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Tips and Views from AeroDS

Homeowners A/C Checks Before Calling the Techs

March 18, 2016

It’s three o’ clock in the afternoon, and for some reason it feels like the house is warming up a little more than usual.  You walk over to your thermostat to see if the temperature is actually rising, or if you’re feeling hot.  Realizing that it is the temperature rising, you know something is not right with your air conditioning unit, which means, dollar signs start popping up in your head.  You want to call a technician because it’s hot but what if it is something small that even I could fix.  Well here are a few steps if followed may save you some money.

T-stat Issues

Before doing anything, check to be sure that the electrical breaker is not tripped; if it is, turn the breaker back on.  Did it trip again?  You have some kind of high voltage short in your system somewhere and for me to advise you to go on would not be smart.  Give us a call so that we can figure out why.  However, if your breaker does reset then look at your thermostat to be sure that it is set to the cool mode; if it’s not, switch it to cool and wait thirty minutes to see if it begins to cool down.  Also, check to be sure that the set point temperature is lower than the temperature inside the house; if not, lower the set point to the desired temp and wait thirty minutes to see if the temperature comes down.  Hold on though:  you don’t even have a display on your thermostat?  Check to be sure your thermostat doesn’t take batteries; if so, change the batteries and then set thermostat to desired set point and mode, then wait  to see if it starts cooling down. What if the thermostat doesn’t take batteries, or it does take batteries but changing them did not cause the system to come on?  Now you have some sort of low voltage issue, that means you can continue to check out the system, but understand that you are getting more technical now and it may turn into something that you can’t fix.

Still wanting to continue?  Well here’s what you can check next:  Take the thermostat off the wall and check to make ensure that the wires hooked up to the thermostat’s plate are tightly connected.  Tighten any connections that may be loose with either a small Phillips head or Flat head screwdriver, depending on the model of the thermostat.  Put the thermostat back on the wall; check to see if you have a display.  If you don’t then most likely the problem is in the fan coil/furnace or your condenser.  Now is probably time for you to call the technician because dealing with this kind of problem could put you and the equipment at risk if even minor mistakes are made.

Drain Issues

Water is fun when contained and you enjoy it, but there is nothing fun about it when it’s coming through your ceiling and/or running on your floor.  There are a few reasons that your system would be leaking water.  Let’s talk about the most common one first:  A restricted drain line.  This is easily preventable if you treat your drain with bleach regularly, but if you didn’t and now have this happening, look through the vents coming out of the drain line located near the unit.  If you see water built up where it is filling up the line, you have a restricted drain.  There should be very little to no water in the drain line, except in the p-trap water should be sitting at the bottom (refer to figure 3); once the pipe goes horizontal it should not have water in it.  Discover that line is clogged?  You can disconnect the line and try to blow through it; however, be sure that you put it back together.  When you get it cleared, keep a close eye on it and if you can’t get it cleared, give us a call and we can come do it for you.  So you have checked the line and it is obviously not restricted; there are only two things that could be going on: 1. you have a cracked or rusted out pan; or 2. your evaporator has been freezing up.  In either case, it will take the technicians diagnosis to figure out which of the two it is.

The issues that can arise with an air conditioning unit can be very numerous.  These are a few things that you as a homeowner could check to try and prevent paying a technician money to come out and fix your unit after just a few minutes of being there. And don’t forget… those filters must be changed regularly or they can be a source of problem as well.

 

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