are dirty. If the condenser coils are dirty, clean them.
Other possible causes for a home air conditioner that won’t turn off include thermostats, thermistors, and the relay or temperature control boards.
For more in depth AC troubleshooting, remember to click on link for your particular symptom.
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