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How to Troubleshoot Your AC Unit – 10 DIY Steps

Boyar Technician Working On Hvac Unit

10 AC Problems to Check Before Calling a Pro

On a hot summer day, the thing we look forward to most is stepping into our air-conditioned homes. When the AC doesn’t run as it should, though, it can be frustrating. Before you panic and consider replacing your unit, remember that the problem might be simple. Our experts are here to walk you through how to troubleshoot your AC in 10 easy steps before calling us. If you’re a go-getting, DIY fanatic, knowing the ins and outs of your system can be empowering and rewarding.

1. Safety First

Before you troubleshoot your AC, make sure that it’s safe to do so. Dealing with any electrical appliance should always be done with care and consideration. Start by turning off the power at the breaker box, wearing gloves and protective eyewear, and watching for sharp edges. 

It’s also important to know your limits. If at any point you encounter a problem that gives you pause, call a professional. Even checking in with a licensed expert can give you guidance on whether it’s safe to continue troubleshooting.

2. Check the Thermostat

Sometimes the issue is as simple as the settings on your thermostat. Here’s what to check:

A malfunctioning or incorrectly set thermostat is a common and easily overlooked cause of AC issues, leading to symptoms like your AC not turning on or not cooling effectively.

3. Inspect the Air Filters

A dirty or clogged air filter is one of the most common reasons for AC efficiency problems. Here’s how to check them:

Regularly checking and changing air filters can prevent issues like reduced airflow and overworking your AC, which can lead to freezing up or uneven cooling.

4. Examine the Circuit Breaker

Electrical issues can sometimes cause your AC to stop functioning. Before assuming the worst, check your home’s circuit breaker:

A tripped circuit breaker is a common issue that can prevent your AC from turning on, but frequent trips are a sign of electrical problems that need professional attention.

5. Inspect the Refrigerant Lines

The refrigerant lines carry the refrigerant necessary for your AC to cool the air, but leaks can reduce efficiency and are harmful to the environment:

Handling refrigerants without proper training and certification is not only dangerous but also against environmental regulations.

6. Check the Ductwork

Leaky or blocked ductwork can significantly diminish your HVAC system’s efficiency by losing cooled air before it reaches your living spaces:

Properly maintained ductwork is essential for the efficient operation of your HVAC system, ensuring that the cool air effectively reaches all intended areas of your home.

7. Listen for Unusual Noises

Unusual noises coming from your HVAC system can be early warning signs of mechanical issues that need addressing:

If you detect abnormal noises, it’s wise to call a technician to investigate further before these issues lead to more significant damage.

8. Inspect the Condensate Drain

The condensate drain removes the moisture your AC extracts from the air. A clogged drain can cause water to back up, leading to humidity issues and potential water damage:

Regularly checking and cleaning the condensate drain can prevent water-related issues and help maintain optimal humidity levels.

9. Test the Fan

The fan in your AC unit circulates air throughout your home. Ensuring it operates correctly is crucial for your system’s efficiency:

If the fan doesn’t operate correctly or exhibits any of the issues noted above, it could be due to a faulty motor, loose belts, or other mechanical problems that require professional repair.

10. Evaluate Airflow

Proper airflow is essential for your AC to function efficiently and effectively. Here’s how to evaluate it:

Weak or uneven airflow can be a sign of blocked vents, dirty filters, or more serious issues within your HVAC system.

When to Call a Professional

While basic troubleshooting can be handled by most homeowners, there are times when it’s best to call a professional:

Calling a professional ensures that your AC system is not only fixed more reliably but also helps maintain its warranty and long-term health.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

Regular preventative maintenance can significantly extend the life of your AC and improve its efficiency:

By following these preventative maintenance tips, you can reduce the need for repairs and ensure your system runs smoothly throughout the year.

BOYAR Air Solutions Is Here to Help With All Your AC Needs

Troubleshooting your own AC can be a source of empowerment as a homeowner. When the problem is more complex than it seems upfront or beyond your comfort zone, though, we are here to help. Our pros have been helping homeowners since 2011 to keep their homes cool and comfortable year-round. We’re here to help you too!

Don’t face AC trouble on your own! Our team is available online or over the phone at (941) 599-8880 for all your AC needs.

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