How to Troubleshoot Your A/C

How to Troubleshoot Your A/CHomeowners who are conscientious about getting spring HVAC maintenance done every year probably have little to fear when it comes to breakdowns over the cooling season. That said, it’s not impossible for parts on even the best-maintained A/C to wear or even malfunction over the course of the summer, so you don’t want to ignore potential problems.

There are ways to troubleshoot noises and erratic performance issues so you’ll know whether to address the problem yourself or call a pro. Here’s some advice on how to do just that.

What’s That Noise?

Here’s hoping your A/C operates quietly so that you’re never alarmed by any sudden noises, because new noises may indicate a change in how your equipment performs. Here are some of the most typical noises:

  • Booming from the ducts — Most often, this is caused by ductwork expanding or contracting as the air rushes through. It’s usually not serious, but it can be annoying. However, the fix may require a different size or type of ducts, or perhaps installing insulation around them.
  • Rattling from the inside cabinet — Something’s loose, somewhere. It’ll probably take a technician to find what it is.
  • Banging from the inside cabinet — A part on the blower may have come loose.
  • Rattling from the outdoor compressor — Not a good sign. It could be the compressor is failing. Turn off the unit and call for help.

A/C Not Cooling

This is one of the most common complaints, and could involve a simple fix, such as changing the air filter or cleaning the evaporator coils, or calling the pro to recharge the refrigerant. But it could also be a failing compressor. If the outdoor compressor stops working, turn off the air conditioner and call for help.

Fan Not Working

Before calling for help, make sure the power to the A/C is on. Check the controls and the breaker. Make sure that the thermostat setting is lower than the outside air, or the A/C won’t turn on.

For more tips on air conditioner troubleshooting, contact Roth Heating and Cooling. We serve Portland and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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