Air conditioning allows us to ignore the sweltering heat stagnating outside the walls and enjoy the comfort of our ideal temperature right inside our homes. However, as with all things that have moving parts, the AC can and eventually will fail us. In order to avoid the headache and the sweat, here are some tips on how to ensure your AC system is running properly.
Check the Cables
We all roll our eyes when we hear that first question from tech support, the one about checking if the system is plugged in. While it may sound silly, doing this check is the simplest step when assessing the state of your AC system. You don’t want to go ahead and unscrew lids and look at fans and belts only to later realize that the AC is receiving no current. Be sure to check the breakers as well as make sure that power is running to the unit.
Take a Good Look at Your Air Filters
If you find that the AC is running but you’re still feeling like a roasted duck inside an oven, check up on the AC’s air filters. All filters, regardless of type and purpose, will eventually collect debris. If too much dirt gets inside, your AC won’t be doing anything besides consuming electrical current. The filters can be cleaned or replaced without professional help.
Check the Fan Blower Belt
If your AC system has braved through many a hot summer, chances are that, by now, the belt is worn down. If it’s loose, it can be fixed; however, if you spot signs of damage, it’s better to replace it altogether. A damaged belt will cause ice to form inside the unit, which can lead to much bigger problems, and may lead to you needing to replace your entire air conditioner.
Make Sure the Thermostat Has Power
Replacing batteries for thermostats, either for AC or heating systems, can be something quite easy to forget since it’s done so seldom. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises that will have you tinkering inside the unit (in this case for nothing), remember to put in new batteries as often as the manufacturer specifies. It’s also recommended to get the best kind of batteries. You don’t want them dying too soon or melting inside the thermostat.
Maybe It’s Simply Too Hot
Extremely high temperatures can pose a problem for older or inexpensive AC systems, even if everything seems to be in order. If your unit isn’t delivering the temperature it’s meant to, it probably means that it quite simply can’t. Unfortunately there’s no DIY or cheap solution for this, but to make sure this is your problem check the BTU number of your system and compare it to the size of the room or house it is trying to cool. If the heat’s too much or the space is too large, you may have to upgrade to a better system.