Air Conditioner Not Working? What to Check Before Calling a Repair Company

August 28, 2013

With the summer heat still in full force in Fort Myers, Florida, we are getting a lot of calls for air conditioning repair (especially from homeowners who forgot their annual maintenance.)

However, some of these homeowners don’t actually need our help. They call us because the air conditioner doesn’t seem to be working, but it’s actually not a problem with the air conditioner itself.

So to save you some time and money, here’s a quick checklist you can run through before calling an air conditioning repair company.

Make sure your thermostat is set correctly
Before contacting an air conditioning repair company, make sure your thermostat is set correctly. Make note of the following:

  • Your thermostat is set to “cool”
  • The fan is set to “auto”
  • The temperature setting is lower than the current room temperature

It sounds too simple, but it happens all the time. Power surges and power outages can cause your thermostat to reset to factory defaults, which may make it seem like your air conditioner isn’t working.

You can make sure the problem isn’t with your thermostat, by lowering the temperature 3-5 degrees below the current room temperature and waiting about five minutes to see if the A/C comes on.

Go to the fuse box or circuit breaker
One of the most common reasons for an air conditioner to stop working suddenly is a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse in your home’s main electrical panel.

You will probably have at least two circuits for your air conditioner – one for the inside unit and one for the outside unit. Look for the circuits labeled:

  • AHU for the indoor unit (in your attic, crawlspace or closet)
  • AC or condenser for the outside unit

If you have a fuse box, check the fuses. If you have a circuit breaker, make sure the circuits are in the “on” position. There may be a delay before your air conditioner turns back on, so give it a few minutes.

Check your air filter
If your air filter is clogged, it can create a variety of problems that cause your air conditioner to stop working. In fact, your air conditioner can actually freeze in the middle of a hot Florida summer day because of a dirty filter.

This happens when the airflow to your air conditioner is blocked by something. The pressure drop created by the block in airflow causes the evaporator coils to drop to below-freezing temperatures. So when humid air passes over the coils, it freezes.

If your air filter is dirty and you suspect this was the problem, try the following procedure:

  1. Chase your air filters
  2. Turn your air conditioner off
  3. Let sit for a few hours before trying it again.

This should allow your air conditioner to defrost. You can speed up this process by turning the fan to “on” at your thermostat.

Note: If this works but then your air conditioner freezes again, you may also be low on refrigerant. You should call a professional air conditioning company to get more refrigerant.

If you’re still having problems
If you have gone through the checklist above and your air conditioner is still not working, contact an air conditioning company who can help you diagnose and repair the problem.

Advanced Air has been serving Fort Myers, Florida and the surrounding areas for over 20 years. If you need help with your air conditioning problem, schedule an appointment with us. If you have a question, you can also ask one of our experts.