If you think about it, any machine that is designed to sit outside 365 days a year, rain or shine, has to have toughness built in.  Think of your air conditioner as the Rocky of your home’s major appliances.  Of course, as we all know from the movies, even Rocky can go down sometimes.

There are several reasons why your air conditioner may fail this summer.

If your air conditioner fails, your first step is to check your circuit breaker or fuses.  If you need to change the fuse or reset the breaker, give the unit about 15 minutes to cool down before you do so.  If the unit doesn’t start again, the high-pressure limit switch may have been tripped.  Time to call a licensed, trained technician to have a look.

If it’s not a fuse or circuit breaker, you’ll need to call a technician. Here are some of the things that may have happened:

  • You may have a refrigerant leak. Any leak of refrigerant has to be fixed and then recharged by a licensed technician, as refrigerant is harmful to the environment.  Your air conditioner can’t work properly unless the refrigerant is at the level recommended by your air conditioner’s manufacturer.
  • Your coil may be frozen.  Coils may become frozen due to airflow issues caused by dirty filters or blocked ductwork.  They can also freeze if you are low on refrigerant due to a leak. 
  • The compressor, fan blades, electrical connections, or electrical contacts could be worn out.  This is especially true if your air conditioner is more than five years old or cycles on and off frequently.  Wear-and-tear parts should be inspected during annual maintenance, so hopefully this type of failure isn’t an issue unless…
  • You aren’t maintaining your air conditioner like you should.  Annual maintenance is essential to your air conditioner working properly.  A technician can spot any parts that are wearing out and replace them before there’s an emergency situation. Air conditioning coils should be kept clean. Air filters should be changed at least every three months and optimally every month. If you don’t maintain your air conditioner per manufacturer’s specifications your warranty will most likely be void if there is a problem. Proper maintenance also extends the life of your air conditioner.
  • Your sensor or thermostat may not be working correctly, causing your air conditioner to cycle on and off too much or just not work.

The easiest way to ensure that your air conditioner will get you through the summer ahead is to schedule a check-up now, before you have any problems.  It costs less than you think, and can save you money and time later in the summer.