Air conditioners can suffer from a wide array of issues over their lifetime. Because this is one appliance that most Americans can't live without, it's important that such issues be fixed as soon as they occur.
However, having to call someone to attend to your AC every time you hear a funny noise can be a tedious affair. Therefore, being able to perform a certain level of troubleshooting on your own can make a huge difference. To do this, you should familiarize yourself with some of the common problems that affect AC systems and what the possible causes are.
The AC Won't Turn On
Quite often, it's an electrical problem that will result in your AC failing to turn on. However, just to be sure, ensure that your AC is actually on the right settings. You should also check that the thermostat's temperature has been set to a value lower than the current temperature of the room. If the thermostat operates on batteries, you may also want to try new ones.
It's also possible that the circuit breaker was tripped by a power surge. If you have a fuse box instead of a breaker box, check if the fuse is burnt out.
Very Short Cycles
It's also not uncommon for ACs to turn on for a short time before turning off. In many cases, this is caused by low refrigerant levels or restricted airflow. Therefore, the first thing you should check is the system's air filter. This can become clogged by dust and other particles. Filters should be replaced regularly, especially during summer when the AC is in heavy use.
You may also want to check the condensing unit. If the fins are bent, dirty, or obstructed such that they are not able to turn freely, the result can be these short cycles.
Warm Air Instead of Cool
When the AC is blowing warm air it may mean that either the air is not being sufficiently cooled or the AC unit is overheating. Insufficient cooling can be caused by low refrigerant levels, blocked refrigerant path, or inefficiency in the condensing unit, among other issues.
If an AC unit is overheating, the likely causes are running for too long, running at higher speeds than recommended, mechanical problems, etc.
For many of these cases, you'll need to reach out to air conditioning repair professionals. This is because the work will require a lot more skill or even special tools.