Air Conditioning Troubleshooting
What do you do if you realize your AC is not functioning properly?
Quality West is happy to provide you with several tips that can possibly help you avoid a service call if you discover only a minor issue with your AC system. However, most of the tips listed are only temporary solutions and it is highly recommended that you follow up with a professional to ensure the proper operation and safety of your system.
DIY Steps for Troubleshooting
Check the Thermostat.
The first thing to check is the thermostat, which governs the automatic operation of the furnace. Check to make sure the batteries in the thermostat are working. If the controls or dial is set to a lower temperature that the thermostat is showing, set the control 5 to 10 degrees higher than the the indoor temperature displayed. If the thermostat has a timer, see that its settings allow the furnace to be on at the time you are checking it. Making these adjustments may start the furnace.
Check the power switch.
If the furnace still won't power on after checking the thermostat then check the switch governing the power to the furnace. Most resemble ordinary wall switches and can be switched off inadvertently. You can find the switch in the furnace room on the wall near the furnace. Returning the switch to the "on" position should restart the furnace.
Check the breakers for your AC system.
There will be one for the indoor furnace unit and an additional one for the outdoor condensing unit. If one of them has been tripped, it can easily be reset by first moving it to the OFF position and then back to the ON position.
Check the lower section of the furnace to see if it is very cold and sweating.
If so, turn the air conditioner off for at least 4-5 hours and replace the filter. The unit is frozen and will need to defrost.
Not Getting Enough Air Flow
Check the furnace filter and replace or clean if dirty. If the filter is very dirty, it could be restricting the air flow of your system. Once you change the dirty furnace filter, follow these steps to attempt to restore the air flow:
- Turn your system "OFF".
- Turn the fan to the "ON" position, and allow to run for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, turn the system to "COOL", and the fan to "AUTO". If the filter was the only problem, your system will likely return to it's normal air flow.
If you are still having problems with your system, call Quality West at 303-522-9597 to schedule a professional to come out and diagnose the problem.
Tips for Keeping Cool in Colorado's Summer Heat
After a long, cold winter, summer's here! But summer cooling can be almost as costly as winter heating. Here are some tips to keep your home-and your family-cool and comfortable throughout summer's hottest days. You'll feel better, and your cooling costs will drop, too.
Air Conditioning System
Have your central air conditioning system serviced before the cooling season begins. Leaking ducts and joints, low refrigerant, worn parts, and dirty air filters can jack up energy use, so make sure every aspect of your system is in top operating condition.
Keep It Clear
Clear all brush and debris from around the unit so air can circulate — if the motor doesn't have to labor, it will use less energy.
Change Your Filter
If you have user-serviceable filters, be sure to change them monthly. They're inexpensive, and clean filters help keep the compressor operating efficiently.
Plant a Tree
Not only to shade the house, but to shade the AC unit, too. If the unit has to expend energy to cool itself, it will have to work harder to cool your house's interior.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Set the thermostat as high as is comfortable for you and your family. Just a few degrees higher than usual can have a significant positive impact on energy use with little negative impact on comfort.
Check the Surroundings
Make sure the thermostat is placed away from lamps, sunny windows, and other heat sources that can keep the AC unit running unnecessarily.
Dehumidify Your House
Use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air - dry air feels cooler than moist air.
Cover windows on the sunny side of the house during the hottest part of the day.
During the Day...
If no one is home most of the day, set the AC to turn on an hour before you arrive. No need to pay for cool air that no one is enjoying.
Set your thermostat timer to raise the temperature at night. Body temperature drops as we sleep, so air that's comfortable during the day will be too chilly during slumber.
Close Windows and Doors
When the AC is running, keep doors and windows closed to minimize loss of cool air.
Turn Off the Pilot Light
If you have an older gas fireplace, turn off the pilot light (with a Quality West technician's help, if necessary). Relight it in the fall when the first chilly nights appear.
Circulate the Air
Make sure the attic is well insulated and well ventilated. Efficient air circulation keeps the temperature down and saves on cooling costs.
Enjoy the Breeze
Consider using air conditioning only on the hottest days of the year. Instead, take advantage of cooling breezes through open doors and windows - you'll save money and the environment, too!
You can easily perform most of these common-sense tips yourself and keep your house cool on the hottest summer days. And when you need expert service or want to upgrade or add to your cooling system, Quality West can design and install a custom system using the finest, most energy-efficient products on the market. You may be surprised how affordable "cool" can be!