As with any serious issues that arise on your property, major problems with your air conditioning unit should always be referred to a professional. HVAC professionals are, after all, the only ones who are qualified to troubleshoot and fix whatever is wrong with your AC unit.
However, there are some air conditioning issues that even untrained people can address by themselves. Here are some of those AC problems we can fix by ourselves:
AC Unit Won't Power Up
If you turn your air conditioner on, but nothing happens, don't immediately pick up the phone and call your HVAC contractor. For all you know, it's just a tripped circuit breaker. Check the breaker, and if you see it tripped halfway, all you have to do is turn it completely off, then switch it back on right away.
A clogged drain, which may have triggered the overflow shut-off switch of your AC unit, may also be the reason for the problem. Just remove the clog to make the drain work properly again.
If your AC unit still doesn't power up, then it's possible that you're facing problems with your air conditioner's wiring, motor or compressor. This would be the time you call in an air conditioning technician you trust.
No Cool Air
There are several reasons why an air conditioner doesn't blow cool air anymore. Take a look at your exterior condensing unit and see if it's blocked by leaves, twigs or other debris. If the unit is blocked, move all the debris away to help restore normal airflow.
Is your outside unit getting a lot of direct sunlight? If that's the case, then you may have to put something up that'll shield it from the sun and other outdoor elements. Also, your air conditioner may have a dirty air filter, which can cause airflow problems and make the coil freeze, so give it some attention and keep it clean.
An air conditioning unit that freezes up may either be experiencing insufficient airflow or refrigerant issues.
Reduced or restricted airflow can cause the buildup of ice in the evaporator coil, so try to restore normal airflow by cleaning the air filter and removing any debris that may be blocking the external unit. If this doesn't work and the unit still ices up, then you may have a refrigerant leak that only a trained HVAC technician should address.
Water Pooling Near the Unit
A water leak may be caused by a blocked condensate line, which means that it's no longer draining condensation from the overflow pan properly. The water will naturally overflow and form the pool of water close to the unit.
You have to take the blockage out, for which you would need a wet/dry vacuum. You may also need to check the overflow pan for small holes and cracks, and use epoxy on any that you find.
As long as your AC problems are as minor as the ones mentioned above, there's no need to call an air conditioning specialist.
Have you run into any of these issues? Were you able to fix them on your own? Let us know in the comments below!
Michelle West is the senior content editor of Precision Air and Heating, an AC repair company in sunny Arizona. West enjoys writing about topics that help people all over the country make their homes more efficient and environmentally-friendly.