After finding all the fans and turning them on, there are a few fixes for your system that you can try and perform yourself before calling in a professional. The good news is that they’re all quick and easy, so if one of or more of them works, you’ll be back on your way to cool bliss in no time.
Change Your Filter
The filter on your HVAC system works hard for you. It captures a lot of dust, allergens, and hair that’s not only a nuisance, but can actually be harmful to your health. That said, your filter does have a maximum amount of dust it can hold before it greatly inhibits the flow of air through its walls.
Inhibit that air too much, and your entire system could shut down, or cause your compressor to freeze up. If you’re not feeling the cool, shut the system down, replace the filter, allow the compressor to rest, and then turn everything back on to see if it’s working properly.
Clean Your Compressor
Your AC compressor sits outside, exposed to all the elements and outdoor contaminants 24/7/365. No matter what type of AC system you use in your house, a dirty compressor is a quick way to experience a system shutdown.
Dirt, leaves, sticks, and other debris can get caught in the compressor, causing the components to overheat or rub together. You can do this cleaning yourself, but make sure you find a tutorial for your specific compressor so you don’t damage any of its components. Most importantly, make sure you cut the power to the compressor before you do anything else.
Inspect Your Thermostat
An HVAC system has many parts that work together to keep you comfortable. Sometimes, if your AC isn’t working, it doesn’t have anything to do with the big, expensive mechanical components, but with the simple thermostat you use to keep your home at the right temperature. Many thermostats use batteries rather than being hard-wired, and if these batteries die, so does your system. Make sure the thermostat is operating correctly, and that your settings are all as you would expect them to be.
Break the Ice
If your compressor has frozen, whether because of a dirty filter, or some other cause, your system won’t keep you cool until the compressor has a chance to thaw. Make sure you’ve addressed the cause of the freeze first, then you can either thaw it by running the system on the “fan only” setting, or just let the hot sun work its magic if it’s during daylight hours.
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Sometimes, the compressor can freeze up simply because it’s being pushed too hard because it’s too hot outside. If that’s the case, try turning your thermostat back a few degrees. It may not be as comfortable, but it’s still much more comfortable than having no AC at all.
Know When to Call
As much as you can do to repair your AC on your own, it’s important to know when it’s time to call in professional help. If the fixes listed above don’t solve your problem, it’s likely you’ve got a bigger issue that will need to be addressed by someone who knows what they’re doing.
You can quickly do a lot of unnecessary damage to your AC if you try to perform any major repairs yourself, so save yourself the time and trouble, and get the pros on the job as soon as possible.