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Air conditioner troubleshooting: a cheat sheet

At some point in time, you'll need to troubleshoot your air conditioner. Read these maintenance tips. If your problem is greater, we can pair you with AC contractors.

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Stumped on air conditioner troubleshooting? Connect with a contractor. Photo by ores2k on Flickr.Have you ever called a repairman only to find that the solution to your problem was as simple as hitting a reset button or turning an appliance off and back on again? If you have problems with your AC, a little air conditioner trouble shooting knowledge can have your unit running quickly.

Many problems that arise with your air conditioner are simple issues that can be solved by using some basic air conditioner maintenance tips. Keeping your unit's condenser coil and fins clean can prevent your condenser unit from turning off and on when in use and can keep your unit cooling properly.

Air conditioner troubleshooting only getting you so far? Connect with contractors for free installation quotes!

When you clean evaporator coil components, your AC will cool your home efficiently.

Thermostat maintenance for touchscreen units can be as simple as checking the batteries in the unit.

Whether you are cleaning the evaporator or the condenser, you want to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. Cleaning the evaporator will require the following tools:

    • Screwdriver.
    • Stiff brush.
    • Bleach.
    • Wire.

Cleaning the evaporator is as easy as scrubbing the bottom and removing any blockage that is preventing moisture from draining into the drain line.

Cleaning the condenser requires more specialized tools, such as a fin comb and coil cleaner. If you are at all uncomfortable with cleaning these parts of your AC or performing drain port maintenance on your own, don't hesitate to call an HVAC specialist to help with any necessary air conditioner trouble shooting.

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Some air conditioner troubleshooting problems are much easier to solve than cleaning the coils on your unit. If you notice a rattling sound coming from your unit, you may want to check the air conditioner to make sure that none of the screws holding your AC down are loose. If you have any loose screws, tightening them might just be the answer to your problem.

Whistling sounds may indicate a leak in your ductwork, which you may be able to seal on your own. Or you may want to get an HVAC estimate from a contractor if the project seems too large for you to tackle alone. 

If you suspect that you have a serious problem or that you have a broken air conditioner, contact a cooling expert. Your contractor can help you determine if your problem is covered by your AC warranty or if you need a new AC unit.

You may find that you need to replace air conditioner components in order to maintain your indoor air quality and keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If this is the case, a contractor can save you a lot of time and money by performing a professional installation and doing routine maintenance on your existing ductwork.

Every homeowner should know a little bit of air conditioner troubleshooting. But if you find that you have a big problem with your air conditioner, contact an HVAC contractor.

Get your 4 free cooling estimates!

Photo credit: ores2k via Compfight CC.