Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Tips

While Southport Home Services is always here for your AC repair needs, sometimes, simple troubleshooting can be enough to resolve your air conditioner issues and keep you cool. Ideally, the do-it-yourself method will have your unit running again as soon as possible— so you spend less time sweating it out in the summer heat. Moreover, simple troubleshooting can save you money, ensuring your AC system works better and lasts longer. Naturally, we are happy to help with all issues, but the following checklist is a good place to start when your AC is not doing its job and you are hoping for a fast and cheap fix. If these solutions do not solve your problems, contact the AC repair pros at Southport Home Services right away to get your system back up and running before you know it!

If your AC system isn’t working, you may want to:

  1. Check Circuit Breakers: If your AC unit will not turn on, it could be because the circuit breaker is tripped. To check if this is the case, locate your circuit breaker box and look for the switch that controls your air conditioner. If the switch is tripped, turn it back to the ‘ON’ position and try to run your AC again. If the breaker immediately trips again, there is likely a larger electrical problem, and you will want to give us a call.
  2. Check for a Dirty Air Filter: Many problems with AC systems can be caused by a dirty air filter. They include AC units that run but don’t blow cool air, low airflow from vents, water leaking from the unit, and frozen lines. To check your air filter, simply look at it and see if it is dirty or clogged. If it is, clean or replace the filter and see if that fixes the problem.

  3. Check Thermostat Settings: Sometimes, if your AC unit won’t turn on or if warm/hot air is blowing from your vents, the problem could be with the thermostat. It is a good idea to make sure the thermostat is set to ‘Cool’ instead of ‘Heat’ and to check that the settings were not accidentally changed. This also applies to situations when your AC unit will not turn off and is blowing too much cold air—the first step should be checking your thermostat settings. It is possible that your thermostat has a glitch or is improperly calibrated, in which case you will want to consult your manual or call in a professional.

  4. Check All Vents: If your AC is running but your home does not feel cool, water is leaking from your AC unit, or you have frozen lines or coils, it may be the result of closed or blocked vents. To check, walk throughout your home and make sure the vents are open and unobstructed. Sometimes, floor vents are covered by rugs or furniture, so it is important to look for that, too.

  5. Check Your Outdoor AC Unit: If your AC unit is blowing warm air or is not doing cooling your home the way it used to, your outdoor AC unit could be the culprit. If it is blocked by plants, leaves, dirt, or other debris, the unit may not be able to function properly. To fix this issue, simply clear the debris away from the unit and see if it solves your problem.

  6. Check for Drainage Problems: When your AC unit removes moisture from the air, it is supposed to go down a drain for disposal. If the drain or lines to the drain are clogged or fully blocked, water can back up and damage the unit. If your inspection reveals the possibility of a plugged drain or water damage, contact a Southport Home Services AC repair professional.

  7. Check Refrigerant: Low refrigerant levels could be the reason your AC unit is not cooling properly. Physically checking the refrigerant level is a job for your Southport Home Services AC repair technician, but there are signs you can look for that will indicate you have low refrigerant levels. If you see frozen coils or hear a bubbling or hissing noise, low refrigerant is likely the reason. Refrigerant does not get used up throughout the AC process, so the only reasons your levels would be low are an improper initial charge or a leak. If you suspect either of these things, you should schedule a visit from a Southport Home Services AC repair pro.

  8. Check Fan Limit Switch: If your AC unit won’t turn off, it could be because the fan limit switch was accidentally turned from ‘Auto’ to ‘Manual.’ Find the switch on or near the blower of your AC unit. Flipping the system back to ‘Auto’ will make it so the fan only runs when directed to do so by thermostat settings and could therefore be the solution to your problem.

  9. Listen to your System: AC units are supposed to make noise, but you should be able to distinguish between normal noises and abnormal noises. If your AC is not working, have a listen and see if anything sounds out of place. It can indicate broken belts, corrosion, broken bearings, or other issues. Hissing or bubbling noises are a sign that there is a refrigerant leak. If you detect a problem by ear, contact a Southport Home Services AC repair pro right away.

  10. Make Sure Windows and Doors are Closed: Making sure all of your windows and doors to the outside are shut maximizes the efficiency of your AC unit and will enable it to cool your home. If windows and doors are open, cool air may be escaping outside and creating the illusion that your AC is broken.