6 Things to Check on Your AC Unit Before Making an Appointment


Your AC unit isn’t working properly and you’re getting ready to call a repair service. Before you pick up the phone, check these six things to see whether you can restore its functionality yourself.


Check the Thermostat

Is your thermostat set correctly? Double-check it to make sure that the right settings, temperature and mode are selected. It’s easy to accidentally change temperatures on some thermostats. For smart thermostats, you may need to spend some time “teaching” it the correct settings for different times of the day.

Look at the AC Breaker

Your AC unit could stop working because its breaker tripped. The switch usually sits in the middle of off and on in this situation. Move the breaker down to the off side first, then push it back on.

Test the AC to see whether this step solved your problem. If the breaker trips immediately after you turn the AC back on, then you may be running into a problem with the equipment or with your electricity.

Examine the Fuses

Your AC unit’s fuses need replaced occasionally. If you’re particularly handy, then you can check and swap them out yourself. You need a voltage meter, the ability to turn off electricity to the AC unit and information about the types of fuse your equipment uses.

Often, the fuses are near the disconnect box for the AC unit. Use the voltage meter to test the electricity flow going to your AC unit. If you find that voltage registers on the line, but not the load wire, then it’s likely that the fuses are your issue. If you need to swap them out, turn off the electricity to the unit first and follow the instructions provided with your air conditioner model.

Change the Air Filter

Your AC unit can’t function best if the filters are clogged with dust, debris and other pollutants. The exact replacement schedule varies based on the air filters you use. Check on them monthly to see if you need a new one.

Close Open Windows and Doors

Open windows and doors impact the efficiency of your AC unit and cause your energy bills to go up. The ambient heat and humidity from the outside make your HVAC system work harder and your inside climate more uncomfortable. During heat waves, it may be difficult or impossible for the AC to keep up.

If you must have a door or window open in your home, make sure it’s not located near the thermostat. If you can close off that room, then you can lessen the impact that it creates on your indoor temperature.

Open Supply Registers/Grills

The HVAC unit is designed with the assumption that a certain number of supply registers are open at a given time. If you end up closing a lot of the grills, it can throw the system off and create problems with its operation. Look around your house for closed registers and open them all up to see whether that improves its functionality. Try to keep furniture away from the grills so they don’t block the flow of cool air into a room.

If you’ve gone through all these steps and your AC still doesn’t work right, it’s time to reach out to the professionals. Let them know the troubleshooting steps you already went through so they can skip past that part and get right to figuring out what’s going on.

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