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Johansen & Anderson Inc Blog

Our Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Checklist


A broken-down air conditioner is an unpleasant, sweaty hassle. But with summer approaching, you know it’s something you might end up dealing with. Of course, it would be terrible to wait for a technician and pay for a repair if the problem was something you could easily fix yourself. But you’re not an HVAC expert. How would you know what to do?

It’s important to leave actual repairs to the professionals. Opening up an air conditioner and tinkering around is unsafe for you and for the air conditioner, and it will void your warranty. But there are some simple things you can definitely sort out yourself if you know what to look for. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to troubleshoot a broken-down air conditioner before you decide repairs are necessary.

Step 1: Check the Electrical Panel

If your air conditioner simply isn’t turning on at all, it could be that it’s just not receiving power. That circuit could have been tripped, especially if you used another appliance on the same circuit. Simply vacuuming using a less-than-ideal outlet could be the cause of your problem. Take a look at your electrical panel. If any switches have flipped, put them back into position.

If this works, and the air conditioner stays on this time, congratulations! No repairs are necessary. But if that same circuit keeps tripping, chances are, there’s an electrical problem with your AC unit that’s causing it to draw more power than it should. That will require professional attention.

Step 2: Check the Thermostat

It might be that absolutely nothing is wrong with your air conditioner. It might just be waiting for a signal from your thermostat that it isn’t receiving. It’s extremely common for thermostat settings to be accidentally changed. Could a switch have been bumped from “cool” to “off,” or to “heat?” Could a vacation setting have been activated, allowing your home to coast to a much higher temp than your usual setting?

Another thermostat-related possibility is dying or dead batteries. This can lead to intermittent signals or no signals at all. If your thermostat uses batteries, try replacing them. It could save you from needing to make a repair appointment.

Step 3: Check the Air Filter

If your AC is running but blowing very little air or lukewarm air out the vents, or starting and stopping too frequently, the air filter could be the culprit. Pull it out and either wash and dry it or replace it with a new one. This should be done every month during the summer. If this solves your problem, hooray!

If you’ve tried these three things and are still not able to get your air conditioner running properly, something more complex is wrong and it is time for professional AC repair in Joliet, IL. Whatever the issue, we’re ready to get your system back into tip-top shape so you can be cool and comfortable for the rest of the summer.

Call J&A today, Sleep-tight tonight!

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