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How to Tell if Your AC is Broken

A tool bag sits on top of an air conditioning unit in a backyard

Picture this: it’s a beautiful summer morning, filled with sunshine, blue skies, and delightful heat. But it's more beautiful outside than it is inside, where you have noticed that your home has started feeling uncomfortably hot and humid. It's safe to assume that your air conditioner is broken, right? Not necessarily. There might be a simple fix!

Before you panic, check the following:

  • Is the Power On?
    One of the most visible signs of a broken AC unit is the lack of power. Of course, there is a chance that your unit is off (or on energy saving mode). Therefore, before deeming that it’s indefinitely broken, it’s always important to check to see the problem at hand first. To start, you’ll want to locate the electrical panel of your unit. This, of course, is the central hub where all the power occurs. When opening up the panel, you’ll want to observe the switches. If any of the switches are turned off... there's your problem. Turn them on! Believe it or not, sometimes a switch can get turned off if someone/something accidentally bumps into it. Not to fear, though, because it’s a simple fix.
  • Are the Batteries Expired?
    Remember as a kid when you had a toy that would stop working once the batteries died? Well, the same concept applies to some home thermostats, which help make your AC unit function properly. Just like that battery-powered toy car, your AC unit can’t produce cold air if your thermostat is without power. To check if your thermostat’s batteries are running low, it’s important to locate this wall unit first and view the thermostat’s display. If you notice that it’s blank, then that’s a clear sign that the batteries are down. If that’s the case, replace them as soon as possible. Once that’s complete, make sure that your unit is on and ready to go!
  • Did You Apply Different Settings?
    Believe it or not, sometimes a “broken” air conditioner can be caused by the settings on your thermostat. What do we mean by that? Well, sometimes you might adjust your thermostat on purpose (or by accident) and forget about it (or don’t know that you did). With that being said, it’s indeed a simple fix, especially since your AC unit isn’t actually broken in this circumstance. When checking your thermostat, it’s important to review the settings. Is your device set to energy saving mode between certain hours? Is the temperature set too high? No matter what it may be, you can adjust the settings (effortlessly) to get the cold pumping back into your home.
  • Did You Replace the Filter?
    Just like tires on a vehicle, a filter for an AC unit is a vital detail to help it function. Of course, many might overlook this simple feature -- but it will play a big part in how well your unit will function. Nine out of ten times, homeowners think that their AC unit is “broken” because they’re using an old filter. Think of a filter as the lungs of your AC unit. If there’s a clog or obstruction, then it won’t let fresh, clean air inside. Additionally, if a filter is dirty, it will then cause your AC unit to work much harder (fighting through the debris) which will need more energy to function, resulting in higher energy bills and shortening its lifespan. When it comes to replacing your AC unit’s filter, it should be changed approximately every 90 days, or every three months. This will not only keep your indoor air quality up to par, but it will also make your AC function much more efficiently, too. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how a simple filter change can bring your AC back to life.

Need Help? Call Centennial for Expert Service!

If your AC unit still isn’t functioning, after running through this checklist, then give us a call at (306) 500-7392 to schedule your repair! At Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical, we have been providing exemplary service since 1967.

Contact us online to schedule a service appointment.