The heat and humidity of summer can place tremendous levels of stress on residential air conditioning components resulting in a sudden, disheartening lack of cooling. When this happens, homeowners will need to contact an air conditioning repair contractor to schedule a professional assessment of the system and make repairs, but there are a few things to try while awaiting the technician's arrival.
Check the electrical power
If the air conditioning system seems completely dead, with no hint of noise from the fan or from components attempting to power on, the problem may be an electrical one. While any damaged electrical parts, like switches or wiring, will need professional repair, homeowners will want to rule out the possibility that a breaker could have been switched off in the electrical panel or a control switch on the unit could have been bumped to the off position.
Most air conditioning systems have two breakers in the electrical panel, one for the fan and the second to provide power to the condenser unit. When checking the breakers, remember to look closely as they may only appear partially flipped to somewhere between the on and off positions. Breakers found in mid-position should be first turned to the fully off position and then back to the on position to restart the flow of electricity.
If electrical breakers or control switches immediately trip again, there is likely to be a larger electrical issue that will require professional repair before the system can be safely restarted.
Check the thermostat
Another simple thing to try while awaiting the arrival of your air conditioning repair service technician is to check the thermostat to ensure that it is functioning correctly. If the thermostat controls have been adjusted or bumped by a household member, resetting it could be enough to restart the air conditioning system.
Check for icing on the coil
The exterior component of central air conditioning systems houses the coil, which processes the coolant to create cold air to cool the home. A malfunctioning coil can often be discovered by looking for a buildup of ice on its surface.
Low refrigerant levels, dirty filters, and many other repair issues can cause ice to build up on the coil and cause the loss of cooling inside the home. Homeowners who find ice on their air conditioning system's coil may be able to thaw it by running only the fan. Once thawed, the system may be able to resume cooling on a limited basis until professional help can arrive in the form of a trusted, local air conditioning service technician.
Contact a local HVAC contractor to learn more about air conditioning repair.