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Common Air-Conditioner Problems

Two of the most frequent queries we get from Tampa Bay homeowners are about air conditioners that fail to cycle on automatically, and those that run but don’t put out cool air. We always advise that they try a few simple remedies on their own before spending money on an unnecessary service call. When your air conditioner gives out, there are some simple things you can do that may fix the problem.

If the air-conditioning unit doesn’t turn on:

  • First, double-check that the thermostat is set to the “Cool” setting.
  • Check the air-conditioning unit’s filter to make sure it’s clean.
  • Next, take a look at your circuit breaker. If it’s shut off, let the air conditioner cool down for five minutes, then replace blown fuses and/or reset the breaker.
  • Make sure everything else is on, including your heating system, condenser control and the 240-volt connector. The connector is outdoors, usually close to the compressor. Look for a metal box attached to the siding of your home.
  • Next, check your thermostat. Always turn off the power first, then take off the cover.
  • Unscrew the Y-terminal wire, carefully holding only the insulated area of the wire. Turn the power on again and touch the wire to the R terminal. Hold in this position for two minutes or so.
  • If the compressor comes on at this point, this means that your thermostat is faulty. If you’re the DIY type, you can simply install a new thermostat to address the problem.
  • If the compressor does not turn on, however, it’s time to call your HVAC contractor.
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