What to Do if Your Air Conditioner Goes Out

Air conditioner goes out

No one wants an air conditioner out of commission during the summer, especially in North Carolina. The thought of living in a sweltering house when the heat and humidity of summer are at their most intense is enough to make you want to run screaming from the building. So instead of panicking or picking up and moving to Alaska when you have a broken AC unit, here’s what to do if your air conditioner goes out.

Do Some Troubleshooting

Here are some simple troubleshooting steps you can take to see if the issue requires a simple fix or needs professional attention.

  • Check the thermostat –is the temperature on the thermostat much higher than it should be when the weather outside is hot? Someone may have changed it. If your AC isn’t cooling, check the thermostat, including the batteries, first.
  • Check the circuit breaker – was there a recent summer storm with lightning? If yes, a power surge may have impacted your circuit breaker. Check to make sure it’s not flipped. If it is, flip it back and see if that brings the AC back to life.
  • Check the air filter – if it is completely clogged, it can trip a safety switch in your air conditioning unit to protect the system from overheating. Make sure the filter is clean, and if it isn’t, replace it with a new one.
  • Look at the evaporator coil – with excess use in the summer, the evaporator coil could freeze. When this happens, it can’t cool the air to circulate through your house. This problem requires professional repair.
  • Leaking or low refrigerant – if the refrigerant for your AC unit leaks, the level will be too low to provide cooling for your home. An HVAC technician needs to replace the refrigerant.

Keep Your Cool

If your AC stops working while your house is still cool, do what you can to preserve the temperature for as long as you can until you can resolve the issue.

  • Close all the blinds and curtains to keep the sun out and provide a layer of insulation against the heat.
  • Don’t turn on the oven or the stove, which can contribute to raising the temperature in your home.
  • Using the microwave won’t make your home hotter, and a countertop toaster or air fryer won’t significantly impact the temperature.
  • Try to avoid running other appliances as well, including the dishwasher and the clothes washer and dryer. All of these put off heat that will only make the house more uncomfortable.
  • Put together a makeshift mini-air conditioner with a bowl of ice and a fan. As the fan blows over the ice, it will cool the surrounding air. Put several around the house until your AC is back in action.

Call in the Professionals

If you have a broken AC unit and there isn’t an easy and obvious fix, it’s time to call your local HVAC company for repairs. It’s miserable to be in a hot house in the summer, and it can also be dangerous. Don’t wait to call for backup when your air conditioner goes out. Call the G+S Heating and Air team for help with all your HVAC needs, including AC repair.

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