How to Fix Air Conditioner Problems at Home? (Checklists & solutions)


Fix A/C problems

Common problems and solutions

How to Fix Air Conditioner Problems at Home? Use smart maintenance practices and preventative maintenance to keep you AC running at its peak to keep you cool. These practices include checking the filter, checking the thermostate settings, A/C circuit breaker, checking the outdoor unit, checking all the vents, checking the thermostat (reliability) and opening up the unit and thawing iced up coils. We show you how to DIY and when you should call a pro.

According to an energy star, it has reported more than 13% spending’s on cooling annual utility bills. Yes, cooling is much essential, and buying the right air conditioner for your home is essential. Moreover, since there are many brands and makes out there, it becomes so hard and compelling in making the right choice of an air conditioner. Air conditioners are best at what they do for regulating the heat and ensuring that everything is okay. They have been tested and proven working.

Yes, on that hot and sunny day, you are so thirsty, and your body feels like it’s going to melt, and the only savior is your air conditioner. Turning it on is the solution to all your problem. However, it comes with a disappointment that it is either not functioning or its running but not cooling. You feel like you are going to crush it out and get another air conditioner, and the process of getting one involves many factors.

Then if this happens and you feel disappointed what measures do you take? Calling professionals a repair guy or making an appointment in case you have a warranty would take longer, and your desires to get a calm environment are turned down. However, there are a few ways we can fix our air conditioners at our homes. These simple hacks can help in getting your air conditioner to work with no time. Let see some of the solutions to that. However, first, before we check on what we can do, let’s understand why your Ac might be running and not cooling.

Why is my AC running but not cooling? 


When you get to turn on your air conditioner, and it runs on efficiently without cooling, then there is a problem that needs to be fixed. It is much common and can happen to any air conditioner, and it is not a 1st-degree repair or something alarming to worry about. What we mean is that you need not call for outside help or make some warranty calls to the brand. However, to know what to fix on your conditioner to solve the problem can be determined by the following factors:

a. Dirty air filter.


Sometimes our air filters get clogged and may not be functioning as required. The question is always when did you last check your air filters? When did you last clean them? Maintenance is essential for any equipment, and when you put on your air conditioner, and it does not function checking for air filters is the first action to do.

Then if you do not want to suffocate your air conditioner, make sure they are cleaned because dirty filters bring about restricted or airflow to the air conditioners. Moreover, if there is no airflow to the AC, then it means there is no cooling taking place. Being a common home air conditioner problem all you need to do is unclog the filters and clean them thoroughly, and your Ac will be back to its functioning.

b. Closed or blocked Vents.

Apart from air filters then vents too are a significant problem to the AC, and when they are closed or blocked, then you can be sure that your AC will just be consuming your electricity doing nothing. Appropriate positioning of your air conditioner is essential to ensure that the vents get insufficient air to enable cooling.


To get to the bottom of why vents are important. Let’s take a minute and learn how they work. The inside unit vent has a blower, and the Blower pushes in the air to the AC vial the grilles, and when the air conditioner cools the air, the lower pushes it out.


However, at the moment the blower is clogged then nothing much can happen only what happens is that it increases the pressure on the duct system. How to fix air conditioner problem like this at home ensure that the grilles and vents are always open and there is sucking of air. If you do not check up on it the vents, it will cost you a lot in replacing them.

c. Dirty Condenser.


AC absorbs heat in the room and later deposits it outside the room. Therefore that why we need a good strategic point to ensure that the condenser unit can do the work efficiently. The condenser unit is responsible for all of this. It is the outside AC unit, and it has a fan that blows the air over the warm refrigerant line.


Therefore if the condenser unit is clogged or does not have adequate space to do so, then you can be sure the room temperatures will remain the same since the warm air cannot b emitted to the outside. Therefore the best solution is not a replacement but cleaning and removing any dirt and clearing of all the areas near the outside Unit. Make sure it is not obstructed by anything else.


d. Low on refrigerant.


Refrigerant is essential in making the cooling of your home effectively. Just like anything that functions needs some oil and coolant, in this case, runs through the AC system, and if you are low on refrigerant, then it means that your AC is not optimally functioning.


For this fix, you need to call for a professional to advise on what is to be done and if there are low refrigerants within the AC systems, then it means there are leaks, and leaks too should be fixed and repaired effectively.


Those are some of the problems likely to be experienced when your AC is running, and it’s not cooling your home. However, at some point, some of the issues may need a reset or troubleshooting and knowing how it can be done essential to fix your air conditioner exhaustively.


How to reset your air conditioner unit? Diagnose and solve


To get to the bottom line why we need a reset to our air conditioner ten understanding what brings about this reset is much essential. Some of the air conditioner problem requiring a reboot is:


Central AC problem

Source


Central AC is another problem that may be encountered and bring dissatisfaction to the use of an AC. It is pretty common if you have not had your annual checkup. Inspection at least annually is much practical under HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) to check for any serious problems that may have arisen or likely to happen and advice on what to do. Do not wait till summer to get a fixture. Let the technician check for all parts.


Central Ac problems are much common and sometimes when the technician is not around, you may try troubleshooting the AC yourself and reset the whole system which works efficiently and smoothly.

Step 1. Check for dirty air filters.

Air flow (or loss of air flow) are the main reasons for your A/C not working up to its potential. If you have pets you should check your filter often (at least every two weeks) to make sure it is not blocked. A dirty air filter will restrict your air to your unit and make it work harder – which will reduce its effectiveness and energy efficiency. This will also lower the life of your unit, considerably.

Step 2. Check your thermostat settings.

Rule of thumb: Your A/C cannot cool your house down (generally more than 20-30 degrees) lower than the outside temperature. If it is 100 degrees outside than you should be happy with a 70-75 degree temperature inside.

Step 3. Check your air conditioner circuit breakers.

Make sure they are ON and not tripped.

Step 4. Check your outdoor unit.

Make sure it is free from plants or trees blocking the air coils. Make sure that the blower is turning freely and no noises are coming from the unit. This could be an indication of a bad bearing in the motor.

Step 5. Check all of your vents.

Make sure your vents are open and are not blocked.

True story: When we had our vents cleaned out the technician found a towel that was stuck up in one of the vents…from the previous owner of course. Once he removed it the flow of air to the room dramatically improved.

Lesson learned: check all of your vents for obstructions. You never know what you may find.

Step 6. Check Your Thermostat

All appliances need a thermostat, especially if they are HVAC equipment. However, at some time, the thermostat may be faulty and compromise the working of the AC. A thermostat is an essential tool when it comes in setting what you would want the AC to do. To know if the thermostat is not functioning correctly, consider the following:

Warm and hot air flows out of the vents from the air conditioner.

The air conditioner does not turn on.

If these two things happen, then know that your Thermo start has a problem and need to be fixed at once. Yes, sometime the AC may not be faulty, but its accompaniments can be the cause to all problems making them not function effectively.

If the air conditioner has hot air flowing, then check your thermostat and ensure that the settings are to cool and not to heat. It is one of a common problem, especially as we transit during the seasons worry not. However, if there is nothing that happens even after making the reset, then the Thermostat may be faulty.

Step 7. Open up the unit. Thaw iced up coils if they are frozen.

Check to make sure there is not a build up of ice on the A/C coils (in the unit inside your house). This may happen occasionally. If it does…

Switch your thermostat to Off but your fan to ON. This will begin the defrost process by blowing hot air over your iced up coils.

Note: This may take 1 to several hours depending on how iced up your coils are.

Remove any ice on the coils by letting it thaw.

Safety tip: DO Not pour warm or hot water over the coils to thaw them out. This is dangerous as you could become electrocuted if the unit is on (your fan is on an is electrified). Plus this is just a bad idea.

Also, do not use a hair dryer to thaw it out for the same reason as above. If you are in that big of a hurry, call a pro who can do it safely.

How can you fix a thermostat problem for your home?


a. Make sure that the power is on: 


The thermostat is an electrical appliance and checking for furnace, or air handler is the best option and also make sure that the compressors are not shut off.

The 240 volts should be disconnected to ensure there is no flow of the current. You can mostly find on a metal box near the compressor.

b. Remove the thermostat cover.


After turning off the power on the air conditioner then it is that time you took your screwdrivers and open the thermostat and separate the cover from the base and then pull out. Check if the batteries are functioning if the thermostat uses batteries and if there is a need to change do so.

Secondly, make sure that all the wires are attached to the terminals are well placed, and the cover has not damaged or pinched them. After all, this is done then you can return the cover and wait for some minutes then start the Air conditioner.

c. Check if the thermostat is faulty.

Sometimes the thermostat can be faulty beyond control and to thoroughly check so that you may decide on what to do after everything fails. Open the thermostat from the base and unscrew the Y terminal and turn the power back on. It’s a risky test, but you have to do it to determine if it’s the thermostats problem. 

Then hold the wire by the insulator and touch it to the R terminal and let it stay for two minutes generally. If the compressor of the air conditioner kicks, then we can conclude that the thermostat is faulty and all you need to do is buy another.

d. If the compressor does not kick, then call the HVAC technician to come and check the compressor capacitor.


Some of the other problems that can be fixed at your home are the problems that result from your air conditioner stopping and working for a few minutes. It is a problem much common if you have an old air conditioner or a faulty thermostat or even when your room is too big or too small for the air conditioners.

When your air conditioner keeps on turning on and off, there is always a problem that needs a fixture, and if not fixed much earlier it may cost you a lot in terms of repairs, replacements or even buying a new air conditioner.

Your A/C might be turning on and off (cycling) because of the following:

a. Bad thermostat.


As we have discussed above on why a thermostat can fail to regulate the work of an air conditioner then if the thermostat is bad to seek for a replacement form a technician or even you can fix it by following the manual.

b. Refrigerant leak.


A refrigerant leak can be an issue, especially if it is on a low refrigerant which may cause the coils to freeze when the air conditioner is turned on. It is always essential to make sure it is noted earlier and replaced.

This can be checked by your regular HVAC checkup.

c. Dirty condenser coils.


Clean your condenser coils at the outside unit of the air to ensure that the blowers eject the air outside effectively.

d. An air conditioner is too big or small for the room.


Determine always which the best air conditioner for your room is. If you have a big Ac system installed for a small room, then the work is done fast, and the room will be cool in a few minutes. Moreover, vice versa. This can be fixed by having an appropriate AC depending on your room space.

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Conclusion.


AC is a good system that helps us live comfortably within our households. Without an AC you can be sure no matter the season you are you will get it hard in controlling the temperatures of your room. It is always essential to understand how an AC functions so that you can be able to fix these simple air conditioner problems effectively. 

Replacing ACs is much expensive in comparison to good maintenance practice. Apart from that always ensure you have a right window air conditioner for your room size. Moreover, those were pretty cool ways on how to fix air conditioner problems at home. Keep up on your A/C maintenance to fix air conditioner problems at home.

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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