Diagnosing Common AC Problems

What do you do if your AC unit starts blowing warm air? Or if it barely blows any air at all? Your first instinct might be to call in the professionals for AC repair, but if you take some time to troubleshoot your system you can sometimes save yourself some money, and at the very least, you can save yourself some time.

It Could Be Ice

Sometimes your evaporator coils can get too cold, and when they do, they will freeze the water vapor present in the air in your home. This frozen vapor will then accumulate on your AC coils. As more and more ice builds up on your coils, your air flow gets more and more restricted until no air can get through your coils at all. Thus, one of the first things you should check when your AC system stops producing air is your evaporator unit. If your coils are iced over, turn off your system, put a bucket and towels under your AC unit and let it thaw. You can speed up the process with a hair dryer, but you will want to avoid chiseling at your coils because you can puncture them and cause worse problems. Once your coils are free of ice, check your filter to make sure that it is not clogged as this is one common cause of iced over coils. 

It Could Be a Capacitor

To help your AC system run more efficiently, designers will use a motor that can spin your fan once it gets started. The problem with this approach is that your motor will have a hard time getting started initially. Thus, designers will use a capacitor to store energy and give your motor the kickstart it needs to get going initially. If you do have a problem with a capacitor, you can get your fan started by inserting a long screwdriver into your unit and spinning your fan. Starting your fan in this way will help you to get some benefit from your AC unit until someone can get out to fix it, but you will still want to call someone to make repairs and let them know that it is for sure that you have a blown capacitor so that they can bring the right part to make a quick repair. 

Some AC repairs might require specialized training and knowledge, but that does not mean that this is the case for all repairs. Take the time to inspect your system on your own before you call an AC repairperson (such as Atlantic Heating and Cooling).