Occasionally the air conditioning unit in a house or residential building may stop working or stop working as effectively as it has in the past. Often this lack of cooling ability by the system can be easily corrected with a bit of air conditioning troubleshooting that is simple and easy. If, after trying these air conditioning troubleshooting tips the problem is not corrected, an air conditioning technician should be called to repair the unit.
Always make sure the air conditioner is unplugged or disconnected from any electrical power source before attempting any cleaning or repair work. Window mounted air conditioning troubleshooting tips include the following:
• If the unit stops working completely, check at the electrical cord has not been damaged and that the wall plug in is still “hot”. Plug in any other electrical device the outlet to check this. If the second electrical device does not work, check that the breaker has not been shut off. If the wire to the unit has been damaged, replace the wire or call an electrician. This is one of the most common air conditioning troubleshooting problems and is very easy to correct. A dedicated circuit may be required if the breaker is constantly being tripped.
• Poor air circulation or output is likely due to a dirty filter. Remove the front of the unit as per the manufacturers instructions and remove the filter. If it is brown and dusty looking, wash according to directions or rinse with warm, soapy water until the filter is clean. Avoid any type of chemicals and do not push or damage the filter. Use a fin cleaner or a very soft brush to clean the aluminum fins that act as the cooling mechanism. Don’t use water as this can actually make the dirt turn to mud and cause further damage.
• Check to make sure the blower fan is working. If the air conditioning unit is not making any sound or is making an unusual noise it is likely the fan or the fan motor. You will need to call a repair person for this.
• If the unit has plastic dials on the front to set the temperature and turn the unit on and off check to make sure that the knobs are properly seated on the hub, resulting in an actual on or off connection being made. In older unit the dial and the hub can become worn, allowing the dial to rotate on the hub without changing the hub position. If the knob or dial turns very easily and does not give resistance this is likely the problem. Position the knob or dial and hub in the off position and use an epoxy glue to fix the dial and hub together. Allow to dry using the manufacturers suggestions before turning.
Other problems can include the thermostat within the unit becoming damaged or an electrical short or malfunction within the unit itself. A repair person will often ask if you have tried these basic air conditioning troubleshooting tips before asking you to bring the unit in for repair.