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How to Troubleshoot an AC That Won’t Work

ac-with-toolsA failed air conditioning system can be serious misery during the heat and humidity of a Florida summer. Because of the high level of stress that cooling systems undergo in this climate, an air conditioner may abruptly stop working during a heat wave.

If you turn on your AC system one hot day and find that the air flowing from the vents isn’t cooled, or that the AC won’t come on at all, you may have a repair emergency on your hands …

… or you may have a simple problem you can correct on your own.

Troubleshooting the Small Stuff

As professionals who’ve provided air conditioning services in Land O’ Lakes, FL and throughout the Tampa Bay Area for decades, we have often come to homeowners’ assistance when their air conditioner won’t work—only to find a basic misunderstanding behind the problem. Although we’re always eager and ready to help you with cooling problems, we don’t want you to call for assistance needlessly. Below are some steps to troubleshoot your AC when it isn’t working. These steps will help eliminate a few basic problems.

  • Check the thermostat: This sounds obvious, but the trouble may stem from a mistake in setting the thermostat. Make sure the thermostat is set to “cool,” rather than “fan only,” and look to see if the program settings are where you want them to be.
  • See if a circuit breaker has tripped: Over-strained motors in the AC may cause the circuit for the unit to trip its breaker. Open the electrical panel to find out if this is the case. Reset the tripped breaker and try the AC again. If the system turns on, but soon trips the breaker once more, call for repairs—there’s probably an electrical fault with the air conditioner or the electrical panel.
  • Change a clogged air filter: The air filter on the HVAC cabinet can be the source of many problems if it’s left in place for months at a time and becomes clogged. A clogged filter can be a source of a tripped breaker and also lead to a drop in the air conditioner’s cooling power. Put in a clean filter and continue to change the filter regularly every one to three months after that.
  • Clear the outside cabinet: The outside cabinet of the air conditioner, which is known as the condenser, must be clear of obstructions on all sides for about a foot. Branches and bushes may have grown to block it so it can’t properly exhaust heat to the outdoors, and this will cause its cooling capacity to drop.

Now Call for the HVAC Pros

You’ve tried the steps above, but you haven’t located what’s wrong. Now is the time to call our technicians to investigate the trouble, find the malfunction, and have the system fixed.

You can always depend on the Balanced Air team. We’re small enough to know your name, but large enough to respond quickly and professionally to any air conditioning needs you may have.

Repair your AC with the best in town! Balanced Air, Inc. has served the Tampa Bay Area since 1988.

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