HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Where's The Cold Air? What To Do When Your AC Refuses To Turn On

The calendar might indicate that fall has arrived, but that doesn't mean the temperatures are cooperating. If temperatures are still in the triple digits in your area of the country, you still need your air conditioner to help keep you cool. If it's not working properly, these last few days of warm weather are going to be unbearable. If your air conditioner has decided not to turn on, you need to find the cause quickly so that you can get it repaired. Here are a few steps to take before you call for service.

Replace the Thermostat

Bad thermostats can prevent your air conditioner from turning on the way it should. There are a couple of reasons why that can happen. First, the batteries may be worn out or dead, which is preventing the thermostat from signaling the air conditioner. Second, the wiring may be damaged, which is preventing the right signal from getting to your air conditioner. Replace the batteries in your thermostat to see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't, take the face off the thermostat to look for signs of loose or damaged wires. If your air conditioner still won't turn on, it's time to have your thermostat replaced.

Clean Out the Condenser Line

If it's been a while since you cleaned out the condenser line – or you've never cleaned it out – that's the first place you should check. Condenser lines can fill with algae from all the condensation that passes through. Once the line is filled with algae, condensation won't be able to pass through properly, which means your air conditioner won't work properly. In fact, once the line gets completely clogged, your air conditioner will stop working altogether. Use a bottle brush to clean out the condenser line and then use a shop vacuum to remove the gunk. Once it's cleaned out, pour about a cup of vinegar into the line. The vinegar will remove all traces of algae and clean the line for you.

Check the Condenser Cord

While you're outside cleaning the condenser line, take a quick look at the condenser cord. That's the power cord that connects your air conditioner to your house. Problems with the condenser cord can prevent power from getting to your air conditioner. First, check to make sure that the power cord is connected to the outlet. If it isn't, plug it in. Next, check for signs of damage. Your dog could have chewed through it, or it could have gotten nicked the last time a weed trimmer went through the area. If the cord is damaged, you'll need to have it replaced.

Don't spend the last days of warm weather stuck in your house without air conditioning. If your air conditioner isn't turning on, use the tips provided here to help get things started again. If your air conditioner still refuses to cooperate, contact your service technician for assistance. To learn more, talk to companies like Service 1 Heating & A/C Inc.