How to Fix Your AC in Minutes
A clogged air filter restricts air flow. Fix your AC causes your AC to work harder, leading to overheating.
If you hear clicking that is followed by a humming or buzzing noise, your capacitor needs to be replaced. Capacitors can be damaged by power fluctuations or old age.
Check the Thermostat
When your thermostat isn’t working properly, it can cause your home to be uncomfortably hot or cold. Moreover, it can also lead to substantial energy waste. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to help determine whether your thermostat is the culprit and fix it in minutes.
The simplest step is to switch the thermostat’s Fan setting to On. You should hear the blower start up and if you do, that means the thermostat has power.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can test the wiring by using a multimeter. You should make sure that the multimeter is set to read 24 volts AC before you touch any of the thermostat wires. Then, you should touch one of the meter’s probes to the R terminal and another to either the G, W, or Y terminal. If the multimeter shows a reading of 22 or 26 volts, there’s power coming to the thermostat.
Check the Batteries
Checking the batteries is an easy and fast way to see if your thermostat is working properly. Make sure the batteries are correctly oriented in their compartment and that they have a good connection to the terminals and wire crimps. If the reading on your multimeter is a couple of volts less than what is coming out of the terminal and crimps then you probably need to clean the battery connections, tighten them and/or replace the batteries.
The positive side of a lithium battery is usually marked with a protrusion and the negative side has a flat spot. It may be helpful to label the batteries with their terminal positions.
It is also possible to test the voltage of a battery by pressing each probe to its correct terminal on a multimeter that is set to read DC voltage. Be careful not to touch the black probe with the red one as this can cause a shock.
Check the Capacitor
The capacitor is a key component in the circuit. When it’s not working properly, it can cause various issues with the system. You can check it by running a capacitance test or using the continuity/resistance test with your multimeter.
Before you start testing, make sure the capacitor is properly discharged. You can do this by shorting its leads (this is dangerous so be careful). Then, you should connect the multimeter’s red lead to one end of the capacitor and the black lead to the other end. Observe the value that shows up on the screen and compare it with the specifications of the capacitor.
You can also use the capacitance function on some advanced multimeters to get a direct value in farads (mF). Just remember that there are tolerance ratings that can affect your results. If your results deviate significantly, then you may have a bad capacitor that needs replacing. If this is the case, you can replace it with a similar model or a new one.
Check the Condensate Drain
Your condensate drain line is a key part of your AC system. It is the exit route for moisture collected in your air conditioner’s evaporator coil as it converts hot indoor air into cool water. This water is carried through the drain pan and condensate line until it is deposited outside near your outdoor unit.
A clogged drain line can be very serious. Moisture trapped in your evaporator coil can develop mold, fungus and algae that contaminate the interior of your house. Moisture can also damage the indoor fan and compressor.
To check your condensate drain, turn off your air conditioner and use a wet-dry vacuum to remove any standing water in the drain pan. Then, locate the drain line and remove the cap at its end. Flush the drain line with clean water to prevent future clogs. It is recommended that the drain be supported every 4′ horizontally (while maintaining proper pitch) and every 10′ vertically.