AC Not Working? 7 Easy Questions To Answer!

AC Not Working? Steps to Fix It.
(Last Updated On: June 23, 2016)

AC not working?

As the summer heats up, the AC unit gets a lot of work. Afterall, on those hazy, hot and humid summer days, not having a fully functioning air conditioning system could make your home unbearably.

So, how do you know if your AC unit is working at its full potential and peak efficiency?

Simple, ask yourself a few simple questions to determine if your air conditioner is working properly and how you could keep dollars in your pocket.

1. Is The AC Unit Too Loud?

A well maintained and properly functioning air conditioning system is meant to run quietly and efficiently. A noisy AC is a good indicator that something is not right. If this is the case, there could be an issue with the compressor motor or condenser fan, which can compromise the system’s efficiency. In this instance, you should consult an HVAC expert to diagnose and fix the problem.

2. When Did You Replace the Air Filter?

If you notice a decline in the airflow of your AC system, the first thing you want to check is the air filter. Most homeowners don’t worry about their air filter until there is already a problem present. If the filter is dirty, your AC unit might run continually, but the temperature in your house may not cool down. This can be very costly when you see your utility bill at the end of the month.

But the good news is that changing an AC air filter is a task everyone can do.

Dirty air filter

3. Did You Check The Breaker Box?

On occasion, a high-voltage circuit breaker can trip and cause your AC unit to stop working. If this is an issue in your home, flip it back and your unit should starting running again. If it trips a second time, call for service.

4. Did You Check The Thermostat?

Sometimes the problem is simple, your thermostat might just need a fresh set of batteries. Look for the battery symbol or light on your thermostat indicating the batteries need to be changed.

During the summer, a simple strategy is to keep your house warmer than normal when you are away and setting the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit only when you are home and feel it is too warm. Of course, thermostats can be set manually, however programmable thermostats can avoid the hassle of always having to remember to turn it up or down and keep it at your desired setting all day.

5. Did You Check The Outdoor Unit?

Is the blower still running? If you have an outdoor unit(s), you should be able to see and hear if the fan is still on. If it is working, that is likely not a problem.

We find that most homeowners never think that their outdoor air condenser needs any maintenance or looking after.

A little background: the outside portion of your air conditioner, the “condenser unit”, is responsible for releasing heat from your inside air to the air outside. Without it the heat that is removed from your home would have nowhere to go. Since it is located outside, it’s important to make sure it remains free from the buildup of pollen, dirt and debris. The best thing you can do to keep your condenser unit performing in top shape is to have annual air conditioning maintenance. Another great way to protect it is to make sure the area surrounding the unit remains clear.

6. Did You Look At The Drain Line?

Is water surrounding the indoor unit that couldn’t have come from another source? If so, your drain line is likely plugged and you need to have a professional AC technician out to inspect the system.

7. What Is The Temperature?

On those unbearably hot days, the outdoor temperature could be too intense for older systems to function at maximum efficiency. If this is case, it could be time to upgrade.


If you have checked out all of the above areas the problem might lie somewhere other than with your AC system. After ruling these issues out, a home services company can still help you identify the problem area(s) by performing a home energy checkup. This will help pinpoint the heating and cooling inefficiencies in your home from air leaks to insufficient insulation and solve the problem!

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