When the summer sun beats down, a functioning air conditioner (AC) is essential for maintaining a cool and comfortable home. But like any appliance, AC units can experience problems.. Remember, attempting repairs beyond your skillset could worsen the problem and lead to costlier repairs down the road.

The AC Isn’t Turning On: Power Up or Power Down?

This guide equips you with basic troubleshooting tips for common AC issues, helping you determine if a DIY fix is possible or if it’s time to call a qualified hvac equipment┬árepair technician.

  • Check the Thermostat:Ensure the thermostat is set to “cool” and the desired temperature is lower than the current room temperature. Verify the thermostat has power and the batteries haven’t died (if applicable).
  • Inspect the Circuit Breaker:Locate the circuit breaker controlling your AC unit. If tripped, reset it by flipping the switch to the “on” position. If it trips again, avoid resetting it and call an ac repair┬átechnician as this could indicate a wiring issue.
  • Inspect the Disconnect Switch:Most outdoor AC units have a disconnect switch near the unit itself. Ensure it’s turned to the “on” position.

The AC Isn’t Cooling Effectively

  • Clogged Air Filter:A dirty air filter restricts airflow, reducing cooling efficiency. Replace the air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, typically monthly or every other month.
  • Blocked Condenser Unit:Check the outdoor condenser unit for debris like leaves, twigs, or grass clippings. Clear any obstructions to ensure proper airflow.
  • Low Refrigerant Levels:Low refrigerant can significantly impact cooling performance. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, don’t attempt repairs yourself. Call a qualified technician to diagnose and fix the leak and recharge the refrigerant.

Hot and Cold Spots Throughout the House?

  • Dirty Ducts:Over time, dust and debris accumulate within the ductwork, hindering airflow to certain rooms. Consider professional duct cleaning every few years to improve air circulation.
  • Closed Vents:Ensure all vents in your home are open and unobstructed by furniture or rugs.
  • Blocked Registers:Check if the registers (vents with adjustable slats) in each room are open and not blocked by furniture or curtains.

Strange Noises and Smells

  • Loud Grinding or Clanging:These noises could indicate loose parts or internal component failure. Turn off the AC and call a technician for professional diagnosis and repair.
  • Burning Odor:This can indicate overheating electrical components or a failing blower motor. Shut off the AC immediately and call a technician to avoid further damage.
  • Musty Smell:This could signal mold growth within the ductwork. Turn off the AC and consult a qualified technician for inspection and potential cleaning or remediation.

When to Call a Professional

While some troubleshooting steps can be tackled yourself, some situations require professional intervention:

  • Electrical Issues:If you suspect any electrical problems with your AC unit, avoid tampering and call a qualified electrician.
  • Complex Repairs:For repairs involving refrigerant leaks, loose internal components, or complex electrical issues, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
  • Safety Concerns:If any troubleshooting steps involve accessing high voltage components or climbing on ladders, prioritize safety and call a technician.


By familiarizing yourself with common AC problems and basic troubleshooting steps, you can gain some control over your home comfort. Remember, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call a qualified HVAC technician. They can diagnose the issue accurately, recommend the necessary repairs, and ensure your AC keeps you cool and comfortable all summer long.