Four Things To Check When Your Air Conditioner Stops Blowing Cold Air

Few things are worse during the height of summer than the realization that your air conditioner is no longer blowing cold air, but before you call for an inspection, there are a few things you can try yourself. What at first might seem like a symptom of a broken air conditioning unit could also be the result of a temporary malfunction or an inexpensive part that needs replacing, and spending a few minutes testing these components can save you time waiting for repairs.

Check Your Thermostat's Power Source

Your thermostat is in charge of operating your air conditioner and furnace, and if your thermostat has no power, your air conditioner won't get any signal to turn on. If your thermostat runs on batteries, check to make sure your thermostat's display is working. Even if it is, the batteries could be close to dead, so try replacing them to see if that does the trick. If your thermostat has another power source, such as a circuit, check to make sure that circuit hasn't tripped.

Check Your Circuit Breaker

Your air conditioning unit requires electricity to run, and during the height of summer, heavy and steady appliance use can occasionally cause circuits to break, especially if the circuits are older. Check your circuit breaker to make sure none of your circuits have tripped. Keep in mind that all the components that make up your HVAC system may be connected to a few different circuits, so don't look for only one.

If this is the problem, flipping the switch to restore the circuit should fix the problem. It isn't uncommon for this to happen rarely, but if you find that this circuit is constantly tripping, you have an electrical issue that needs to be investigated before it does any damage.

Check The Outdoor Unit

With your air conditioner turned on, go outside to where your outdoor unit is installed. If your air conditioner is on, the unit should be on, making noise as the fan blades turn. There are a few things to look out for here. See if:

  • The unit is making no motion or sound at all.
  • The unit is making a buzzing sound, but isn't moving.

Both of these issues could indicate an electrical issue of some kind, some of which can be fixed by checking your circuit breaker or replacing certain parts. If the unit is making a buzzing sound but the blades are not moving, this could also indicate a problem with the motor or compressor, but there's one more thing to try first.

Check The Fuses

Fuses are often overlooked as part of routine maintenance because they require no cleaning and are relatively inexpensive to replace. They should last at least a few years, but if you have an older AC unit that's starting to malfunction, this is a great place to look for issues.

Most AC fuses can simply be snapped out of their housing and replaced with new ones from a hardware store, so you don't need much electrical know-how to do this. Still, take precautions by turning off your air conditioner at the thermostat, breaking the circuit to stop electrical flow, and use rubber gloves. If you need help, take the old fuses with you to the store to find the right replacements. Pop the new ones in and make sure the housing is secure and closed, then turn everything back on.

If none of these steps helped, it's time to call a professional. The good news is that, by taking these troubleshooting steps, you've helped narrow down the source of the problem significantly, which will likely save you some money when it comes to repairs. Contact a company like TemperaturePro of Central Maryland to learn more.