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Beat The Heat: Troubleshooting Your A/C Unit

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In the summer months, extreme heat is brutal in most parts of the country. A good air conditioner goes a long way towards a comfortable living environment. Homes without air conditioning are hard pressed to get the temperatures cool enough to battle the heat outside. Ceiling fans or oscillating fans don't do much more than push hot air around. Air conditioners can drop the temperature in a property by several degrees. However, like any other appliance, the air conditioner may experience technical issues and stop running or fail to provide the correct amount of cold air. If this happens, you can use these troubleshooting steps to try and solve the problem yourself.


Most air conditioners will have a filter inside of it. This filter is used to catch dust and dirt so it doesn't enter the A/C unit. After awhile, the build up on the filter can cause issues with the unit. The filter should be cleaned every few months to keep it in pristine condition. Dirty filters can make the airflow slower. It can also make the unit itself run harder as it tries to push the air through the ventilation. This can cause bigger issues with the air conditioning unit.

  1. Remove the filter from the air conditioner.
  2. Take a clean, slightly damp rag and run it all over each side of the filter.
  3. When the filter is thoroughly cleaned, hold it up to check if the light shines through it. This is a sign that it is clean enough to go back inside the unit.
  4. Put the filter back inside the A/C unit and see if it fixes the problems.
  5. If the filter is bent, ripped, or damaged then it should be replaced with a new filter.


If the unit turns on but the air flow isn't as cold as it should be, then there may be a problem with the thermostat on the unit.

  1. Locate your thermostat for the air conditioner. Most of them are installed on a wall in a central area of the property.
  2. Turn the thermostat to the lowest setting that it will go. The unit should kick on.
  3. If the thermostat doesn't work at all, it may need to be replaced.
  4. If the thermostat works but the airflow is warm, you might need to reprogram the unit. Check the user's manual for your air conditioner to learn how to reprogram your specific model.


If you try troubleshooting and the problems still persist, you can contact a local HVAC contractor, such as at Bedell Plumbing & HVAC. Explain the issues you are having and they will diagnose the issues and set up a plan to repair the unit.