Are you having A/C troubles? You may be happy to know that
there are a few things that you can check on your own before calling an air
conditioning contractor. These 3 A/C issues are some of the most common things
that we see when we make house calls and are some of the easiest to take care
of. So next time your cooling systems quits, check the items on this list first. It could save you hundreds of dollars.
We've seen our share of embarrassed homeowners
when we visit a home and run into a thermostat being switched off. Most A/C
contractors will charge a diagnostic/service call fee, so checking this is an
easy first step to saving money. You'll want to make sure that your thermostat
is set to "cooling" or "cool." Many times, the thermostat
will have a switch for the fan. If the fan is switched to "on" but the A/C isn't
set to cooling, the fan will simply blow unconditioned air through the home. If
you've recently switched your thermostat from "heat" to
"cool," or the power has gone out, you may want to give it a few
minutes to kick on. Many systems have a 5 minute delay before beginning the
cooling mode after changes are made on the thermostat.
A problem at the breaker box is another extremely common issue that we
see. Sometimes, the breaker that supplies power to the A/C unit will trip and
disable power to the unit. It's helpful to find your breaker box and check the
see if your breaker has tripped and is in the "off" position. Many
times, a power surge or "gremlin" in the system can cause the breaker
to trip. Simply turn the breaker back on and check the operation of the system.
If you find that the breaker trips again, it's a good idea to call your A/C
contractor. This could be a sign of a short in the wiring or some other issue.
Clogged Drain Line
Last but not least, we'll address the drain line. A clogged drain line can be easily
fixed and more easily prevented. We've seen contractors charge anywhere between
$150-$295 (including diagnostic) to correct this issue. The drain line, or
condensate line, can get clogged over time with dirt, debris, algae, and mold.
As the drain line becomes clogged, water begins to back up into the unit. If
you have a safety switch installed, this will cause your indoor unit to
immediately shut off. If you don't have a safety switch installed, the
prognosis is much worse
. A backed up drain line can cause leaking inside the
home, leading to water damage and mold growth. There is a two-part fix to this issue.
First, you'll want to maintain the cleanliness of your drain line by putting
approximately 1 cup (8 ounces) of white vinegar through your drain line once a
month. This will help keep the drain line clean and free of debris. For more information on how to maintain your drain line, click HERE
. If your A/C
stops functioning and you suspect a drain line clog, simply grab your shop-vac
and head outside. You'll be looking for the PVC drain line next to your outdoor
unit. Simply hook up the hose to the line, ensuring a good seal, and turn on the
vacuum. Do verify that you have the suction end attached and not the end that
blows out air. This error could spell disaster. Let the vacuum run for 20-30
seconds to clear debris. Most drain line clogs can be cleared this way, though
some cases will require your A/C contractor's help.
That's it! Next time your A/C quits, check these 3 simple
things before calling your contractor. It could save you a lot of money and the
headache of being without air while you wait on your contractor. Of course, if
you've tried these tips and are still without air, we're here to help. Air Care
Wizard's A/C technicians are top-notch and "Mom-Approved," meaning
we're confident sending them into our mother's home - she's incredibly picky. For more information, tips, or service inquiries, call Air Care Wizard at (850)