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What to do when your air conditioner stops working

Posted by Gloria Singer on Monday, June 11th, 2012 at 12:59pm.

Waking up sweating is not everyone’s definition of a sweet dream. Especially during summertime in South Florida. Air conditioners stop working for a variety of reasons. For new homeowners,  a sudden issue with you’re A/C could be a result of age or general wear and tear, which can easily be missed during an initial home inspection. 

Before it comes time to call a repairman or technician, it can be very beneficial for a homeowner to take a minute and try to determine the cause of the problem. Usually, central air conditioners will stop running due to poor maintenance, which can easily be remedied. For the motivated homeowner, do-it-yourself A/C maintenance can save you valuable time and money. 

But where to begin? Here is a simple checklist on how to diagnose an air conditioning system that has stopped working properly.

Inspect the Model
The first thing a person should do is check the air conditioner. Is it completely off, or is it blowing hot air? Is the model making any noises? Understanding the symptoms will help a person better diagnose the issue.  Additionally, if a technician is called, a home owner can fully explain the problem. 

Check the Circuit Breakers and Fuses
One of the first things a home owner should do is check the circuit breakers. It is wise to look around in the home and see if there are any other appliances that are not working. This is a sign that it may be a circuit issue. People should reset the breaker and see if it affects the air conditioner. Similarly, a fuse could be a problem. Blown fuses happen when there are power surges or just when the fuse is blown or older. To check this, one should find the fuse box, check them all, identify which one may be at fault, remove it, and then replace it.

Turn the Model Off and then Back On
Sometimes, an air conditioning system just needs a break. Home owners should turn off the model, let it sit for a bit, and then turn it back on. For some models, this may solve the issue. Of course, follow up with a professional should also happen. 

Clean the Air Conditioner’s Filter
If the machine is making sounds or smells funny, then it could be that the filter needs to be changed. A clogged filter can make the air conditioner run slowly and could actually fill a home with dirty air. Home owners should look at the model’s manual when removing and replacing the filter. Some of them may be washable or cleanable whereas others need to be straight up replaced.

Look for Loose Screws
Noise like rattling could mean that the air conditioner has loose screws and parts. This is why it is important to inspect the machine and look to see if this is needed. Make sure to turn the model off when tightening such items. The fan might need some lubrication too, though this is a more advanced repair that involves talking to a professional and consulting the manual. Lastly, look to see if anything is trapped inside of the model. This could cause noise and issues too. 

Prevention is the best way to protect air conditioners. This means only using the model when one is home, making sure to clean the filters on a regular basis, and having the system checked annually or when the seasons change. An air conditioner ensures people are comfortable year-round. With proper care, such a model can last quite a long time.

 This is a guest post from USA Air Conditioning. You can reach them at (561)404-0340.


Gloria Singer is the Broker of Boca Expert Realty, a boutique Boca Raton real estate company with a focus on professional service and an unparalleled customer experience. Our select agents are amongst the top performing professionals in the field. Visit for information on Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach real estate and to connect with an expert in the local market. 

2 Responses to "What to do when your air conditioner stops working"

Air conditioning Greenville SC wrote: Please keep on posting about This topic. I want to know more details about it. Anyway, I have read some of posts in your blog here. And all of them are very informative. Thanks for sharing.

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at 2:33am.

Ashlee Anderson wrote: I realize that most people in Boca probably rarely use their heat, but when you do switch back from heat to cool there are two things that you want to remember that could save you from having pay a technician for a visit. First if you have a damper or dual zone system (you'll have 2 thermostats) switch both to off first then switch to cool which will keep you from freezing the computer. Also you may have to reset your HVAC manually which is actually quite easy. Please refer to your manual, but on most units a quick check is to make sure both the red and green lights are on on the outside unit (you may have to look a bit to find them. Resetting the system usually is as easy a a push of a couple buttons.

Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2013 at 11:53am.

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