How to Fix your AC: Professional Walk through

So your air conditioner has broken down and is not working..... what should I do now?  Here is a video and a few specific steps to take before calling a professional ac technician.  You just might be able to fix the ac on your own for free.

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#1 THERMOSTAT

- Check Settings (make sure in cooling).

- Do NOT overshoot the set point.  Unit will work only as hard as it can.  

- Power to thermostat - If no power check batteries OR check power from furnace.

- Check Filter - Dirty? change it out.

- Do you have airflow? - if yes then your furnace/ahu is running

#4 Outdoor Unit - Condenser

- Check to see if running.  Is the condenser making any noise at all?  is the fan spinning?  is there any ice forming inside or outside of the unit?

If Icing Up - Shut the system down and have a professional come repair it.

If the Fan looks like its trying to turn but is not you may have a bad motor or capacitor which will need to be replaced.  Sometime you can kick start the fan and get some temporary relief.

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#2 Attic/Closet

- Check Power to furnace/air handler.  Look for a switch within arms reach of the furnace.  If turned off go ahead and turn on. See picture above.

- Drain Pan - Look for the metal pan under the unit.  Does the pan have standing water?  Removing the water and/or stoppage in the drain line may allow the system to start working again.

- Ice Forming?  If any ice is starting to build up anywhere on the unit or on the copper lines then go ahead and shut the system down.  Freezing on an AC system is typically caused by either poor airflow OR from low refrigerant.

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#3 Breakers

If your outdoor condensing unit is not running or making any noise you'll want to  go look at your breakers to see if any have tripped. Your main electrical breaker panel is typically in a garage, closet or on the exterior of the home. 

If a breaker has tripped then you'll want to turn the breaker back to the correct position.   Occasionally a breaker will look like it is in the right position but has still tripped and is not providing power so it is best to just turn completely off then on again.  If you do this you'll need to give the system some time to reset as most have a built in time delay.  

If your breaker has tripped it is possible this will occur again.  If so you may have a bad breaker OR the compressor is beginning to over amp which means you'll need to replace the compressor or the entire condenser etc.