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How to troubleshoot my air conditioner

Troubleshooting is a very valuable action to take to resolve common issues you may experience with your air conditioner. It will help you to identify and resolve problems in most instances without the help of a tradesperson or technician. 

Troubleshooting is easier than you might think and generally, any minor AC issues can be fixed quite easily and quickly. Manufacturers provide step-by-step troubleshooting instructions to help you diagnose potential problems and potentially fix them yourself, it may be as simple as resetting the temperature or how to check the filters.

We have put together nine common troubleshooting steps you can carry out

  • Inspect the Thermostat: Start by checking the thermostat settings. Ensure it is set to the "cool" mode and the temperature is set lower than the current room temperature. If the thermostat is battery-operated, replace the batteries to rule out a power issue.
  • Verify Power Supply: Ensure that your air conditioner is receiving power. Check the circuit breaker panel and verify that the breaker for the AC unit hasn't tripped. If it has, reset it. Additionally, inspect the power cord and make sure it's securely plugged into the outlet.
  • Examine the Air Filter: A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict airflow and hinder your air conditioner's performance. Locate the air filter (usually found near the air handler unit or in the return air grille) and inspect it. If it's dirty, clean or replace it according to the manufacturer's instructions. In general, filters should be cleaned or replaced every 1-3 months.
  • Clear Debris Around the Condenser Unit: The condenser unit, located outside your home, can become clogged with leaves, dirt, or other debris over time. Check the area around the condenser and remove any obstructions. Ensure there is at least 2-3 feet of clearance around the unit for proper airflow.
  • Check the Condensate Drain Line: If your air conditioner is not cooling effectively or producing water leaks, a clogged condensate drain line might be the culprit. Locate the drain line (usually a PVC pipe) and inspect it for blockages. If you find any, carefully clear the blockage or use a wet/dry vacuum to suction it out. Regular maintenance of the drain line can prevent future issues.
  • Inspect the Air Ducts: Leaky or disconnected air ducts can result in reduced cooling performance. Examine the ductwork visible in your home for any visible leaks or loose connections. If you find any, seal them with aluminium foil tape or call a professional HVAC technician for assistance.
  • Clean the Evaporator Coils: Over time, the evaporator coils in your air conditioner can accumulate dirt and debris, affecting their efficiency. If accessible, gently clean the coils using a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Alternatively, hire a professional for a thorough cleaning if the coils are difficult to reach.
  • Test the Capacitors and Fans: Faulty capacitors or malfunctioning fans can prevent your air conditioner from operating correctly. If you are comfortable working with electrical components, you can use a multimeter to test the capacitors for proper functioning. However, it's often best to leave this task to a professional technician who has the necessary expertise and tools.
  • Seek Professional Assistance: If you've followed all the troubleshooting steps and your air conditioner still isn't working correctly, it's time to call a licensed air conditioner technician. They possess the knowledge and experience to diagnose and repair complex issues safely. 
HVAC technician using screwdriver to repair & maintain split system air conditioning unit

Benefits of Troubleshooting

By troubleshooting and resolving any air conditioner issues, you can experience a sense of peace, knowing that you have proactively addressed a problem before it escalates into a more significant and costly issue. Additionally, maintaining your air conditioner in excellent condition will ensure that you can enjoy its optimal performance and benefits.

If you are unable to rectify any problems you have, call 1300 405 295 and speak to one of our technicians for advise.

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