Depending on what time of year they happen, issues with an HVAC system can absolutely be a cause for emergency. Air conditioning repair in the middle of summer is necessary for the safety of pets, and the elderly and Winter furnace fixes are essential for resident safety as well as to avoid damage to plumbing fixtures and electronics.
While I would most often recommend that you call a professional air conditioning repair technician or furnace maintenance crew to perform the necessary repairs, there are a few common troubleshooting ideas that you can try first. If a homeowner can manage these troubleshooting tasks, they can either avoid a service call charge altogether or at least keep the HVAC system running until the professionals get on the scene.
Not Running and No Thermostat Reading
Many times the air conditioner breaker will trip causing the unit and thermostat to both shut off. A simple reset of the breaker should solve the problem, but you should have an air conditioning repair specialist inspect the a/c if the breaker continually trips.
No Air from the Vents
When the HVAC system is running but no air is coming out of the vents it’s generally not a good sign. A bad blower motor could be the cause but if a fan is running and there’s still no air it may be a faulty compressor. Either way it’s best to shut the unit down and call a pro, especially if there’s an associated burning smell.
Restricted Air Flow or Dirty Air
One way to avoid expensive air conditioning repair bills and high utility prices is by changing the A/C filter frequently. Failure to do so affects the amount of air that enters into the blower, which could the spread of allergens and dust through the vents.
Air Conditioner Iced Over
It’s important to inspect the outside compressor frequently to look for issues such as ice forming over the coils. Ice buildup is usually caused by improper levels of refrigeration (high or low) and will be accompanied by warm air in the house instead of cool.
A/C Runs for Longer Cycle Times
A bad compressor prevents the air conditioner from converting the refrigerant as efficiently and will thus cause longer cycle times and warmer air. An air conditioning repair professional can check the internal components or use gauges to diagnose sensor problems.
Thermostat Not On
If the air conditioning unit is running efficiently, but the thermostat is not showing a display, it simply could be due to dead batteries in the wall control unit. Most modern devices have a battery low indicator, but it’s something that you should regularly monitor.
It’s always important to call in an air conditioning repair professional when the unit is giving problems beyond homeowner DIY expertise. That being said, changing the filters frequently, clearing the area by the outside unit of debris, and monitoring batteries and breakers can eliminate an unwarranted service call.