It is inconvenient to have your HVAC unit fail on a hot summer day. It’s even worse if you have to wait for a contractor for a few days in the heat. Fortunately, there are some AC issues that you can fix on your own. The most common AC repair is for units that are not cooling properly or at all. Here are a few things you can do on your own to resolve the most common problems.
Examine the Furnace
Before you do anything else, check the furnace to see if the problem is coming from there. Begin by turning your thermostat to the lowest temperature setting in AC mode. Then, check the furnace to see if the fan is activated. Reset the circuit breaker if it does not start. If this doesn’t work, it’s possible that your furnace is to blame, and it’s time to call your favorite AC repair service.
Check the Air Flow
If your furnace is not the source of the problem, the next step is to try the simplest solutions first. Ascertain that your entire system has unrestricted air flow. Are the cash registers in the house open and unblocked? What is the condition of your furnace filter? Is it sanitary? Is it necessary to replace it? Are the condenser coils squeaky clean? Is there any kink in your refrigerant lines, and is your blower fan working properly?
If there is anything obstructing the airflow, do everything you can to restore unrestricted airflow to your system. However, before performing any cleaning or AC repair, turn off the AC and furnace breakers in the main electrical panel, then use a voltage tester on the contactor wires to ensure that the power is truly off. Turn off the gas at the gas valve that serves your furnace if you have one.
Coils for the Evaporator and Condenser
Because of restricted air flow or low refrigerant levels, the evaporator coil may have ice on it. Close the air handler/furnace panel and turn the thermostat from “Cooling” to “Off” to defrost the coil. Then turn on the fan. The coil should be defrosted within an hour or two. If the ice was caused by a blockage in the airflow, you should be fine once you fix that. However, if low refrigerant levels were the cause, you’ll need a professional to come take a look and, if necessary, recharge your refrigerant.
If the outside condenser coil becomes clogged, it can cause your compressor to overheat and shut down. After you have turned off the breakers, you should turn off the power at the air handler or furnace. The disconnect block must then be removed. Clear out the coils. If the air conditioner does not start up properly, it is time to inspect the access panel.
Examine the Access Panel
The first step is to inspect for blown fuses. If you find them, it indicates that the condensing unit may have a faulty component. Remove the fuses and continue with the AC repair. Install new fuses and restart the unit once the repairs are completed.
It’s also important to check the wiring in the access panel, which could be damaged. Remove the panel and turn off the power. Look for broken or chewed-up wire and insulation, as well as any signs of rodents. If you notice any damage, you can repair it yourself if you have the necessary skills, or you can hire a professional.
How do you know if it was successful?
Reinstall the access panel and the disconnect block, then turn on the furnace switch and the circuit breaker to test your AC repair. If the repairs were successful, the condenser fan and compressor should spin. Unfortunately, if your air conditioner still doesn’t work, you’ll have to contact an Austin AC repair service. Sometimes, especially if your HVAC system is older, it is more cost effective to replace it rather than repair it.