If you cut the power to the air conditioner at the circuit panel last fall in preparation for the long Chicagoland winter, turn on the power, but let the equipment sit 24 hours before turning it on "cool" mode. This allows oil and refrigerant to separate in the compressor. That tip may come in handy next year. But, if your A/C won't start now, try these tips:
- Thermostat batteries - Make sure the thermostat is in "cool" mode. If the screen is blank, remove the housing cover to replace the batteries.
- Circuit panel and limit switch - If the thermostat is fine, check the A/C power supply outside near the unit. check the circuit panel and limit switch too. The limit switch will be located near the air handler, and it looks like a typical light switch.
Sometimes the A/C power's on fine, but it can't seem to get in the cooling mood. Intermittent cooling, quick cycling and unbalanced airflow are common of cooling systems that have been hibernating.
- Thermostat anticipator - If your home becomes too hot before the air conditioner turns on, adjust a manual thermostat's heat anticipator. Remove the housing and move the pointed metal lever a click.
- Check the coils - Dirt and debris on the evaporator and condenser coils can effectively block home cooling. The outside cabinet may be littered with debris after a long winter. Spray the unit off with a garden hose, and wipe the indoor evaporator coil with a soft cloth.
- Check the air filter - Have you checked the air filter lately? Dirty air filters restrict airflow and lead to poor cooling.
- Inspect ducts - Check air pressure at all supply registers. If it's uneven, you've got a ductwork problem. Incorrectly sized ducts, leaky ducts or other duct design issues obstruct cooling. Ask your HVAC pro to take a look during spring maintenance, or you may try to seal leaks with aluminum tape and mastic sealant.
If your A/C won't start after troubleshooting, check out Comfort24-7.com to locate an A/C contractor near your home. You may also search our A/C solutions, or call 855-GET-COMFY to talk to an expert!