It’s mid summer and you have 20 people coming over in an hour for an afternoon get together. You suddenly start to sweat while prepping the food. Not from the amount of avocado you’re slicing for your famous guac, but because zero air is coming out of your kitchen vent. You look at your thermostat and it’s blank. You’re A/C is officially out. Cue panic in 3, 2, 1! As if on cue, the kids start in, “I’m hot! Ew, I’m sweating!” So how do you save this day? Turn all the fans on and hope no one notices? It’s Texas so there’s no chance that’ll work. Resign to canceling the party and wait for the A/C guy to come and deliver you with a hefty bill? Ugh, maybe. But wait… what if you could fix your A/C yourself?!
Believe it or not, you can sometimes DIY your “broken” A/C without having to know too much of how it all works. It doesn’t apply to every issue, but you could save a lot of time and, potentially, a costly trip from an A/C company by using our troubleshooter or the checklist below.
5 common problems and ways to fix your A/C yourself
- Batteries: If your thermostat is blank check the batteries. Sometimes they just need to be changed. Most thermostats require 2 AA batteries. If it’s a hard wired thermostat, you may have a loss a power and you’ll need to call an A/C company to help safely sort that out.
- Filter: You may need to change your filter. A dirty filter can cause your unit to malfunction so you should turn your unit off and replace your filter. After 30 minutes, turn your unit back on and see if that works. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to make the call to your A/C company.
- Breaker: Your breaker may be tripped. Find your main power panel and look for a tripped breaker. Reset your breaker. If your breaker is not tripped, you will need a pro to check things out. Turn off your unit at the thermostat and schedule a visit with your A/C company.
- Dripping Water: Water dripping from your outside unit is normal, but if it’s happening inside it could be a clogged drain-line. If your unit is designed to drain outside, you can use a shop-vac to attempt to clear the line. If your unit doesn’t drain outside or you aren’t comfortable clearing the line yourself, then you’ll need to call the pros.
- Weird Noise: If the noise is coming from inside the house you could have a dirty air filter. Sometimes dirty filters can create unfamiliar noises. Try changing your filter. If the noise persists, you need an HVAC technician. If the noise is coming from your outdoor unit, you’ll need a technician for that as well.
Your heater may also be fixed with some DIY checks.
- Batteries: Same with your A/C, if your thermostat is blank check the batteries. Sometimes they just need to be changed. Easy fix! If it’s a hard wired thermostat, you may have a loss a power and you’ll need to call a A/C company to help safely sort that out.
- Gas Heater: Make sure your gas supply is turned on and connected. Verify that the furnace is plugged into an electrical outlet in the attic or closet. Do not use an extension cord. If your gas is connected to your furnace, plugged into an electrical outlet and still not working, you will need to call an HVAC company.
- Heat Pump: If your outside unit is NOT running in a heat pump style heater, your breaker may be tripped. Find your main power panel and look for a tripped breaker. Reset your breaker. If your breaker is not tripped, you need a pro. Turn off your unit at the thermostat and call your HVAC company.
- Strange Smell: It is normal to smell a burning odor when you first turn on your heater after not using it for a while. The dust built up over time is likely burning off. The smell should go away after a few minutes. If it doesn’t or if this isn’t the first time you’ve turned on your heater, you should have an A/C company come out and evaluate it.
These are all ways to fix simple things keeping your system from running properly. Use our convenient Troubleshooter to find easy solutions. Only trained professionals should attempt to fix things outside of these suggestions. If you are at all uncertain or if these easy fixes don’t work, you should call a reputable company to get the job done right.
Schedule an appointment with Wilks Air to get a free diagnosis and or estimate or call now: 210-534-9911