It’s one of those Virginia summer days, 90°+ outside, you’re sweating buckets and hitting the on switch, whispering not–so-sweet-nothings to your air conditioner and…well, nothing. Before you succumb to heatstroke, let’s check out what you can do.
Sure, you can call your AC guy, but think of the self-satisfaction that will flow over you along with the cool air if you’re able to make a quick fix. If you do have to call in a technician, at least you’ll have learned something new along the way. Most of these take just a couple of minutes.
1. Is Power Coming Through?
Of course, it’s plugged in, right? Or not? Now check the circuit breakers. Turn each one off and then on again. Is cool air rushing over you now? Ahh! Bask in the chill. If you’re still feeling the heat, move on to the next possible problem area.
2. Check the Thermostat
Lots of thermostats run on AA batteries. If you haven’t changed them recently, go ahead and do that now.
3. Are You Choking Your Air Conditioner?
Hearing a loud buzzing around your AC? It could be having the equivalent of an asthma attack! Locate the air intakes of your unit and make sure they’re not covered up by anything or clogged with dirt. Trees and shrubs, plants, furniture, and any other large objects should be at least 2 feet from your air conditioner, ensuring that the air intake has plenty of room.
4. Why Are Those Filters So Gunky?
When was the last time you changed those? For 1-inch filters, the recommendation is every month, every two months for 2-inch filters, and every six to twelve months for 4 inches and larger. Look for specific details on your filter packaging. Keep a record handy so that you’ll remember to change them out at the right time.
5. A Word on the Wire
Clearing the space around your outside unit is great, but if someone used the hedge trimmer a little too close to the air con, some wires may have gotten cut. Check for any obvious wire disconnections around your unit. If there are any, this is the time to call in a professional.
6. Keep It Steady
If you don’t live alone, chances are that not everyone in the home will agree on the ideal temperature. It’s best to make a united decision on a median temperature and keep it set there, because constant adjustments can cause overheating in the compressor unit and then everyone will be hot under the collar when the unit stops working.
7. Put the Freeze on Your Pipes?
If you’re particularly hot-blooded and prefer your environment to be a chilly 65° when it’s 90° outside, you may have to lower your expectations. Most AC units are designed to keep the inside to a maximum of 20° lower than outside. If it’s 90° outside, the best you can probably have inside is 70°. With these units, lowering it further than that can cause the pipes in the machinery to freeze up, meaning you’d be right back to close to 90° inside.
If you’ve already run into this problem, try turning off the unit at the thermostat, but keep the fan running to encourage the pipes to thaw. Give it a few hours and then turn the AC back on. The pipes could freeze up a few more times, but follow the same instructions. If you still have the same problem after a day or two, call in your qualified technician.
Other Problem Areas to Check
We’ve shown you several quick-fixes that could help your situation. If you’re still feeling the heat, here are a few more places to look if you’re adept. Otherwise it’s generally better to call in your air con tech for these.
- The condensation coil might be clogged if the float switch has tripped. Use a heavy duty vacuum with a suitable attachment to clear out any dirt or debris.
- Standard ACs have two sets of coils – evaporator coils inside the unit and compressor coils outside the condenser. If you really know how to do it, you can try cleaning either or both of these, but it’s a challenging fix if you’re not experienced at this. It’s better to call in a professional to tackle this one.
- If you can figure out how to get the faceplate off the front of the unit, check for dirt and dust buildup and clear it out with a can of compressed air.
Call (703) 721-4844 for the Best Local Air Conditioner Repair
Do you need professional help with your AC system? The qualified and friendly team members of DM Select Services, with its headquarters in Burke, VA, are ready to help. Give us a call, make an online service request, or ask for a quote. Check out our specials!