It’s hot: some AC diagnostics and fixes you can do
I’m not going to claim to be an air conditioner expert, nor is Pocketables about home air conditioning, however one of my five jobs includes handling and coordinating the maintenance and repair of seven AC units, among many many other things.
It’s going to be absurdly hot this week in the US, so here. Hope this helps.
Here’s what I’ve learned since 2001 about air conditioners that you can attempt in the case you want to be cool now and not wait for sixteen days until your AC tech can show up.
Should be noted – turn off the breakers, if you break it or yourself that’s on you.
Air blowing weakly, outside fan spinning, cool air not happening
Check the coils outside – are they a block of ice? If yes then the unit has counterintuitively frozen up. This happens when either your inside filter is filthy, your outside coils are filthy (or have a random plastic bag stuck on them,) or your freon is low.
Your first thing to do here is turn the AC off – you’ve got a 100 pound block of ice outside that has to melt in order to let air through the unit again. In the temps we’re going to see that’s about a six hour melt.
Check the inside filter, if it’s filthy replace it. While you can technically clean your exterior coils I’m not going to advise you on how to do this as you could slightly kill yourself. If neither of these work you’ll probably need someone licensed to check the freon levels.
Unit off, thermostat has no display
I’ve now seen three digital thermostats in that were not powered by the AC systems, but instead by AA or AAA batteries.
While proper wiring would be supplying power to the thermostat negating the need of batteries, batteries tend to die about a year and a half after your honest tech came and performed a miracle and fled.
There’s a breaker in your house, and usually a breaker at the compressor. Turn it off and on again.
You have no air conditioner
Check to see if there’s actually an air conditioner still attached to your house. If not, someone may have wandered off with it.
Thermostats tend to go bad. If you’ve got a Honeywell thermostat chances are good you can run to Lowes or Home Depot and get the same stat.
That said, depending on what your air conditioner setup is this may or may not work.
Nest thermostat keeps shutting cooling off
A. You’ve got an ex who has your Nest thermostat added to their smartphone. Disconnect the Nest from WiFi until you can get that sorted out… Stacy.
B. check your schedules
Outside compressor comes on but fan won’t spin, spins slowly
a. Bad fan motor – replace fan and motor. Not terribly hard but you’ll find this out at 7pm on Saturday so HA HA. Seriously, it’s four screws and three wires.
b. Bad single or dual pole contactor – the part is $9-24 depending on what you get. It’s the most common element to go out. It’s what pulls down and completes the circuit to engage the fan and compressor. Cheap, easy to replace. Two screws and five to nine wires. Honestly forget. Easy to reach.
c. Bad control board – skip trying to diagnose this one.
d. Demons. Sometimes they pop up and want you to get a feel for the firey depths. In this case you can call anyone who claims to be an exorcist as AC demons aren’t particularly strict on religious qualifications.
Any of that work for you? Donate button’s been here since 2014. Buy my baby some diapers. Didn’t work? You never heard of me. I was never here.