Air conditioner during maintenance

What to Do When Your AC Suddenly Stops Working

Air conditioning is an integral aspect of modern comfort. It’s easy to take for granted when it’s running well and keeping you cool. But at some point, almost every homeowner is going to have to deal with an AC that suddenly stops blowing cold air. Let’s have a look at what to do if this happens to you.

Check the Thermostat

The first thing to do is go to your thermostat. In many modern systems, the thermostat LCD screen will go dark when there is an AC problem. This alerts you that there is trouble, and you need an HVAC technician.

If the thermostat is lit and providing you with a display, the problem may be with the programming. Check to make sure the system is in cool mode and has an appropriate temperature setting. Also, make sure that someone hasn’t accidentally put it into hold, vacation or another mode.

Examine the HVAC Filter

Check the HVAC filter at the supply vent. If it’s dirty, replace it. Central systems operate within a certain static air pressure range. If a dirty filter restricts airflow too much, pressure in the system decreases. Eventually, this may cause the system to trip and stop working.

Check the Electrical Panel

The next step is to make sure the AC didn’t trip a circuit. If you have an older home, it may be a fuse that has blown. Replace the fuse, or reset the circuit, as needed. If the circuit trips again, don’t continue to reset it. This indicates a more serious electrical issue that requires professional attention.

Inspect the Outside Unit

There are two main items to check outside. Most modern air conditioners and heat pumps have an outside disconnect switch. It will typically be on the siding and near the outdoor unit. Lift the cover. Ensure that the switch, which will have a handle, is there and seated properly into the socket.

Next, check the condenser unit. If there are leaves and other debris in there, remove them. Then, look at the coils. If you notice dirt accumulation on the coils, this could be the cause. You may be able to clean them with a white vinegar and water mixture. If you cannot clean them or they’re frozen, you’ll need professional help.

Call in the Pros

At this point, if your AC is still not functioning, it’s time to call in a trusted HVAC technician. Most companies offer same-day service for AC failures. Your technician will identify the issue and perform a repair, so you’ll be ready for the hot weather ahead.

If you live in Helena, MT or the surrounding areas and require air conditioning service, call Big Sky at (406) 313-8259, or make an appointment online.