Troubleshooting and doing your own AC repair in The Bay Area, California, can appear like a lot of hassle.

There’s a better way. There are several quick remedies you can attempt by yourself that might help you get out of an AC service call.

When you’re having air conditioning issues, try this checklist before calling a heating and cooling repair professional like Contra Costa Heating & AC.

Our experts are standing by at 510-343-9841 when you need expert service. We have emergency AC repair and work on most brands of central AC equipment.

If you want to get an up to date air conditioner, we also provide AC installation.

When you’re in contact with us, contemplate a yearly AC maintenance plan that may help you keep clear of future malfunctions. We can advise how often you need air conditioner service.

Ready to get started troubleshooting your system? Try our fast tips below. Many of these procedures don’t require any HVAC knowledge.

Air Conditioner Repair Checklist

1. AC Won’t Turn On

There can be several reasons why your AC equipment won’t start: a triggered circuit breaker, inaccurate thermostat settings, a turned off switch or an overflowing condensate drain pan.

Overloaded Circuit Breaker

Your system won’t start when you have an overloaded breaker.

To see if one has gotten overloaded, locate your house’s main electrical panel. You can spot this metallic device on the wall in the basement, garage or closet.

  • Ensure your hands and feet are dry before you touch the panel or breakers.
  • Look for the breaker identified “AC” and make sure it’s in the “on” location. If it’s tripped the lever will be in the middle or “off” location.
  • Firmly shift the breaker back to the “on” position. If it instantly trips again, leave it alone and reach us at 510-343-9841. A breaker that keeps tripping could mean your house has an electrical issue.

Incorrect Thermostat Settings

If your thermostat isn’t signaling your air conditioner to run, it won’t activate.

The key part is checking it’s on “cool” and not “heat.” Otherwise your air conditioning will probably not switch on. Or you might have. warm air coming from vents being the heater is on instead.

If you rely on a traditional thermostat:

  • Put in new batteries if the monitor is empty. If the monitor is showing garbled letters, buy a new thermostat.
  • Make sure the right program is displaying. If you can’t update it, cancel it by dropping the temperature and pressing the “hold” button. This will make your AC start if programming is not right.
  • Test setting the thermostat 5 degrees cooler than the room’s temperature. Your AC won’t cool if the thermostat is set the same as the room’s temperature.

Once your thermostat is calibrated properly, you should begin getting chilled air quickly.

If you have a smart thermostat, such as one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch, go to the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting. If you’re still having problems, call us at 510-343-9841 for help.

Shut-Off Switch

Your AC probably has a shut-down lever around its outside unit. This device is commonly in a metal box hung on your residence. If your unit has recently been maintained, the device may have accidentally been put in the “off” position.

Overflowing Condensate Drain Pan

Condensate drain pans catch the extra condensation your AC pulls from the air. This pan can be found either beneath or within your furnace or air handler.

When there’s an obstruction or clogged drain, water can accumulate and initiate a safety control to switch off your air conditioner.

If your pan involves a PVC pipe or drain, you can get rid of the extra liquid with a special pan-cleaning tablet. You can get these tabs at a home improvement or hardware shop.

If your pan includes a pump, find the float switch. If the switch is “up” and there’s liquid in the pan, you may need to replace the pump. Call us at 510-343-9841 for assistance.

2. AC Blows Warm Air

If your AC is running but not cooling, its airflow might be congested. Or it may not have enough refrigerant.

Blocked Airflow

Your equipment’s airflow can be reduced by a blocked air filter or dusty condenser.

How to Replace Your Air Filter

A filthy filter can lead to a lot of issues, such as:

  • Reduced comfort
  • Frosted refrigerant lines or evaporator coil
  • Inconsistent cooling
  • Larger energy expenses
  • Making your system wear out faster

We recommend changing flat filters every four weeks, and creased filters every three months.

If you aren’t sure when you last installed a new one, shut off your system fully and remove the filter. You can spot the filter in your furnace or air pump’s blower compartment. It may also be found in a connected filter holder or wall-mounted return air grille.

Angle the filter up to your light fixture. If you can’t see any light you need to replace it.

4 Steps to Cleaning Your Cooling Unit

Weeds, grass and bushes can get in the way of your condensing unit. This may reduce its airflow, impact its energy efficiency and impact your comfort. Here’s a way you can get your unit running smoothly again.

  1. Shut off the electrical current fully at the breaker or outdoor lever.
  2. Remove plant rubbish around the AC. Once you’ve cleared all the debris within a two-foot range, you can use a soft brush or vacuum to slowly remove dirt from the unit’s fins. Distorted fins can also impact efficiency, so you can attempt to straighten them with a blunt knife.
  3. Use a hose nozzle to gingerly clean the fins from inside the unit. Don’t get moisture on the fan motor.
  4. Put the top back on and turn on the power.

Low Refrigerant Levels

When air conditioning units don’t have adequate refrigerant, they’ll have difficulty removing heat and humidity from the air.

Here are a few signs that your system is seeping refrigerant:

  1. It takes a long time to lower the temperature in your house and you’re constantly turning down the thermostat.
  2. Air conditioning moving through the vents isn’t as chilled as it should be.
  3. You’re experiencing fizzing or bubbling sounds when the AC runs.
  4. Your evaporator coil is icy because it’s having trouble absorbing heat.

Worried your equipment is leaking refrigerant? You need a certified heating and cooling service specialist to repair the leak and restore the right measurement of refrigerant in your equipment. Call us at 510-343-9841 for support.

3. AC Not Blowing Enough Air

When it appears like you’re not getting ample amounts of cool air, there’s usually an obstruction or detachment within your air conditioning equipment.

  • The beginning stage is checking your air filter. Buy a new one if it’s filthy.
  • Then ensure the registers are free across your rooms.
  • If you’re still not receiving ample chilled air, you should have your duct system examined by a professional like Contra Costa Heating & AC. Your ductwork might need to be serviced or reconnected in tricky areas like your attic, basement or crawl space.

Request Pro Air Conditioner Repair Now

When you require air conditioning service quickly, contact the HVAC repair experts at Contra Costa Heating & AC at 510-343-9841. We’ll quickly identify the problem when your equipment won’t work or provide enough chilled air.

Request Service