DIY Aircon Troubleshooting

DIY Aircon troubleshooting is all about fixing your air conditioner by yourself. This can save you money and time. You can often do these repairs in under two hours and the parts might cost less than $100 if you know how to work with electricity safely.

Your air conditioner has different parts like capacitors and a contactor that you might need to replace after some years to keep it running well.

To fix issues by yourself, you will need tools like a multimeter and screwdrivers. Problems with your air conditioner can be simple or complex; sometimes it’s just a dirty filter or an ice-covered coil.

If something looks too hard, or if your air conditioner still doesn’t work after 30 minutes of trying fixes, then it’s smart to call an expert.

Keeping up with basic maintenance like changing filters and cleaning the unit can stop many problems from happening. We will show you step-by-step ways on how to care for your AC so that it works when you need it most.

Let’s make sure we keep cool!

Understanding Your Air Conditioner’s Anatomy

Moving on to the heart of your air conditioning system, let’s dive into its key parts. Your central air conditioner has both an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit houses the condenser coils, a compressor, and a fan.

These pieces work together to release heat from your home.

Inside, you’ll find the evaporator coil which cools the air before it circulates through your rooms. Nearby are important electrical components like capacitors, which help motors start up and keep running smoothly.

Knowing these basic parts helps you spot problems fast during DIY troubleshooting efforts with your A/C.

Common Air Conditioner Issues and DIY Fixes

Navigating the maze of common air conditioner glitches doesn’t have to be daunting. We’ll delve into the practical steps you can take to identify and resolve issues ensuring your space remains a bastion of comfort without unnecessary calls to the professionals.

No Power

Your aircon won’t start, and it’s hot inside. This is a common problem that you might be able to fix yourself.

  • Check the thermostat settings. Make sure it’s on ‘cool’ and set below room temperature.
  • Inspect the circuit breaker or fuses. Reset the breaker if it has tripped, or replace any blown fuses.
  • Look at the external unit for a power switch. Ensure this is in the ‘on’ position.
  • Test the power supply with a voltage detector. Confirm that electricity is reaching your system.
  • Examine any exposed wires for damage. If you find issues, turn off power before attempting repairs.
  • Verify if the condensate pan is full and triggering a safety switch. Empty the pan to restore power.
  • Assess AC contactors for signs of wear or damage, as these may prevent power flow.

No Cool Air

If your air conditioner turns on but doesn’t blow cool air, you might have a problem. This issue can come from different parts of the system.

  1. Check the thermostat:
  • Make sure it’s set to “cool” and the temperature is lower than the room’s current temperature.
  • Replace batteries if the display is blank or not responding.
  1. Inspect the furnace fan:
  • Ensure that it runs when the cooling function is on.
  • Look for any strange noises which could indicate a fault.
  1. Examine the outside condensing unit:
  • Remove debris that might block air flow.
  • Listen for unusual sounds suggesting a potential issue.
  1. Capacitors are often to blame:
  • Use a multimeter to test if capacitors in your central air conditioning unit are working.
  • Replace capacitors proactively every five years to prevent “no cool air” problems.
  1. Assess the AC contactor:
  • Look for signs of wear or electrical pitting.
  • Consider replacing the AC contactor regularly, also typically every five years, as part of maintenance.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

After checking for cool air and finding none, it’s time to inspect the evaporator coil. A frozen coil can block the flow of cool air and needs attention right away. Here’s how to deal with a frozen evaporator coil:

  • First, turn off your air conditioner to prevent further ice build – up.
  • Locate the evaporator coil; you’ll find it in the air handler of your HVAC system.
  • Check if ice has formed on the coil. If so, melting it is critical.
  • Use a hairdryer on a low setting or just let the coil thaw naturally with the system turned off.
  • Inspect your air filter. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and cause freezing. Change it if needed.
  • Look at the condensate pan below the coil. It should not be damaged or overflowing.
  • Ensure that all vents around your home are open and not blocked by furniture or curtains.

Damaged Condensate Pan

A damaged condensate pan can cause water leaks. This damage may lead to problems with your air conditioner and the area around it.

  • Check the condensate pan for any cracks or holes. Use a torch to inspect it closely.
  • Dry the area around the condensate pan before starting repairs. This makes finding new leaks easier.
  • Seal small cracks with epoxy glue designed for metal or plastic, depending on your pan’s material.
  • Replace the condensate pan if you find large cracks or damage. Make sure to get the correct size for your unit.
  • Test the air conditioner after fixing the pan to ensure there are no more leaks.
  • Keep an eye on the repaired area during use. Look out for signs of water.

Basic Maintenance Tips for Your Air Conditioner

Regular upkeep is crucial to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently. Embrace these easy-to-follow tips to prevent common issues and prolong the life of your unit.

Changing the Filter

  1. Turn off your air conditioner before you start. This keeps you safe while you work.
  2. Find the filter location, usually found in the return duct or blower compartment.
  3. Slide out the old filter by gently pulling on its edge.
  4. Check the size printed on the edge of the old filter to buy a correct replacement.
  5. Slide in the new filter with arrows pointing in the direction of airflow.
  6. Secure any latches or covers that hold the filter in place.

Melting Ice

Melting ice from your air conditioner helps it run smoothly. It’s a basic maintenance step you can do yourself, saving time and money. Here’s how to tackle melting ice on your unit:

  • Turn off the air conditioner at both the thermostat and the breaker to make sure it’s safe to work on.
  • Locate the evaporator coil, which is usually found inside the air handler or attached to the furnace.
  • Check if there’s any ice on the coil. If there is, stop using the AC to allow the ice to melt naturally.
  • Speed up melting with a hair dryer set on low. Keep it moving around, not too close, to avoid damaging any parts.
  • Put towels or a bucket under the unit to catch water from the melting ice.
  • Once all ice has melted, dry off any wet areas within the aircon unit.
  • Look for reasons why ice built up in the first place. Dirty filters or low refrigerant can cause this issue.

Cleaning the Unit

Cleaning your air conditioner is crucial for its performance and lifespan. Before you start, make sure the power is shut off to ensure safety.

  • Turn off the air conditioner at the thermostat.
  • Find the outdoor disconnect block and switch it off.
  • Remove any debris around the condenser unit with a brush or your hands.
  • Take out the access panel to reach the condenser coils.
  • Use a coil cleaner spray and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Gently wash away the cleaner with a hose, avoiding electrical parts.
  • Check if your unit has a reusable filter and clean it, or replace it if disposable.
  • Look over other parts like the fan blades and cooling fins for dirt build – up.

When to Call a Professional for Aircon Repairs

Sometimes, DIY air conditioner troubleshooting hits a wall. If your aircon still won’t start after 30 minutes of checking thermostats, capacitors and the run capacitor, it’s time to get help.

You might not have the tools or know-how to fix complex problems safely.

The same goes for any issue that involves refrigerant. Handling this substance requires special training and equipment. Leave it to the experts.

Loud noises coming from your unit could signal serious internal trouble. Grinding or squealing sounds often mean a professional should take a look.

You’ll also want expert assistance if you notice water leaking around your system more than usual. A damaged condensate pan can lead to bigger issues like mold growth or property damage.

During peak seasons like summer, waiting for repairs can be long and expensive. Still, calling in a pro is crucial when simple fixes don’t work. Only they have the skills and tools for complex jobs.


Fixing your air conditioner can be a rewarding challenge. Keep in mind the tips and tricks you’ve learnt for tackling common issues. Remember to switch off the power before starting any work.

Trust your skills but know when it’s time to call an expert. Stay cool and take pride in maintaining your AC unit with confidence!

If your air conditioner issues persist after trying these troubleshooting tips, it may be time to consult a professional for aircon repairs.


1. What should I check first if my aircon is not working?

First, make sure your aircon’s capacitors are functioning correctly as they power the motor. If they’re faulty, they may need replacing.

2. Why is my air conditioning unit blowing warm air?

When an air conditioner blows warm instead of cool air, it might mean there’s an issue with the refrigerant levels or a blockage in the system that needs clearing.

3. Can I find DIY troubleshooting guides for my aircon online?

Absolutely! You can use web browsers like Internet Explorer to search for step-by-step DIY troubleshooting guides specific to your model.

4. How do I know when it’s time to call a professional for my AC issues?

If you’ve tried basic checks and fixes without success, or if you suspect complex problems with electrical components, it’s best to consult a professional technician.

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