Troubleshooting AC Issues: DIY Fixes For Common Problems

Air conditioners can be a real hassle to deal with, and sometimes, they just don't work the way you want them to. Fortunately, there are some common AC problems that can be easily fixed without having to call in a professional. 

Here is a guide on how to troubleshoot some of the most common AC issues so you can hopefully keep your AC running smoothly without calling for help. 

Straighten Coil Fins

The coil fins, located on the evaporator and condenser coils, facilitate heat transfer. When these fins are misaligned or bent, it impedes the airflow, which disrupts this heat transfer process. Consequently, your AC may not be able to cool your home effectively. 

To straighten the fins, locate the evaporator or condenser coils on your AC unit, which usually involves removing a side or front panel. Once you've located the coils, you can use the fin comb to realign any bent fins. After straightening the fins, replace the panel and restore power to the unit. This simple fix can greatly improve your AC's performance and longevity.

Inspect the Float Switch

The float switch is designed to prevent damage to your AC unit by automatically shutting it off when a particular level of condensate water is reached in the drain pan. 

Ideally, the condensate water is supposed to drain out of your AC unit. However, if the drain line gets clogged, the water level in the drain pan rises. Once the water level reaches the float switch, the switch triggers and turns off the unit to prevent water damage. So, if your AC isn't running at all, a triggered float switch might be the culprit.

To inspect the float switch, turn off the power to your AC unit at the circuit breaker. Locate the condensate drain pan, which is usually found underneath the indoor air handler unit.

If the drain pan is full, the drain line is likely clogged and the float switch has been activated. To confirm, lift the float switch. If it's working properly, the AC should turn off when you lift it and turn back on when you lower it.

To clean the float switch and drain line, use a vacuum to remove the standing water in the drain pan. Then, remove the float switch. It's typically attached by a single screw. 

Once removed, clean it gently with a cloth and use a specialized AC drain line brush to clear any clogs in the drain line. Next, pour a mixture of equal parts bleach and water down the drain line to kill any remaining algae or mold. 

After that, reinstall the float switch and restore power to the unit. If the AC turns on, your problem is solved. If not, it may be best to call an HVAC professional.

Contact a local air conditioning repair service to learn more.