You come home from a busy day, ready to enjoy the cool comfort of your home, only to notice that your home is sweltering. Your first impulse might be to call a repairman, which is understandable, but you should really think about checking a few things out before you make that call. There are a few common problems your AC might have that you are perfectly capable of solving quickly, which can save you a lot money and embarrassment when the repairman comes out to visit. So, before you jump to repairs, make sure you check:
That Your Circuit Breaker Hasn't Tripped
This is a surprisingly common occurrence, especially if the weather outside has been particularly nasty. So, the first thing you should do if your AC isn't working is to simply make sure that your AC hasn't been switched off. If the breaker is indeed tripped, try turning it back on, and if your unit starts humming along just fine then your worries are over. However, if you flip the switch back on and it quickly flips back off, you might have a serious electrical problem which will warrant a service call.
That Your Air Filter Isn't Clogged
This is the second thing you should check, as a clogged air filter makes up a large percentage of unnecessary service calls. A clogged filter can strain your AC unit and drastically reduce airflow in your home. This can make it seem like your unit isn't working; luckily, it's relatively simple to check. There should be access vents in your home that should have filters inside; if the filter is caked with dust, changing it can make a big difference. After you've determined this to be your problem, you really should remember to take the time to clean your filters once a month in order to prevent similar problems in the future.
That Your Unit Hasn't Frozen Up
To check this one, you'll need to venture outside to your condenser unit, which is the large blocky unit that has a large fan on it. Check the vents and the fan itself for debris, which can clog it and cause the unit to freeze itself up as the cold air gets trapped inside of it. Before you start to clean the condenser, just remember to take a trip to your circuit breaker to turn the unit off, so you can avoid any potential of getting a nasty shock. After you've cleared all the debris away, allow the unit to sit and thaw for an hour or two before you turn it back on. Afterward, if you can feel cold air coming from the vents, you are most likely in the clear.
Hopefully, by checking for these three common culprits you can get your AC up and running in no time without having to spend a dime. If none of these things are the problem, contact a local AC repair company for help.