Need AC repair? Do These Things First

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As temperatures around the Maryland and Washington, DC area rise this spring, it seems like AC repair is all but inevitable. For many, the thought of needing AC repair is stressful to say the least – serious AC repairs can get very expensive! Fortunately, there are a number of simple things you can do to reduce or eliminate your need for AC repair in MD or DC – simple things that can end up saving you thousands!

My Air Conditioner Won’t Operate

If your air conditioner won’t operate at all, you may not need AC repair right away. Instead, your problem may lie in the system power, settings or thermostat. The first thing you should do is make sure your air conditioner disconnect switch is in the ON position, and all other electrical controls are switched on (you’d be amazed at how many times people don’t realize this is the problem!). Sometimes, in preparation for winter, the disconnect is flipped or pulled, and all that’s needed is to put it back to the operating position.

In addition, make sure your thermostat is set cooler than the current room temperature and is switched to COOL mode. You should replace your thermostat battery every year as well.  Forgetting this step is common and is an easy way to save yourself a call to your AC repair contractor!

My Air Conditioner Isn’t Blowing Cool Air

If your air conditioner is blowing air, but not cool air, there could be a number of things happening:

  • If the air flow is weak, the problem could lie in your blower or duct system. First, check the condition of your blower unit – if it’s dirty, it could end up just spinning without actually moving any air. Usually, weak air flow means a clogged filter.
  • If the blower is clean, check to make sure your ducts (to the extent that you can), check to make sure your air registers are open and that the air filters are clean!! Checking the filters is an easy place to start – open the grate and if the filter inside looks dirty, replace it. You should be replacing your filter every 30 days!  If your filters are already clean, you may need to examine your duct system. Start by making sure the ducts are properly connected and sealed. This is actually easier than it sounds – all you need to do is shine a flashlight in your duct system, and if you see any light coming out, you know you have a gap!  You can easily seal gaps in your ductwork with aluminum foil tape.  Precious air escapes from every hole in your ductwork.
  • If you’ve checked your duct work and you still can’t find a problem, don’t call for AC repair just yet – there’s still one more thing you can do. Go out to the compressor and take a look at the coil. See any ice on it? That’s bad! To get ice off of your air conditioner coil, shut off the whole unit and wait for it to melt. It could be that your defrost cycle timer or circuit is defective (and that will require an AC repair specialist).

*Note – ice on your fan coil is a sign of reduced air flow elsewhere in your air conditioning system. The most common cause of icy fan coils is dirty air filters – if you see ice on your coil, check all your filters again and replace them all.*

My Air Conditioner Won’t Dehumidify

If your air conditioner doesn’t provide dehumidification, the problem may be out of the realm of normal “do-it-yourself” AC repair. In general, if your air conditioner does not dehumidify, it can mean that it is too big for the space you are trying to cool. When you are choosing an air conditioner, remember – bigger doesn’t always mean better! Instead, choose the most effective and efficient air conditioner for you by measuring the space you want to cool and finding an air conditioner designed to fit that space exactly – an air conditioner that is too small will have to work extra hard to cool the whole house, and an air conditioner that is too large will have to constantly switch on and off to keep the temperature stable (and it will not provide dehumidification!).

If you’ve performed all these steps and you’re still having air conditioner problems, AC repair may be your only option – fortunately if all these things have been corrected, your repair costs should be a lot lower! If you need an AC repair expert in Maryland or Washington, DC, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing today!

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