Residential AC Troubleshooting and DIY Repair

Residential DIY AC Troubleshooting

Coming home to a malfunctioning or broken air conditioning system can be one of the most frustrating events of the summer. You depend upon your AC unit to create comfort in your home so that you can come home and relax after a long day of work. Therefore, when your system begins to malfunction, you want it fixed promptly. Since many problems associated with AC unit malfunction are electrical it is unwise and unsafe for you to attempt to fix these malfunctions yourself. However, there are a few minor repairs that you can do yourself. It is important, though, to remember that proper maintenance is the best way to protect against AC unit malfunction and avoid the need for system repairs.

Proper Maintenance

Every air conditioning system is unique. Therefore, it is important that you read the owner’s manual that came with your system to learn about the specific maintenance needs of your system. However, every air conditioning has filters and filter coils. Filters become clogged when the debris in the air of your home circle through the unit and pass through the filters. When the filters become clogged, they can prevent air from passing through your system correctly. This backup can overheat and damage your system. Additionally, filter coils can become bent and damaged. When you inspect your filters take a close look at these coils to make sure they are not damaged. If these steps have been taken and your unit is still not working properly, the problem is most likely caused by an electrical malfunction. Call an air conditioning technician who is familiar with your kind of system right away.

What To Do Until the Technician Arrives

It can take hours and sometimes days unit the technician arrives. To keep your home cool while you wait, there are a few things you can do:

  • Turn on the fans. Utilizing ceiling and freestanding stands can increase the air flow of your home, helping your home to cool down.
  • Close the blinds. If you have blinds on your windows you can close them to help keep out some of the heat that comes through the windows.


  • How can I help prevent damage to my system? Proper maintenance helps prevent damage to air conditioning systems. If you have a split unit system, when doing activities such as mowing the lawn, make sure debris does not head towards the outside unit.
  • I can’t see what the problem is. Should I open up my system? No! You are not a trained air conditioning repair technician. Prying open a unit can cause further and more expensive damage to your unit. You can also cause harm to yourself.
  • When should I call an air conditioning technician? 
    You should call an air conditioning technician as soon as you notice that the system is not functioning properly and that the problem is not due to a clogged filter. If you call as soon as you notice a malfunction you increase the likelihood that a technician will be able to see you before your system stops working completely.