It’s a hot summer day and your AC stops working. Don’t panic, PECO has created a basic troubleshooting guide on what to do for the three main problems facing air conditioners. It’s true that many problems need to be addressed by a professional HVAC technician, but there are some problems – like a tripped circuit breaker – that are easy and fast to fix yourself.
We have to point out that many common issues with air conditioning units can be caused by inadequate maintenance. In order to avoid future problems, we recommend our Planned Maintenance agreement, which can help ensure your AC stays running smoothly.
1. Your Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On
A common problem is that the AC simply won’t turn on. The first thing to do is to go outside and see if the condenser is running. Look to see that the electrical disconnect is plugged in.
Next, ensure that the thermostat is set properly. Sometimes setting the thermostat 5-10° lower and making sure the thermostat is switched to “cool” is all it needs the AC needs to trigger on. You’ll also want to see if a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse is to blame, which would deprive the unit of energy.
If these simple tips don’t work, and especially if your coil is frozen, it’s time to contact the professionals. It may be a larger problem involving the compressor, coil, or motor.
2. The Air Conditioner isn’t Cooling the House Enough
Is your AC the little engine that could? It’s pumping out cold air but it’s simply not enough to cool the house as much as you want? Check the return filters – they should be changed monthly to allow proper airflow for the system.
It’s possible that your air conditioner is not adequate for your home’s square footage or the temperatures are unseasonably warm. AC units are built to cool certain square footage, so if you have a large and/or multistory home, the unit might not be appropriately sized for the space. AC systems are also sized also for average seasonal temperatures.
It’s important to remember that AC units are designed and installed with the expectation of cooling your home 20-25° on an average summer day. That means if it’s 100° outside, your unit is not designed to cool your house to 68°.
If it’s an average summer day and your unit is struggling to keep the house cool, it could be that you need a bigger unit or there’s a problem with your existing unit. If you see any icing on the unit, immediately shut it off and call PECO for a professional inspection.
3. The Air Conditioner is Not Blowing Cold Air
You’ve set the thermostat, and the AC is running, but the air coming out of the vents doesn’t feel too cold. First, go outside and check your unit. If the condenser is blocked by weeds and debris, it cannot properly work. Clear anything piled up around the system away. Is there ice on the copper line set or condenser? Contact PECO for repairs, there will be ice blocking the indoor coil and the system cooling must be set to off and the blower fan to on to deice the system. Your PECO technician needs the system free of ice to properly diagnose.
Then inspect your air filter to ensure it’s clean. Can you see through the filter? If not, it’s time to replace it. If the air filter is dirty, air cannot pass through easily, and when limited air gets to the evaporator coil, it can freeze. Do you run your AC a lot? Do you have pets? We recommend changing the standard pleat filters monthly, but you may have to replace them more often depending on your circumstances.
If your outdoor condenser and air filter are clean, it may be an issue with the refrigerant or the compressor.
Whatever the problem, your local air conditioning pros can help! PECO has an experienced team of HVAC experts who are ready to assist you in all maintenance and repairs of AC systems. We proudly serve Anderson, Pickens, Greeneville, and Oconee counties. Call (864) 639-2424 for service today – we make emergency calls, too!