During the hot summer months, having a functioning air conditioning unit is a necessity. That said, it's not uncommon for homeowners to turn on their units for the first time during a summer, only to find out that it's not working as it should (or sometimes, not working at all). If you have recently found yourself in this position and want to know more about how to diagnose and solve some of the more common AC repair problems, take a look below for some invaluable tips.
As simple as it may sound, one of the main reasons people find their home isn't as cool as they would like is because of the thermostat. Sometimes this is as basic as having the thermostat accidentally set to a temperature that is warmer than the inside of the home. But if you know that your thermostat's 'cool' setting has been properly entered, then you may have to remove the body of the thermostat in order to take a look under the hood, so to speak. If your thermostat has batteries, replace them to see if things improve; also double check that all the wires are properly connected to the terminals.
Even if you can't feel any cold air coming through the vents in your home, it may be that your air conditioning unit is working fine. Instead of focusing on fixing the unit, you may need to turn your attention to the filters. These filters can become easily clogged or blocked with everything from dust to dirt. A good litmus test: if you can't remember the last time your unit's filters were changed, then it has been too long. Dirty filters mean that your unit is working inefficiently to deliver cool air to your home, even if it is otherwise free of problems.
Unfortunately, people tend to neglect their compressor when it's located outdoors, and allow plants and other debris to crowd it. Having anything beside or above the unit might seem like it is no big deal, but in fact it restricts airflow to the compressor, which means that overall performance suffers. So if you're unsure of what might be at fault for decreasing your unit's power, don't forget to head into that neglected corner of your backyard and clear away any bushes, piles of wood, or low-hanging trees. You'll find that your compressor will be much more effective as a result.