What’s Wrong With My Air Conditioner? How to Find Out

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There is nothing more disruptive to a summer home than a busted AC. Your air conditioner is a vital part of home comfort and sometimes home safety. If the AC system completely breaks down, your home may dangerously lack ventilation to keep the air inside clean and fresh. If your AC stops producing cold, your home may get uncomfortably to dangerously hot without temperature control.

That is why it’s so important to identify when there’s something wrong with your air conditioning quickly and arrange for repairs. If you have been wondering what’s up with your AC, we’re here today to help you troubleshoot and identify if there is a problem that needs to be repaired. 

Learn to Listen

The first step is to learn to listen to your AC. An air conditioner should hum steadily, switching off and on periodically over the day to regulate temperature.  If you hear anything unusual or disruptive sounding, it’s worth paying attention to.

Frequent clicking of the AC turning off and on is a sign the thermostat needs repair. Clacking, clanging, or banging is a sign of damage inside the air conditioner itself. 

Hold Your Hand Up to the Vent

When the AC should be running full-force and you can hear it blowing, hold your hand up to the vent. Feel the force of the air. If it feels very weak, you might have a fan blower problem. If it feels warm or only faintly cool when it should be cold, this could be a problem with the condenser coils. You might have a coolant leak, a mechanical problem, or just a bad dust buildup over the coils. 

Switch to Fan-Only

If you want to separate sounds and air pressure by the system, turn the AC off and switch the fan on. Now you can only hear and feel the effects of the blower fan. Listen to the sounds and feel the air from the vent. If the sounds or the air pressure has changed, then there’s a difference in your issues between the AC and the fan. 

Check the Air Filter

You should also definitely investigate your air filter. Your air filter is the one disposable part of the system. It fills, it gets clogged, it’s thrown out and replaced. When your air filter gets clogged, it can limit the airflow and hinder the effects of your AC. Not to mention running less filtered air through the system. Check the air filter and change it if the last filter is older than a three months. 

Watch Your Power Bill

Take a look at your power bill history for the last year, or several years. If the amount is increasing year-on-year, especially in the summer, then your AC may be decreasing in efficiency over time. A quick repair session may be all you need to reduce your monthly power bill. 

Peek Inside the AC Cabinet

If you are confident opening up your AC, just take a look. You don’t necessarily have to touch or fix anything, but look. If you see ice buildup like a freezer or a heavy layer of dust over the coils, this is a problem that will need to be solved. If you see or hear broken pieces, naturally these will need to be cleaned as well. 

Call an AC Repair Technician

Finally, if you’ve hunted down the problem or you’re still not sure, a professional repair technician can help. A technician knows how to listen and make conclusions from what you’ve observed. They can also open up the cabinet and find any broken pieces and clean the coils so your AC works effectively once again.

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