How can you tell if your air conditioner is broken?

 How can you tell if your air conditioner is broken?

If the cool air has stopped flowing, the first thing you should do is check your thermostat.

Here are the steps you should take:

  • If your thermostat display is blank, change the batteries.
  • If the display is still blank, remove the thermostat from the wall and check the wires to make sure it’s getting power. Use a multimeter to check the voltage.
  • If you’re not getting voltage, check your fuse box to see if any fuses have been blown or tripped. If the fuses look good, locate the switch connected to your central A/C and switch it on and off to reset the connection.
  • If it’s getting power, but the screen is still blank, go outside and check the condenser to see if a fuse has been tripped.
  • If your thermostat still isn’t working, it may be time to replace it. Check the warranty to see if it’s expired.

If your thermostat is working, but the air conditioner won’t turn on, you should also:

  • Turn on the fan to see if the blower is getting power.
  • Change your air filter if it’s more than one month old. The buildup of dirt and debris could be preventing air flow.
  • Check the condensation drain.

 When should you replace your air conditioner?

Replacing your air conditioner is an investment.

Here are some things to consider:

  • The age of your air conditioner. The life of an air conditioner is somewhere between 5 and 10 years. So, if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it may be time for a replacement.
  • Rising energy bills. As air conditioners get older, they become less energy efficient. To see if your air conditioner is losing efficiency, compare your utility bills over the past few summers. If your costs are rising, it could be a sign that your air conditioner is wearing out.
  • Leaking refrigerant.Not only is refrigerant expensive, but refrigerant leaks will cause the compressor to eventually go out. The type of refrigerant that your air conditioner needs may also cause you problems down the road.

 Why is my air conditioner freezing up?

Nearly all air conditioner freeze ups are caused by either a lack of refrigerant, or a lack of air flow to the evaporator coils. If your air conditioner is freezing up, the first thing you should do is turn it off. If you continue to run it, the compressor could be damaged.

Check the following items:

  • Thermostat temperature setting. If your thermostat is set below 18 degrees it could be causing your air conditioner to freeze up — and it’s actually not cooling your home any faster.
  • Refrigerant level. If your refrigerant level is low, this could signal a larger issue and we’d recommend calling a professional to have a look.
  • Air filter.A clogged, dirty air filter could be causing the issue. As mentioned above, change the filter if it’s been more than a month since the last change.
  • Make sure all vents are open to ensure air flow to the evaporator coil.
  • Evaporator coils.If the evaporator coils are blocked by dirt and debris, this could be cause of the problem.
  • Your fan is what blows cool air through the ductwork in your home — and also helps circulate air back to your evaporator coil.

Why is your conditioner leaking condensation? Should you be worried?

One function of air conditioners is to extract humidity from the air, so a little bit of condensation is natural. However, leaks usually indicate that there’s a problem with the way the condensate is draining.

The following things could be causing this issue:

  • A clogged condensate line.
  • A rusty condensate pan.
  • A dirty or frozen evaporator coil.
  • A low refrigerant level.
  • Dirty air filter.
  • Installation issues.

How do you change your air filter?

As mentioned above, you should regularly change your air filter to ensure the air conditioner is running efficiently — and not contributing to other maintenance problems.

To change your filter, follow these steps:

  • Choose the right size.Remove your old filter and measure it, or read your user’s manual.
  • Choose a MERV. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value” and ranges from 1-20. The higher the MERV, the more effective the air filter.
  • Choose the type of filter.You can choose from fiberglass, washable, pleaded or electronic.
  • Install it.Most air filters are extremely easy to install. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

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