It's hot. It's uncomfortable. The last thing you want is for your air conditioning unit to fail during the hottest part of the year. Unfortunately, it is bound to happen eventually due to normal wear and tear. What do you do? Open your windows and pray for a breeze? Spend money on fans to circulate the hot, dry air around? You could do this – or you could turn yourself into an instant handyman and troubleshoot the unit yourself. This could save you time and money, which is something everyone needs.
Unit Is Leaking Inside
When the air conditioning unit is leaking inside the building, it can be a fairly simple fix. It may be because a piece of the insulation is missing or damaged. You can replace the insulation with tape and make sure it is fitted snugly against the armaflex joints in the unit. The air conditioner may also leak if the condensation caused by the evaporator runs down on a unit that is tilted the wrong way. The water from the evaporator will run down the unit instead of into the pan where it is supposed to go. Make sure the unit is sitting properly in the window and tilted back towards the outside. Any condensation will then run down the exterior instead of the interior, which can cause a lot of water damage if it isn't caught in time. The last thing you want to deal with is mold.
Over time, you may notice that the air conditioner's airflow isn't what it used to be. This can be an easy fix in most cases. Sometimes when the filters on the units are dirty, it will restrict the airflow. You should always clean or replace your filters as needed -- at least a few times each year. Unfortunately, if that doesn't fix the flow you may have other issues, such as: faulty blower motor, damaged duct work, dirty blower wheel, or a worn fan belt. Any of these would require the services of an AC repair professional.
The most annoying issue of them all – an air conditioning unit that doesn't cool the air. There are several issues that can cause this. Here are some steps to take before calling for help:
Is the power switch on for the indoor or outdoor unit? If yes, check the breaker. It may be a blown fuse.
Is the outdoor unit running but not producing cold air? Try pushing the red 'reset' button.
Check the filters. Again, blocked or dirty filters can really disrupt airflow.
Check all the vents and make sure they are all open and undamaged.
If you go through all those steps and it still doesn't work, you should hire a professional. It could be anything ranging from low refrigerant levels to bad compressor valves. The HVAC contractor will be able to test the unit and suggest repairs or a replacement depending on the severity of the problem.