1) Check The Thermostat
Before calling a Houston AC repair company, there's a few simple things you should check before giving the AC guy a ring. The first thing to check is the Thermostat. Many times we go out to our clients homes or offices and it's simply a matter of turning the system on, and tada, the system comes on and checks fine. So make sure you check that your thermostat is set to cool mode, and the set point is dropped below the indoor temperature. Many thermostats are also battery powered, so if the screen is blank, you'll definitely want to pop the thermostat off the wall (carefully) and change the batteries. If the thermostat comes back on, then your system is most likely going to turn on very quickly. Some thermostats have 5 minute delays so if it doesn't immediately respond, try waiting 5-10 minutes for the system to kick on. If you're thermostat doesn't come back on, then there's a few other things you need to check that may be causing the problem.
2) Check the Air Filter
We run many service calls and find dirty air filters that are preventing the HVAC system from cooling and even turning on. Every AC system has to pull all the air in your home through your air filter in order to cool that air. So when a filter is clogged because it's dirty, the air simply cannot pass through, and therefore it cannot be cooled by the system. It's a lot like a traffic jam, and the system will actually begin to freeze up and form ice. Many systems can detect if they are frozen, so they shut themselves off in order to cause further damage to the system. So replace the air filter if it's dirty, and if you notice your indoor unit or outdoor unit is frozen, allow the ice to thaw before turning the system back on. If the system doesn't turn back on, there's a few more things you still need to check.
3) Check the Breaker Box
Every air conditioning system uses electricity, which means it has a breaker. Almost all AC systems have 2 breakers - 1 breaker for the inside furnace and 1 more breaker for the outside unit. Do yourself a favor and open the breaker box and check if you have any tripped breakers. The breakers should be labeled and this is going to tell you what electrical circuit and device in your house the breaker is serving. If the AC breaker is tripped, either for the indoor or outdoor unit, try shutting it to the Off position, then turning the breaker back to the On position. If your system comes back on and runs without tripping the breaker again, then it was most likely a storm or power surge that tripped the breaker. If the breaker immediately trips after you reset it, then you know you definitely have a problem - Either something is broken inside of your AC system, or the breaker itself is malfunctioning. You should call the AC guy at this point so he can determine what the problem is and get it fixed. IF your system still doesn't come back on, there is one more thing we need to check.
4) Check The Furnace Light Switch
Did you know your furnace has a light switch? Furnaces have a switch that looks exactly like a light switch and most of the time it's located right next to the attic light switch which makes for a very accident prone situation when anyone is entering or exiting your attic. We find that often when people are entering or exiting the attic they accidentally flip this switch on or off thinking it controls the attic light and then accidentally end up turning off the entire furnace. Just like a tripped breaker, if your furnace has no power, the entire system will not operate, and your thermostat will most likely appear to be blank if it has a screen. Even if your system isn't in an attic crawl space, you should check and see if the light switch is in the on position wherever your furnace is located, and if the light switch isn't labled, you may want to label the switch with a marker so anyone who finds it knows not to turn it off. We run many service calls where another home contractor that was working in the attic simply flipped the switch on their way out, and we run many more during the winter months when people are pulling their christmas decorations out of their attics and accidentally flip this switch off thinking it's a light switch. So check the light switch near your furnace, if it's on, and your system still isn't coming on, you can always give us a call at Adams Air.
These 4 simple things can save you the headache of calling out the AC guy and having to pay any type of service or diagnostic fees. We hate to see our customer's overlook these common problems and feel bad when we have to charge our clients a service fee for coming out only to flip a light switch or replace thermostat batteries because they simply were unaware of how their system works. So check these things out before calling any AC company, it may just end up saving you the expense of getting a HVAC contractor out, and you can always call us if you're having any type of issue after checking these things. There may be a few more things to check depending on how comfortable you are with getting your hands dirty and we also have a few more listed under our AC Repair section of our website. We can solve just about any problem over the phone depending on how deep you want to dive into your AC system, and if anything is malfunctioning, we can definitely let you know what it's going to take to get it fixed.
Thanks for reading! Let us know if you need any help!