Staying Cool: Your Action Plan When Air Conditioning Breaks Down

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How to Keep Your Cool When the Mercury is Rising

When the heat is rising to record-breaking levels, it can be really tough to stay cool. This summer, I found that my air conditioner had trouble keeping up with the temperatures. It wasn't that the AC wasn't working, it was just that I couldn't seem to get my house cooled down as much as I wanted. I worried that I would have to replace the whole AC system. Luckily, I have a good friend who works as an HVAC contractor. He took a look at my system and gave good news -- it didn't need to be replaced. Instead, he shared a lot of tips for helping my air conditioner work more efficiently, as well as some ideas to help supplement the AC and keep the house cooler. I'm using those tips to create this blog to share ways for all of us to keep cool on the hottest days.

Staying Cool: Your Action Plan When Air Conditioning Breaks Down

31 July 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Air conditioning is a modern convenience that most people take for granted until it stops working. An unexpected breakdown can leave you sweating and uncomfortable, especially during the sweltering summer months. Here's a comprehensive guide on what to do when your air conditioning system breaks down.

Firstly, don't panic. While a malfunctioning air conditioner can be a cause for concern, knowing the right steps to take can help mitigate the issue effectively.

Begin by checking the thermostat. Sometimes, the problem isn't with the air conditioner itself, but with the thermostat settings. Make sure your thermostat is set to cool and the temperature is set below the current room temperature. If it's a digital thermostat and there's no display, you might just need to replace the batteries.

Next, inspect the circuit breakers. A tripped breaker could be the reason your air conditioner isn't working. Locate your electrical panel, often found in the basement or garage, and check if the breaker labeled 'AC' or 'Air Conditioner' is in the 'On' position. If it's off, reset it by flipping it back to the 'On' position.

If your air conditioner is still not working, check your air filters. A clogged filter can restrict airflow and cause the unit to freeze up, preventing it from cooling. If the filter looks dirty, replace it with a new one and see if this resolves the issue.

Another thing to examine is the outdoor unit. Over time, leaves, dirt, and other debris can accumulate around the unit, hindering its performance. Carefully clean around the unit, removing any visible debris. However, remember to turn off the power before you start cleaning to avoid any safety hazards.

If these simple troubleshooting steps don't get your air conditioner running again, it's time to call a professional. An experienced HVAC technician can diagnose and fix complex issues like refrigerant leaks, compressor problems, or electrical faults.

While waiting for the technician, there are several ways to keep cool. Use fans to circulate air and create a breeze. Close curtains and blinds to block out the sun and reduce heat gain. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and consider spending time in cooler parts of your home, like the basement.

Preventive maintenance is key to avoiding future breakdowns. Regular servicing not only ensures your air conditioner runs efficiently but can also detect potential problems before they lead to a breakdown. Most experts recommend having your air conditioner serviced at least once a year, ideally in the spring before the peak cooling season.

In the end, a broken air conditioner doesn't have to spell disaster. By following these steps, you can handle a breakdown efficiently and stay cool. Remember, while some issues can be fixed with a little troubleshooting, others require professional attention. Don't hesitate to call an expert when needed — it's better to ensure a proper fix than to risk further damage to your unit. Contact a company that offers air conditioning services to learn more.