News & FAQ

3 Air Conditioner Repair Tips to Save You Money

Angela Newton Digital Marketing Specialist

When the heat index reaches 100 degrees in Des Moines, IA it’s inevitable, we’re flooded with broken air conditioner calls from clients that need us NOW! Trust us, we want to squeeze absolutely everyone in our schedule but know it’s not always possible.

So we’ve outlined some of the common air conditioner problems we find and how to solve them! We hope to help save you time and money during the heat swell.

3 Common AC Problems & Solutions

1. Do you have ice on your air conditioner?

A quick check of the vent confirms that lack of cool, refrigerated air and a glance outside shows the strangest sight, your air conditioning unit is covered in a thick layer of air. It’s still too hot outside for this to be natural, and the air cycling through your vents is warmer than it should be, so what’s causing a premature winter only on your HVAC system?

Long story short: fix the heat transfer problem. To do this, always defrost your unit first. Don’t switch the HVAC or heat pump over to heat, simply turn it off. While your unit is defrosting, check for airflow blockages. Do you have multiple vents and air registers closed throughout the house? Too many closed vents create backpressure on your system, preventing proper airflow. Have you changed your air filter within the past three months? The more you use your air conditioning, the dirtier the filter will get. A dirty filter makes it difficult for air to pass through.

Sometimes a freezing unit can be fixed with a simple filter change out. Of course, if the temperature outside is nice enough, try opening the windows instead of running your AC.

If the weather is hot outside, and your filters and vents are all free-flowing, then you’re looking at a refrigerant issue. Any time you have an issue with the pressurized systems in an HVAC unit, you need to call a professional technician. For example, at Service Legends, our technicians not only replace and refill the refrigerant used in your unit, we inspect the entire system to find where the leak is to prevent the issue from reappearing. A technician has the tools and know-how to find where the root problem, not just the symptom, lies, and resolve it for future use.

2. Is your thermostat working?

If your air conditioner fails to come on, there are many things you can do to troubleshoot the situation before having to call in a professional, including taking the proper steps to diagnose your thermostat.

Although sometimes there is an actual problem with your HVAC system, you’d be surprised how many times the issue lies with the thermostat itself. Before calling a professional, take the time to do a little thermostat self-diagnosis. No experience needed.

  • Check Power, Cool, and Fan. Before moving on to the list, make sure your thermostat is correctly set to “cool,” that the temperature setting is below the room temperature, and that your HVAC’s power switch and circuit breaker are on and receiving power. If you are experiencing constant blower or fan operation, check the fan setting, and make sure it is set to “auto.”
  • Check the Batteries. The first thing you want to do is make sure that your thermostat has the power needed to operate. Although some thermostats do not require batteries, most do. If you have never opened up your thermostat housing to replace the batteries, here is a good video showing you how.
  • Dust the Inside. Since you now know how to open up your thermostat, now is a good time to blow or brush off any dust or debris that has accumulated inside. Especially for older electromechanical models, dust and other material can affect temperature readings and other interior parts. Use a paintbrush or other small brush to remove any dust and a soft piece of paper to get in between the coils and contact plates.
  • Location, Location, Location. You want to make sure that your thermostat is out of the way of any heat source, including direct sunlight, heating vents, lamps, space heaters, or anything else that may affect your thermostat’s temperature readings. The HVAC unit will not turn on if it already thinks that it has reached the desired temperature.
  • Adjust the Anticipator and Level the Mercury Switch. The last thing to watch out for is your anticipator’s setting and the balance of your mercury switch. The anticipator is located inside of your thermostat housing. Learn more.

3. Is there air blowing, but not cooling your home?

There are a variety of things that could cause your AC to not cool your home properly. Here are problems that can be solved without calling a heating and cooling professional:

  • Thermostat Set to “On” Instead of “Auto.” Does your AC blow out cool air sometimes and lukewarm air other times? Then the fan setting may be set to “on” which just runs the fan 24/7 – even when the air isn’t being cooled. Make sure to set the thermostat to “auto.
  • Dirty Air Filter. A dirty air filter reduces airflow into your AC, causing several problems. Make sure to check the air filter and change it if it looks dirty.
  • Dirty Outside Unit. If your AC unit outside appears dirty or clogged, spray the outside with a garden hose on a gentle setting. Don’t blast it on a high setting or you’ll bend the fins that allow airflow to cool the condenser off. Also, make sure to remove any weeds that may be growing around the AC unit.

Is your AC not cooling your house after checking these possible issues?

Whether your air conditioner is a Carrier, Trane, Rheem, Goodman, Amana, Bryant, Lennox, York, or any other brand, Service Legends Heating & Cooling can help! Contact us at 515-657-6761 or request an appointment online to repair your air conditioner today. We’re standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Whether it takes us 5 minutes or 5 hours to diagnose and troubleshoot your HVAC problem, our diagnostic fee remains the same low price.

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