Central air conditioners are a pretty complicated piece of equipment to say the least; things such as refrigerant leaks, compressor problems and control problems are best left to the professionals to handle unless you have experience in these areas. With that being said, if you know how to safely work around electricity and you have the required tools you can probably save yourself some money on a few very common types of central air conditioner repairs. Here are a few air conditioner repair tips for some common problems with central air conditioning units that you can do yourself.
Before You Begin
It is important once again to note that you must know how to safely work around electricity to do any repair on a central air conditioning unit. Electricity can kill you in an instant if you are not careful. Never work with the power on unless it is necessary for the diagnostic stage you are in. If you have any thoughts before starting the repair work that it might be too complicated for you, then it probably is and you should seriously consider calling in a professional HVAC service technician.
Common Central Air Conditioning Repairs That You Can Most Likely Do Yourself
Here are some air conditioner repair tips on what to look for that are common problems and relatively easy fixes on your central air conditioning unit.
1. First make sure the furnace is not the problem – turn on your central heating and air unit and then lower the temperature down as far as it can go. If the furnace fan comes on then the problem is not in the furnace unit and controls. If it does not come on, then check the breakerto see if it needs resetting. If it’s not coming on and the breaker is fine you will then need to call a HVAC professional to make a service call.
2. Check to see if the fan and condenser are running on the outside air conditioning unit (the condenser will sound similar to your refrigerator when running). If they are not then go to the next step.
3. Check the emergency cutoff switch for the outside unit that should be mounted near it. Look for corrosion or burn marks that would indicate areas where it would prevent power from being conducted through it. You can check the incoming power on your unit to see if it is going there. If power is not getting through to the unit replace anything that is burned or corroded. If it’s an older system check the fuses too.
4. Check the electrical contactorinside the control unit at the terminals on both sides to see if current is going across it. If not then replacing the contactor is a very simple process.
5. If the fan is not running check to see if the motor start capacitor for the fan is getting power. If it is, replace the start capacitor.
6. If the fan still does not come on then check to see if there is power going to the fan motor. If there is, you have a bad fan motor and you will need to replace it.
Once you have accomplished all of these air conditioner repair tips and the unit is still not working, it is then best left to a professional to come and look at the unit and make the necessary repairs.