How to Troubleshoot Your AC

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How to Troubleshoot Your AC

Are you having problems with your AC? Is it not cooling your home as well as it used to? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many people have trouble with their AC from time to time. In this article, we will teach you how to troubleshoot your AC and fix the problem yourself.


Ways to Troubleshoot Your AC

If your AC isn’t working as it should, don’t call the repairman just yet. There are a few things you can check first to see if you can get it up and running again. By troubleshooting your AC, you may be able to save yourself time and money.


Check the power supply. 

Make sure that the unit is plugged in and that there is power going to it. If the unit isn’t plugged in, plug it in and see if that does the trick. If there’s still no power, then you’ll need to check your fuse box or circuit breaker to make sure there hasn’t been a power outage in your area.


Check the circuit breakers

First, check to see if the problem is with your circuit breakers. If a breaker has tripped, it will usually be in the “off” position. Reset the breaker by turning it off and then turning it back on again.

Check for circuit breakers that aren’t in the ON position in your home’s main electrical panel. Look for a circuit breaker labeled “air conditioner” or “AC” if your circuit breakers are clearly labeled. If your AC circuit breakers have been tripped, reset them to the ON position and attempt running your air conditioner again.


Check the thermostat

If your thermostat isn’t working or is incorrectly set, the air conditioner may not be turned on. If your thermostat is set to the lowest temperature setting and the system still doesn’t start, it’s probably time to get expert help from your HVAC repair professional. He or she will almost certainly need to recalibrate or replace the thermostat.

Calibration issues are more common with older dial-type thermostats, but contemporary programmable thermostats can be difficult to program at times. When troubleshooting your air conditioning system, check your thermostat handbook to make sure you’ve programmed it correctly.


Check for a dirty or clogged air filter.

A dirty air filter is one of the most common reasons your AC isn’t working properly. If your air filter is full of dirt and debris, it will block the flow of air, making it difficult for your AC to cool your home. To check if your air filter needs to be replaced, remove it from the unit and hold it up to alight. If you can’t see through the filter, it’s time for a new one.

Replacing your air filter is a quick and easy fix that can make a big difference in the performance of your AC unit.   Once you’ve replaced the filter, turn on your AC and see if it’s working properly. If not, there are a few other things you can check. A dirty filter might cause a multitude of problems including:

  • Air vents have a low airflow.
  • Refrigerant lines encrusted with ice
  • Evaporator coil that has been frozen
  • Your air conditioner is leaking water.
  • Failure of the equipment
  • Insufficient air conditioning (hot/cold patches, AC struggles to achieve specified temperature)
  • Energy bills that are higher than usual


Check the outside unit.

Check the outside AC unit (condenser) for any dirt. If there’s a layer of grime on the exterior of the equipment, use a hose with a mild stream to remove it.

Make sure that nothing is blocking the airflow, and that the coils are clean. AC issues caused by a filthy exterior unit include:


  • Energy bills that are higher than usual
  • Warm air is flowing out of the vents.
  • The air conditioner isn’t cool enough.
  • Frequent repairs


Check all air vents for any obstructions.

Make sure all supply vents (both return and supply) are open and unblocked throughout your home, including those in disused areas. Keep an eye out for blocked air vents throughout your home, like rugs, draperies, or furniture can easily block both return vents (vents that draw air in, see image below) and supply vents (vents that blow air out). Many homeowners close supply vents in areas that aren’t being utilized because they believe they will save money on energy bills. However, all it does is raise energy costs and cause other AC and ductwork issues.


  • Keep your home comfortable all summer long
  • Save money on your energy bill
  • Prevent your AC unit from breaking down
  • Maintain a healthy environment for your family


Call in a professional

If your AC unit still isn’t working after troubleshooting it, then it’s time to call in a professional. A repairman will be able to diagnose and fix any more complex issues with your AC. In the meantime, try to stay cool and use fans to circulate the air in your home.


Air conditioning repair: Here are some more helpful hints to avoid issues.

  • Remove the debris and brush from outside the unit and the immediate environment.
  • Check for any duct leaks and have them fixed.
  • Filters should be cleaned if they become soiled.
  • A programmable thermostat should be installed which saves energy and is more accurate, but learn how to use it properly.



The easiest method to avoid problems and tension for both you and those who reside in your residential complex is to conduct regular maintenance. Troubleshooting air conditioning may be beneficial to the successful functioning of your system, but routine maintenance can help you avoid the most common air conditioning issues before they begin.



Do You Need an A/C Repair Specialist You Can Trust?

Superior Mechanical Services, Inc. began in 1948 as a family-owned business with a vision to provide value-minded service with a down-to-earth approach to customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As the premier Commercial and Residential A/C Repair Specialist for Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, Superior Mechanical can do it all, from repairing heating and air conditioning services to boiler services, to plumbing services! Our technicians are certified professionals who will ensure every part of your project is done right using a careful checklist to guide and test each step. At the end of your appointment, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your new system and give you tips on maintenance so it lasts for years to come. Contact us today for amazing service tomorrow!




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