When your AC stops working, your first inclination might be to panic, especially if it stops working in the height of the summer and you know that you are going to be sweltering in a couple of hours if you do not get it working again.
And while a broken AC system is a cause for concern, this is not the time to panic.
Here’s exactly what you should do if your AC stops working:
- Reset Breakers
- Check batteries in thermostat
- Clean the air filters
Step #1 Clean your air filter
There are some parts in any air conditioning unit that are designed to be replaced.
Its air filter is one of those parts. As one of the most integral parts of your entire system, it needs to be cleaned or replaced at least once a year.
Before you run out to buy a new one, pull out the old one and see if it just needs to be cleaned.
Your air filter prevents dust, pollution, and pollen from being cycled in your home.
Overtime, all of that dust, pollution, and pollen that it protects you front builds up on its surface and it becomes harder and harder for your system to push air through that filter.
Eventually, it might become so difficult that your system simply stops working.
You should be able to locate the filter in your system relatively easily.
It will usually be right in front of a vent or right behind the air intake. Depending on how your system is set up, you might have more than one filter that needs to be cleaned.
Just as a note, if your filter has a cardboard frame, this means that it is probably disposable and should just be replaced.
Take the filter out and move to an open space where you can clean it.
Use a wire or horsehair brush to remove anything caked on the surface.
Then, use your vacuum to get rid of any other loose dirt and dust.
Finally, spray it gently with water. Let it dry completely before putting it back in your system.
Step #2 Change the batteries in the thermostat
Your thermostat, not your air conditioner itself, might actually be the problem.
If it is programmable, it is possible that your thermostat has simply stopped communicating with your AC system and that is why it will not turn on.
Luckily, this is one of the quickest and easiest fixes for most AC problems.
First, locate your thermostat.
Gently remove the housing from its plate.
You might be able to pull it right off, or you might need to slide it up in order to be able to take it off all the way.
You should now be able to see the interior of the thermostat.
In some models, the batteries might already be visible, but in others, you might need to pull apart the housing a little bit more in order to be granted access to the batteries.
Remove the old batteries and slide new ones into their place.
Make sure that you are putting the batteries in with the right orientation, otherwise, your AC system still will not work.
Once you have secured the new batteries, slid the housing back onto the wall plate and reinsert or replace any pins or screws that you had to remove to get it off of the wall.
If you have a digital thermostat, it should tell you if its batteries are low.
If, however, the thermostat is not working at all or is not digital, it is still a good idea replace the batteries, just in case this solves your problem.
Step #3 reset the breakers
If your AC was working and suddenly stopped working, it may be because you have tripped a breaker.
Breakers are designed to prevent one circuit in your home or office from being overloaded, and because an air conditioner can put a lot of strain on your electricity, this is a very common cause of malfunctioning AC units.
Your first step is to find the breaker panel.
In many homes, it is in the garage or basement, in many businesses, it is in a supply cupboard.
Once you have found the panel, open it up and turn off every single breaker, one by one.
Once all of the breakers are off, reset the main breaker.
In some homes and offices, it might actually be outside by the meter.
Turn the switch off and on twice, leaving it in the on position, in order to reset it.
Then, turn each of the breakers in the panel back on, one at a time.
This should restore any power that might have been cut to your AC unit. If this was the issue, you should hear it start up again.
Often, doing one or all three of these things will reset your air conditioning unit and it will start working again.
Sometimes, you will only need to replace the batteries in the thermostat or clean the filter and you won’t have to worry about an inspection or repair.
However, if none of these steps have restored your air conditioning, it is time to call us. We specialize in AC repair, making it fast and easy for you to get your building cooled again.