Home Improvement

AC Troubleshooting: How to Find and Fix Your HVAC Problem

Mature man examining an outflow air vent grid and duct to see if it needs cleaning. One guy looking into a home air duct to see how clean and healthy it is.

Few things have transformed American living over the past couple of decades like air conditioning has. Despite being found in a small minority of homes in the 90s, today a full 91% of all households in America have air conditioning. While this has been a boon for our home comfort and quality of life, it can also be another addition to your home maintenance list.

You might not notice your AC most of the time until it breaks. If you’re stuck in the heat and cannot get your AC unit to work, do not panic. Simply try these AC troubleshooting tips to fix the problem quickly.

1. Check the Air Filters

Before arranging for an AC replacement, the first thing you should do is check the air filters, as this is very often the cause of the malfunction. Dirty air filters can reduce airflow and cause ice to build up inside the unit. The dirt can also lead to the leakage of water from your AC and a faster breakdown of the entire HVAC system. Simply check your air filters and, if they are clearly dirty, replace them with new ones. 

2. Check Your Settings

This one might seem obvious, but we’re not judging. Oftentimes, the problem is not with the air conditioner at all, but rather the thermostat is just in the wrong setting. Countless people call AC repair before checking if they have switched their thermostat from HEAT to COOL. It is too easy to forget to do this when seasons are changing, so check your thermostat now before you do anything else. 

3. Check the Vents

We’re not saying that you need to get down and dirty and start crawling around your vents like some kind of spy. However, you should check all of the entry points for your vents in and around your home to see if there is some sort of obstruction. Blocked vents will quickly cause an AC unit to fail. However, 90% of the time all you need to do is remove the blockage to get it to work again. Check your vent grilles for debris, dust, furniture, drapes, and the like. This could be the problem. 

4. Check the Outdoor Unit

Don’t forget to check your outdoor unit before calling for a new AC installation. It is easy to forget that your HVAC even has an outdoor component, but it most likely does. Head to your yard and see if the outdoor unit is blocked up. Oftentimes, AC units fail when the outdoor unit gets gunked up with foliage and grime. A soft hose down with your standard garden hose should do the trick.

5. When AC Troubleshooting Fails, Call a Professional Quickly

If these non-obtrusive tips do not work, it is highly recommended that you call a professional air conditioning repair service in your area. A local professional will be able to quickly identify the problem and resolve it before it gets worse. The quicker you call someone, the cheaper it will be to resolve the issue. Do not risk trying to fix the AC yourself, as this can be dangerous and can make the problem worse and more expensive to fix.

Make Your House a Home in 2022

Understanding the essentials of AC troubleshooting can help you ensure that your home is a place of comfort and relaxation in 2022. For more expert tips on how to make your house a home, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our dedicated Home Improvement pages to learn more.