Air conditioner repair can be costly when a professional is called to the residence. There are times when it is unavoidable, but fortunately, you can troubleshoot the HVAC system first—anyone can do DIY AC repair!
However, you have to be conversant with the options. Packaged and split units are the most common types of air conditioners. The latter has two main parts: the condensing unit and the evaporator coil, while packaged units come with condensers and evaporators in a single AC unit, hence the name. In either case, they may have a trivial issue, so there are a few tips that will save you a lot of money.
Check the Circuit Breaker
If the air conditioning system does not turn on, the first thing that one needs to consider is the circuit breaker. It is usually the case when you have several appliances and devices on the same breaker, so there may be a trip shutting power to the AC.
When ranking issues, this is the least serious as all it would mean is to reduce the appliances depending on the breaker and switch the unit back on. It would also save you the money and embarrassment of having to call a repair person to flip a switch.
Check the Thermostat
It is more complex than switching the air conditioning units back on but doable. Sometimes, if left uninspected for long periods, the thermostat may lose the original settings, so it needs to be reset. So first of all, make sure the thermostat has been set to the right temperature setting, usually three degrees lower than the ambient.
Turn off the power to the central air conditioner and remove the thermostat’s body by separating the body from the base. Replace the batteries if it has any, and make sure all of the wires are firmly attached to the respective terminals when putting them back. Replace the units cover and wait a few minutes before restarting the unit.
Change the Filter of the AC Unit
It is not a surprise as the air filters control the amount of air entering the house. If the air conditioning cannot reduce temperatures normally, it could be a sign of dirty filters being clogged and filthy.
The logic is blocking disrupts the airflow, potentially causing the AC system to ice up. It can be prevented through regular cleaning and replacement of the filters.
Think of it like a car’s air filter. If it is too dirty to clean, a replacement should be done. No specialized skills are needed to install a new filter, which is a Do-It-Yourself task. You need to purchase high-quality pieces, though, which will perform the right way and last for a long time.
Similarly, ensure they are the right size to provide cold air. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the air filters every 60 to 90 days. This is easy to do with the best through-the-wall air conditioners.
Check the Capacitor of the Air Conditioning Unit
The air conditioner’s capacitor is a cylinder that looks like a small battery. The capacitor’s function is to store and release energy to start the motor.
If there is an issue with the capacitor, the fan motor will overheat, causing the air conditioner to shut down. If you have a split unit, you can listen to the capacitor. Humming when the fan is not turning is a sign there might be a faulty capacity, though you can confirm the problem by pushing the fan blades with a stick.
If it spins even after pushing slightly, that is a bad capacitor. Your DIY air conditioning repair should end after confirming the capacitor needs replacement as they entail high voltages. Hire a professional technician to take over afterward.
Melt any Ice
Several air conditioning service unit issues can be traced to icing up. Ironically, if the unit has is icing up, it will not cool the right way. Melting the iced components should be a simple exercise by turning the entire system off and running the fan.
The heat energy generated should melt the ice more effectively than any manual exercise you could think of. Similarly, you could turn the unit off and let the unit thaw off.
Clean the Entire Air Conditioner
Sometimes the issue with the air conditioner unit may be dirt and debris clogging up the components. Instead of hiring a company for your air conditioning service units and paying hundreds of dollars, a thorough cleaning may save you the trouble. Even the quietest window air conditioners need regular maintenance. Begin by turning the unit off and cleaning the blades. Remove any debris you find inside and outside the air conditioner.
You also need to clean the condenser unit and exercise special care when cleaning the blades as they are delicate. The packaged units are tricky to clean as it means removing the unit from its fixtures on the wall. You may have to hire someone to clean such a unit because of the complexity of the parts. However, minimal cleaning is possible by removing the front panel and vacuuming the dust inside.
Check the Condenser Fan
Set the thermostat to give cool air if you have a split unit. The outdoor unit’s power should also be off to determine if the unit is getting a control signal.
Take control panels’ of condensing unit off and use a multi-meter to see if the contractor is working. A working contractor is an indication the condenser fan motor is not running . It may get a bit technical moving forward as you need to replace the motor. You can call a technician to assist with the process.