How to Deal With a Broken AC

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Having a broken AC unit makes for a stressful situation—especially since the summer months are usually pretty brutal in Germantown, Gaithersburg, Potomac, Clarksburg, and all throughout the Montgomery County, MD area. Nobody likes spending hundreds of dollars on AC repairs, so before you call anyone, make sure to check for some common problems. It’s possible you may be able to solve the AC problem (if it’s minor) on your own without having to spend any money at all.
Common AC Problems

Inspect several key components of your unit for potential problems before calling for professional AC services:


One possible reason your AC unit may be broken is that the unit’s thermostat has been knocked out of position and the sensors near the coils aren’t in the right place. In many cases, a thermostat that’s slightly off or a sensor that’s been bumped can mean a lack of steady, consistent cooling.

It’s also possible that dust and grime has built up inside the thermostat, which will prevent it from working properly. What you can do is open up the front panel of the thermostat and clean the dirt using a small and light brush. Dust carefully around the contact points—that’s where the dust causes most of its problems.


When was the last time you replaced your AC unit’s air filter? A clogged air filter will not stop your air conditioner from working, but its performance and efficiency will suffer, leading you to believe you have a broken unit. If there are bad smells coming from around your unit, it may mean it has a clogged filter. Also, if you’ve recently observed a spike in your energy bills, it may be because of a dirty filter that hasn’t been replaced in a while. Remember to replace your air filters on a monthly basis.

Outdoor Unit

You should check to make sure nothing is blocking the outdoor unit. Your AC may not be broken after all—clean the condenser coils and remove any debris that might have built up around the outdoor unit. In many cases, slowed air flow is caused by nothing more than leaves piled in front of your condenser.

If none of these common AC problems seem to be the culprit or if you’ve thoroughly addressed each one and your system continues to struggle, contact Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing for professional AC repair services. It’s possible that your unit’s compressor is damaged, which is a very serious problem that should be examined by a professional.

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