Check The Electrical Panel And Filter When Your AC Stops Working

Posted on: 10 August 2018

If you notice it's hotter than usual in your home and then realize you haven't heard the air conditioner kick in recently, you may wonder what you should do. While you'll need to call an HVAC technician to get central air repair services if something is malfunctioning, there are some things you can check first yourself. A simple fix might be all that's needed to get the cool air flowing again. Here are some things to check.

Check For A Tripped Circuit

Your AC is probably on its own circuit, so if it trips, you won't notice lights or your television going off. So one of the first things to check when your AC doesn't work at all is the electrical panel. If the circuit is flipped off, flip it back on and see if it stays on. If it flips back off, you should call for an inspection to make sure the wiring is okay and your home isn't at risk of a fire due to faulty wiring in the AC. If the circuit flips off a second time, leave it off until your AC is inspected or until you've spoken with the HVAC technician just to be safe.

See If The Filter Is Clogged

A clogged filter can cause your AC to shut down. This might occur if the air handler has to struggle so much to pull air through the clogged filter that it overheats. When that happens, the AC shuts down to keep from damaging itself. This can also lead to a malfunction known as short cycling. That's when your air conditioner turns on for a short time and then turns right back off when it starts overheating. The result is that your AC can't cool your home. Changing the filter could solve this problem. When you change the filter, mark the date on it so you remember when it's due again. You might need to change it about once a month to keep your air conditioner working in the summer.

Another problem that can happen with a clogged filter is that the coils freeze up and your AC can no longer cool your home. The restricted air flow due to the dirty filter allows condensation to freeze on the coils with refrigerant in them. Changing the filter might solve this problem, but you'll need to allow plenty of time for the ice to thaw off before you'll know for sure. If changing the filter doesn't get your AC working properly again, it might be dirty inside or have a broken part, so calling an HVAC technician might be necessary after you've confirmed the unit is getting power.