So you’ve missed the signs that your A/C was on it’s way out, what do you do now? AHS offers tips to figure out the cause and to know when you need to contact a pro.

Perhaps you’re noticing strange sounds coming from the unit. Or worse, you notice the A/C unit not cooling your home at all. Obviously, you want the issue fixed as soon as possible. And fortunately, you may be able to solve the problem — and therefore, save some serious time and cash — on your own. Here are the steps you should take before calling your home warranty company and/or repair person.

Signs That Your A/C Is Not Working Properly

Naturally, the biggest sign of your A/C not working properly is your A/C not cooling at all. Other signs include:

Your air conditioner is cooling inefficiently.
You’re hearing strange noises from the system.
Your airflow is lower than normal.
There is built-up moisture around the unit.

Before You Call

If you’ve noticed the central air not cooling your home or any of the other symptoms mentioned above, perform these ta

1. Check your sources

Determine the following:

a. Is the power on?
b. Is the unit plugged in?
c. Has the circuit breaker been tripped?
d. Are the batteries still working in the thermostat (if it’s battery-powered)?
e. Is the thermostat set to “Cool” (versus “Fan Only”)?
f. Is the thermostat set to a temperature that is below the current room temperature?
g. Are all of the air vents open and unobstructed?

2. Check your air filter.

Is the A/C not cooling the house properly, but everything’s on, open and unobstructed? It’s time to check your filter. If it’s dirty and clogged, it can cause several issues, including a lack of air flow and cooling efficiency. The best part? If the air filter is your culprit, changing it will cost merely a fraction of what a professional will inevitably have to charge for a repair. Want to help ensure A/C efficiency in the future? Change your air filter every one to three months.

3. Check your coils.

If the coils on your outside unit are dirty and blocked by debris, such as leaves and grass clippings, you can simply clean them off by spraying them with a water hose. If, however, they are frozen with visible blocks of ice around them, they will need to be thawed. Likewise, if the air coming out at the inside vents is not cool air, your internal unit may have frozen coils. For either situation, all you have to do is turn the unit off or to the “Fan Only” setting for a few hours to thaw them. Note: If thawing the coils appears to only be a temporary fix, the unit could be low on refrigerant, among other issues. That would merit a call to the professionals.

When You Should Call

If you’ve gone through each of the steps above, and you’re still noticing your central air conditioner not cooling properly, you undoubtedly put in the effort, but unfortunately, it’s time to call in the professionals. The issue appears to require certain expertise or parts that only a professional can provide.

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