Should you call a technician right away if your HVAC system is struggling to keep your home cool or it has stopped working altogether? Maybe. However, there are a few things you can check yourself before you make that phone call. Here’s our list of the most common things you should look into to see if you may be able to prevent that service call.
- Look at the Thermostat – First, check to make sure the thermostat is set on air conditioning and that the temperature is set lower than the ambient temperature of the home. Also, make sure the fan isn’t set to the “off” position. If the screen is blank or there are any error symbols showing, there may be a problem with the batteries and you can try replacing them. Another issue could be that you have a programmable thermostat. If the program is not set up properly, the thermostat could be shutting your AC off at inopportune times and causing your home to heat up.
- Check the Breaker – Checking the breaker switches for the AC and/or heating equipment to make they are turned “On” and that there is electricity going to the system. If workers have been in the home, the breaker(s) may have been turned off and never turned back on. If the breaker trips to “Off” on a regular basis, there may be a problem with your electrical system or the AC equipment you may need professional assistance.
- Check for Switches – With most systems, there is a switch that looks just like a light switch near the indoor equipment. It is used to turn the unit on or off in order to disconnect power to the unit for servicing. This “disconnect” switch is often confused with a closet or attic light switch, and gets turned off mistakenly by a homeowner or service provider. If this disconnect switch is inadvertently turned off — thinking it was the attic light switch — you may think your system is not working, when it has really just been inadvertently turned off. It can often be just as simple as that.
- Change the Filter – You could be starving your system of airflow with a clogged filter. If the filter hasn’t been changed recently, it could be causing you some serious problems. If a filter is loaded with dirt and dust, the air required by your central AC and heating system will not be able to flow properly and the equipment may shut itself off. Change your filter now, and also consider vacuuming out your returns to keep things from getting clogged up so quickly in the future.
- Airflow is a big deal with AC systems. Set your phone to remind you or add it to your calendar. Read more about the importance of clean air filters.
- Turn it Off – It may seem crazy, but turning off the system for a few moments and letting it rest may make a difference. Let it rest and turn it back on and see what happens. If things are still working less-than-perfectly, then it may be time to call a professional.