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There are a number of reasons why your air conditioner won’t cool – the challenge is to determine which one it is, and whether or not you can resolve the issue yourself before having to spend hard earned dollars on a technician. Below are a few trouble shooting tips to help you allocate the problem and ascertain what degree of maintenance it will require. At the point you have any doubt about what you’re doing, leave the issue and call your technician. It just isn’t worth playing around with electrical devices when you are unsure about your safety.
However, here are some DIY tips to help you check all the simpler issues:

Is your thermostat working properly?

  • Check that your thermostat has power, is set to ‘auto’ and is set at the desired temperature.
  • Make sure the thermostat is positioned in a place in your house where the heat is crossing it, to trigger a response from it to start cooling the area.

Are your air filters clean?

Your air filters should be the first thing you check for many AC problems, as they are the gateway to the whole system – blocked filters prevent the rest of the system from functioning properly – especially cooling, as the warm air is obstructed from flowing over the evaporator coils if the air filters are dirty.
Regular monthly inspection of your air filters will ensure their greatest efficiency. Some filters will need replacing on a monthly basis, others last longer – there are different types and qualities of filters, so it may pay to also shop around for the best filters for your unit.

Have your circuit breakers tripped?

Some circuit breakers may trip, yet they won’t move to the ‘off’ position. In order to successfully reset your circuit breakers, go to the circuit breaker box and move the circuit breaker to ‘off’. Wait a couple of seconds and switch it back on. Repeat the process for the ones titled: condenser, compressor, AC, HVAC, and the likes.
There may be another set of circuit breakers on your outside unit – you will need to check your owner’s manual if you’re not sure if it has one outside.
If your circuit breaker keeps tripping each time you set it, do not just keep resetting as there is possibly a short in the compressor, fan motor or the capacitor. Call your HVAC technician to pinpoint the reason this is happening, and to have it resolved as quickly as possible.

Is your condenser working properly?

Your condenser is located outside of the house – there are a few reasons why it may not be operating properly – check that no outside vegetation is obstructing the fan, coils, fins etc. If there is debris inside the unit, switch the power off to your house – this is crucially important, as you could be outside removing a branch from your fan when a family member decides the thermostat needs to be turned on inside, causing the fan to suddenly become a lethal weapon. To play it safe, switch the whole power board off when you remove the outer casing from your condenser.
Carefully brush out debris from the fins, and hose clean the unit with a soft flow of water so as not to damage the fins. Scrub the coils clean, as these play an important part in keeping your house cool.
If your unit still isn’t cooling your house it may be time to call your professional HVAC specialist for a more indepth analysis of what could be going wrong with your AC unit at this time. Leaking refrigerant, dirty evaporator coils, unlubricated components, electrical issues – your qualified HVAC technician will resolve the issue and have you back in cool comfort in no time.

To avoid problems with your air conditioner in the peak of summer an AC Maintenance Agreement allows for a comprehensive check of your appliance twice yearly – in autumn and spring – thus ensuring a full working over of all the elements in your air conditioner to keep it in top condition year after year.
For any questions or if in doubt about why your AC system isn’t cooling, call your trusted HVAC service company for help.

Free in home assessment and free estimates for any HVAC system in Tampa or the surrounding areas, please call (813) 296-5462 today!