Tips on Basic AC Troubleshooting

A good rule of thumb in AC troubleshooting is that you should let a professional HVAC technician inspect your AC unit if it’s not functioning properly or is making strange noises. However, it wouldn’t hurt to learn some basic AC troubleshooting techniques and learn more about the usual culprits behind common AC issues such as poor air circulation or uneven cooling. In some cases, skills and information such as these can help you resolve minor issues with your air conditioner.  

Here are some basic AC troubleshooting tips: 

Check the thermostat. If it’s uncomfortably warm inside your house, you might want to check your thermostat’s settings. You’d be surprised at how often homeowners mistakenly set their thermostats to a high setting. 

Check to see if your AC’s filters are dirty. Dirty filters might be to blame for hot spots inside your home. They not only hamper indoor airflow but also increase the strain on your air conditioner. Soo how often should you replace air filters? It depends on several factors, such as the type of filter used, how big your home is and whether you keep pets inside the house. In general, cheap fiberglass filters should be replaced every 90 days, while pleated air filters should be replaced every 30 days. If you keep pets inside, however, the filters should be replaced every two months, or every few weeks if you use pleated filters. 

Check the outdoor AC unit. Cooling costs comprise a significant chunk of a household’s monthly electricity expenditures. However, if you notice a spike in your electricity bill despite your family using your AC no more than usual, it’d be a good idea to see if the outdoor unit, particularly the condenser, is dirty. If it’s caked with dirt, you’ll need to have an air conditioning technician clean it. 

Can you clean the unit yourself? DIY cleaning can void warranties, so it’s best to let the professionals handle routine HVAC maintenance. 

If you’re looking for professional HVAC technicians near you, McMaster has been providing professional heating and air conditioning services to local residents since 1996. To get a free estimate on an HVAC replacement, call us at (949) 481-7995 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Orange County, CA, as well as the surrounding communities.

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