DIY Troubleshooting And Repair Of Your Home's Air Conditioning System

Posted on: 31 August 2018


If your air conditioner isn't working and you can't afford to have a professional HVAC technician come out and figure out why then these steps will help you troubleshoot the problem and possibly fix it.

Step 1: Make Sure the Air Compressor has Electrical Power

If you turn the thermostat down and yet no cool air comes out of the vents, then it is possible the system doesn't have any power. Your HVAC system has potentially three different sources of power that could be the culprit. To check for power, look at the power breakers and make sure the one for the air conditioner and for the furnace are both operational. If everything is okay in the panel, then check to make sure the service disconnect installed near the air compressor is completely plugged in and hasn't come loose.

Step 2: Take Off the Service Panel on the Compressor Unit and Check for Obvious Problems

The air compressor unit for your air conditioner has a service panel you can access by removing a couple of screws. Take off the panel and look at the parts inside. Specifically, check to see if you see any rusted parts or wires that have come loose. If you have a voltage meter, check the wires to make sure current is flowing correctly. If you do not know how to do this or don't have a voltage meter, then pull out the service disconnect to kill the power to the unit.

Step 3: Look at the Fan Motor

With the service panel removed and the power off, take a good look at the condenser fan motor. Do you see any visible grease or rust on the outside of the motor's housing? If so, then the internal bearing is probably shot, and this is likely the problem with your air conditioner. You can purchase a new condenser motor from the manufacturer of the unit and easily replace it.

Step 4: Check the Capacitor for Bulging

There is a cylindrical part inside of the access panel that is a few inches long. This part is called a capacitor, and it stores power to turn on the condenser fan. Capacitors do fail and stop storing enough power to start the fan. You can determine if the capacitor is the problem by checking its top for bulging and checking it with a voltage meter.

Step 5: Call a Professional HVAC Company for Assistance

If the air conditioner has power and the fan motor and capacitor appear to be fine, then you will have to call a professional air conditioning repair company for further assistance.