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Troubleshooting Tips for an Air Conditioner That’s Acting Up


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If your cooling system isn’t doing its job, a little air conditioner troubleshooting can keep you from suffering through the greater Cincinnati area’s summer heat and save you a call to your technician.

Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

  • Clean it up – Dirt and buildup interfere with airflow and can prevent your system from cooling sufficiently. It can also cause the cooling system to turn on and off frequently, so it can’t dehumidify well. To improve airflow, replace the air filter regularly. Next, clear debris from the fins of the outdoor condenser unit with a stiff brush. Remove register and vent covers, vacuum out the accessible parts of the ducts and wash the covers. You can clean a dusty indoor evaporator coil with condensed air or foaming coil cleaner.
  • Check the condensate pump – A malfunctioning condensate pump keeps an air conditioning system from cooling and dehumidifying enough to keep you comfortable. If water is below the condensate pan and you don’t hear the pump kick on, contact your HVAC professional.
  • Adjust the thermostat’s heat anticipator – Inside your thermostat is a small disc marked with numbers. Move the lever on this disc toward the “longer” mark if your A/C cycles on and off frequently. Move it away from the “longer” mark if the A/C never manages to get the temperature right, instead keeping your house too hot or too cool.
  • Consider the size – In years past, some builders would install oversized cooling systems to ensure they can handle the hottest days. As part of your air conditioner troubleshooting, consider whether your air conditioner cycles frequently and doesn’t dehumidify well. In this case, it may be oversized. If your system is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading to a new air conditioner and make sure the technician sizes the system accurately.

If air conditioner troubleshooting doesn’t solve your cooling problem, or for other home comfort concerns, contact the pros at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in the greater Cincinnati area.

Image via Shutterstock.com

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