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Troubleshooting Your AC System: 5 Things to Check

We have five common problems and some easy ways of potentially resolving them before you call a technician.

Troubleshooting your AC system isn’t as daunting as you think. Make sure to check out our list of five common air conditioning system problems, and learn how you can potentially fix them before making that service call.

Common Problem #1 – The system won’t turn on.

If you cannot get your air conditioning system to turn on, check out these possible solutions:

  • Ensure that your thermostat is in the “Cool” position and that it’s set below the current room temperature.
  • Check your circuit breaker. If a circuit breaker has popped or a fuse is blown, try resetting the circuit breaker.
  • Check that all switches in and around the air conditioner are set to the “on” position.

Common Problem #2 – Poor air flow.

Usually poor air flow is a result of dirty filters or blocked ductwork. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Confirm that the air filter is clean. If it’s dirty, clean or replace the filter.
  • Inspect ductwork wherever you can around the home to make sure it’s not disconnected or blocked.
  • Check register dampers on your vents in rooms and make sure they are set to an open position.


Common Problem #3 – The AC doesn’t seem to be lowering the humidity in your home.

Excessive humidity could be caused by water leaks or lack of condensate drainage from your evaporator. Check the following:

  • Ensure all windows are closed so humid air does not get into the home.
  • Check to see if your condensate drainage is working properly.
  • Add a supplemental portable dehumidifier.

Common Problem #4 – Your air conditioner is not cooling the house

There could be a variety of reasons of why the house is not cool. Here are the most common reasons and solutions:

  • Check the thermostat setting to make sure it’s not set too high.
  • Clean your evaporator, condenser and filters.
  • Is your unit big enough? You may need to replace it with a larger unit. Click here to check
  • Do you have enough refrigerant in the system? Could there be a possible leak?

Common Problem #5 – The condenser repeatedly turns on and off

Do you constantly hear it turning on and off? There could be a few reasons why and it’s worth taking the time to do some homework and quick troubleshooting:

  • Clean the condenser coil and fans.
  • Remove debris that may be blocking the condenser (weeds, grass and vines).
  • Clean the evaporator.

The best possible solution to all of the above problems is to get a system tune-up every year. Learn more about how an AC tune-up can help you by checking here.

The next time your AC system doesn’t seem up to be doing everything you need it to, do some quick troubleshooting yourself and check out the above solutions first. And, if all else fails, please call a reputable service technician to check out your system.

Source: How Stuff Works, Home Repair About.com