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6 Things to Do When Your AC Isn’t Working Right

Hot air blowing from the vents. Strange noises when the AC kicks on. An energy bill that is unusually high. These are all signs that something is wrong with your air conditioner.

Most of the time, the problem is easy to fix. The thermostat may need a new battery. There may be a buildup on the condenser fins. Maybe the filters are old. These are basic problems that have simple solutions. Here are six steps to follow the next time you notice something’s off with the AC.

1. Check the Circuit Breaker

If the AC won’t come on, it may be because something tripped the circuit breaker. A tripped breaker will be in a middle position between “On” and “Off,” or possibly in the “Off” position. Make sure the breaker is off, and turn off all devices on the same circuit as the AC. Then switch the breaker back on. To avoid tripping it again, check to see if the circuit is overloaded, and if it is, remove some devices and plug them into other circuits that don’t use as much power.

2. Replace the Filters

Dirty air filters affect the flow of cold air and force the air conditioner to work harder. For this reason, air filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days. If it’s especially hot during the summer, it’s best to change the air filters every month.

3. Check the Thermostat

If the thermostat is not working, your AC won’t cool properly. First, check to make sure the thermostat is on the correct settings and temperature. Then determine if you need to change the battery. You may notice a flashing signal or dim light on the thermostat if the battery needs to be replaced.

4. Check the Vents

Be sure the vents aren’t closed or blocked off. Clean the vents to remove dirt buildup and, if necessary, rearrange the furniture for better airflow.

5. Clean Around the Condenser Unit

The compressor, condenser coils, fan and refrigerant lines are all located outside the house in the condenser unit. Dirt, debris and mineral buildup, among other things, can restrict airflow. Excessive buildup can damage the fins to the point where they need to be replaced.

Check the condenser unit for buildup. Then look for any fins that might have corroded. Clean around the unit, and wipe dirt off the condenser fins. After that, use a butter knife to gently straighten any condenser fins that have bent.

6. Call for Routine Maintenance

Often, the AC stops working effectively because it needs simple maintenance rather than repairs. So, if you’re having a problem with your air conditioner, schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician for maintenance. Basic AC checkups by a professional can resolve minor problems and alert you to any need for repairs.

If you’re experiencing a problem with your air conditioner that goes beyond what you can do yourself, call us at Hardy Heating in Wasilla, AK to schedule an AC repair.