The Common AC Problems You Can Encounter and How To Fix Them

The Common AC Problems You Can Encounter and How To Fix Them

Air conditioning is nothing short of a miracle. Thanks to a lovely gentleman named Willis Haviland Carrier, as of 1902, we have had access to the modern air conditioning machine. Severe heat can make it hard to sleep, eat, exercise, work, or do anything other than lay on the floor and maximize your surface area. Air conditioning is a wonderful solution to this problem, that is when it’s working.

Several common problems can affect air conditioning units and many of them have quick and easy fixes. Before calling your friendly neighborhood repair-person, take a look at the list below to see if there’s something simple you can do to get your air conditioner working right away.

Of course, as with all home repair projects, if you are uncomfortable tackling the problem yourself there is nothing wrong with phoning a friend, a relative, or a professional. Only do what you’re comfortable and confident doing.

Before ripping apart your air conditioning unit with that shiny new tool you’ve been dying to play with, make sure that the air conditioning unit is where the problem lies. 

Clean The Unit Even If It Doesn’t Smell 

Over time dirt and particles can build up within an air conditioner making it difficult for the machine to run smoothly. Experts at emphasize that cleaning your unit (especially the coils) should be done once a year regardless of how your AC smells. This will help improve the function of the machine and therefore, save you money on utilities.

If The Air Coming Out of the Unit Smells…

… some form of cleaning is going to be required. Because water is an integral part of the air conditioning system, there is a chance for mold or mildew to grow. Immediately turn off the unit as mold being released into the air is a serious health hazard. When you clean, wear a mask to protect your lungs from spores and use a safe antibacterial cleaner like vinegar.

The Common AC Problems You Can Encounter and How To Fix Them

Potential Power Issues

Check that other electronics in the room are working. If they are not, this is likely an electrical issue. Fuses and blown circuits tend to be the most common source of this type of problem, as well as power outages from storms. If the power is out, your air conditioning won’t be working… hopefully you knew that already.

Please note: If the fuse has been blown, your air conditioning unit may be responsible. Make sure the unit you have doesn’t require more voltage than the outlet you’re using can safely offer. You can look at the manual or do a quick internet search of the model you have to see what the unit requires as far as electricity goes. If the unit shouldn’t be blowing the fuse, but is, try connecting it with an extension cord to an outlet on a different circuit. Sometimes you’ve just given a circuit too much to handle (a microwave and an air conditioner and a hairdryer would test any normal housing circuit).

Additional fool-proof checks may include:

  • Check that the outlet the air conditioning unit is plugged into is working. This is done easily enough. Just plug something else into the outlet and see if it works. If it does not, try plugging your unit into another outlet.
  • Make sure the unit is plugged in.
  • Make sure you’ve got the air conditioning unit set to cool. Not heat, not fan, but cool.
  • Change up the temperature on the thermostat by five to ten degrees. Like printers, air conditioning units are notoriously finicky. Sometimes your unit just doesn’t like a certain temperature. You think we’re kidding. We’re not.
  • Try turning it off and on again. Really, by now we should all be doing this every time anything mechanical is giving us flack, but for some reason, we don’t until someone else tells us to.

Change Your Machine’s Filter 

This will look different depending on which machine you have, but a quick look at the user’s manual or an online search for your make and model will let you know what filters are needed and how to change them. There will also be guidelines for how often a filter needs to be changed. Pay attention to these as the quality of air in your home is of crucial importance for the health of you and your loved ones.

What If Nothing Works?

If all of the above steps have been taken and still your air conditioner is not functioning properly it may be time to call in a professional. If it is extremely hot and your appointment is late, be sure to take precautions to keep yourself cool as you wait. If you or someone else is experiencing a brutal headache, light-headedness, wooziness, flushed red skin, nausea, confusion, or fainting, begin the first aid treatment for heatstroke immediately. 

These are all plausible complications, so make sure you service your AC regularly in order to avoid all worst-case scenarios. Always remember that your AC can also affect your health, not only your room temperature, which is the main reason to take care of it regularly.