If your cooling system is not keeping your home comfortable, knowing a few AC troubleshooting tips may help. A cooling interruption can be caused by anything from a minor mistake to a major component failure. Maybe a few simple suggestions can help narrow down the issue and restore cool comfort. On the other hand, maybe it’s a job for a qualified HVAC technician only.
If your air conditioner just isn’t keeping you comfortably cool — or it’s totally unresponsive— here are some AC troubleshooting tips to help distinguish a fast fix from a serious professional repair.
- Check the thermostat. It happens: Someone accidentally turns the entire system off at the thermostat. Or, there’s a weird temperature setting that’s way too hot. Check for these possible flubs, and also make sure the thermostat’s displaying the correct time too, and then make any necessary corrections. These basic AC troubleshooting checks could go a long way.
- Feel the flow. Place your hand over air coming out of an HVAC supply vent in an individual room. Does it feel weaker than usual? A dirty or clogged HVAC air filter may be excessively obstructing system airflow. Install a new air filter and try again.
- Test the temperature. If the system’s running but not keeping you cool, place a thermometer in a room supply vent and wait a few minutes. Do the same thing at the return vent in the room or a central return in a nearby hall. Air coming out of the supply vent should be 15 to 20 degrees cooler than air entering the return. If not, you need a qualified HVAC technician to troubleshoot the system.
- Check circuit breakers. If thermostat settings look good but the system’s still totally unresponsive, check the AC circuit breaker in the main electrical panel. If it’s tripped, reset the breaker. If there’s a separate circuit breaker for the outdoor AC component — usually inside a box mounted on an exterior wall near the outdoor unit — reset it too. Wait about 15 minutes after resetting the circuit breakers, then try to start the AC. If this doesn’t do the trick or it starts up but the breakers quickly trip again, call Jackson & Sons for professional HVAC service.
If basic AC troubleshooting doesn’t restore cool comfort, contact the service pros at Jackson & Sons.