It’s official…Summer is here and these toasty temps are here to stay! And what does that usually mean? It means we all want to be cool and comfortable when we’re chillin’ inside our home. It also means this is when your air conditioning will inevitably stop working…just when you need it the most!
So, what do you do when you lose your cool? Before you break out the fans, give these 5 things a check before calling your local HVAC experts at Pro-Tech HVAC Home.
1. Check the Thermostat
Your thermostat is basically the brain of your AC system. It tells it when to kick in, what temperature to hold, and shows any other metrics of your AC system. The thermostat should be the first thing to check on when your system begins to malfunction—as it could be something as simple as a different setting. First, make sure your program settings are correct and that it’s set to “cool” and not to “heat”. Also, try changing the temperature on the thermostat to see if that kicks the AC into operation. Your thermostat may also need cleaning, repair, or fresh batteries. Since the thermostat has absolute control over your AC, you should keep it in good condition. The thermostat isn’t always the culprit for an AC not working, but you should always check it first.
2. Check Your Air Filter
Your air filter is one of the most vital maintenance pieces of your whole AC system. The air filter controls the quality and flow of the air your AC system receives. The system must receive enough airflow to process and cool the air, and it must receive CLEAN air. If you don’t replace your air filter regularly, your system will not work correctly! An exceptionally clogged filter can impact the way your system runs; slowing it down, and making the airflow feel weaker. You would be shocked how many homeowners rarely or never (GASP!) change their air filter.
If your system isn’t cooling properly or stops working: go ahead and remove it, and take a look at it. A new air filter is white. If your filter is black or covered in dust, it’s an excellent indication to change it. You can buy air filters from a local hardware store—make sure you check your filter’s size before going to ensure you buy the right size. And a little tip: pet owners will most likely have to change their filters more often if your pets tend to shed a lot.
3. Check Your Circuit Breaker
It’s not uncommon for a circuit breaker to be tripped—especially with these Summer storms that make our power flicker off and on. If it appears nothing is happening with your AC system, check to make sure the circuit wasn’t tripped and isn’t in the “off” position. If it is, flip it back on, and see if your unit starts back up. This may take up to 5 minutes for the system to re-set and come back on.
4. Check the Drain Pan
Your air conditioner unit not only cools your house but also removes moisture from the air. So, where does that moisture go? It is collected in the drain pan, located underneath the indoor unit evaporator coils, then flows into the condensate drain line, which is directed outside. Without regular cleaning, especially in areas with high humidity, the drain pan can become clogged. The drain pan has a secondary drain to prevent the pan from clogging. But if both of them are full, this triggers the float switch, which turns the AC off. It is a safety mechanism that prevents excessive leakage in your house and prevents damages to the unit. But even then, the water leak from the clogged pan can damage your walls, ceilings, and furnishings.
So, your AC is not going to turn on until the pan is cleaned and the float switch is turned down. You can use a wet/dry vacuum to suction the blockage out, but it is going to be really messy so if you don’t want to see all that gunk, better call Pro-Tech HVAC Home.
5. Check Your Supply Vents
Blocked supply vents are another reason your AC might not be putting out enough cold air. Check your vents to make sure there isn’t dirt or dust build-up that could be preventing airflow. Toys, furniture, or closed dampers may also be the problem. Rearrange furniture away from registers and check for obstructions that may have fallen into your ducts by accident.
And Lastly…Report on What You See, Feel, and Hear
If you’re experiencing a lack of performance with your AC or it suddenly stops working, make a note of what you’re seeing and hearing by the indoor AND outdoor units. Are they turning on and immediately shutting off? Blowing hot air inside the home? Making a strange noise? Completely dead? Ice on the outdoor unit? These observations can help our technicians think about possible causes so they’ll will know what to check first upon arrival.
By this point, you’ll likely know if you can fix the problem or not. If you can’t fix it yourself, the best thing you can do is contact us at Pro-Tech HVAC Home. We strive to provide same or next-day service to the Annapolis area. We will have you cool again in no time!
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Pro-Tech HVAC Home offers new installation, replacement, repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in the Annapolis area. Our customers rely on us for honest and reliable service for air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, Mitsubishi systems, and more. We’re happy to answer questions, troubleshoot, and help you choose the best HVAC system for you and your family. We’re always happy to help answer your questions, so please give us a call or send us an email.