5 Things to Do Before Calling an A/C Company 

Before you pick up the phone to call an A/C company, make sure you've done these things: 

  • Check the thermostat. 
  • Inspect air filters. 
  • Clean the outdoor unit. 
  • Clear obstructions around vents. 
  • Test circuit breakers and fuses. 

As your friendly A/C contractor that values our customers, we value your time, so we're breaking down the top 5 things that can help you save time and money on an A/C service call. Including the top reason we get service calls that could be easily fixed!

1. Check the Thermostat 

Before calling an A/C company, make sure you check the thermostat for any issues or malfunctions. The thermostat is the control center of your air conditioning system, so it's essential to ensure it's working correctly. Here are a few steps to make sure your thermostat isn’t the issue.

  1. Start by checking the batteries and replacing them if needed. Sometimes, a simple battery change can solve the problem. 
  2. It sounds simple, but sometimes a family member or guest changes a setting or the temperature and doesn’t mention it. By restoring the usual configuration, you’re back up and cooling.
  3. Next, set the thermostat to a temperature lower than the current room temperature and listen for the sound of the A/C turning on. If you don't hear anything, it could indicate a problem with the thermostat or the wiring.   
  4. Additionally, check if the thermostat display is functioning properly and if the buttons are responsive. If you notice any irregularities, it may be time to call an A/C company for further assistance. 

2. Inspect Air Filters 

To ensure optimal performance of your air conditioning system, regularly inspect the air filters. Air filters play a crucial role in maintaining the quality of the air in your home and ensuring that your AC unit operates efficiently. Over time, these filters can become clogged with dust, dirt, and other particles, reducing airflow and causing your system to work harder than necessary. If the filter is dirty, replace it and see if that does the trick.

If your filter is extremely dirty and restricts the airflow to your unit enough, it can actually cause the unit to freeze (seriously, you will see a large block of ice!). If you pull out the filter, and you do see ice, you’ll want to be extra careful.

As the ice melts, it might crack into pieces and fall on your floor. You’ll want to make sure you don’t risk damage by placing a bucket or towel under your unit. Ice on the system can also indicate other issues.

Bonus tip for ice:

If the ice hasn’t melted within a few hours, it’s time to turn off your unit and call a professional. A technician cannot work on a unit while there is still ice.

When you call for help, be sure to tell them you’re seeing ice and turn the A/C into a fan-only setting (cool off). This will keep air circulating, but will allow the ice to melt. It is only once you see the ice fully or mostly melted that you have your visit with a pro scheduled. If there’s still ice, the technician will likely have to come back, which might result in extra fees and at the very least, will mean you have to wait longer to get your home comfortable again.
Will we have a full article dedicated to why a system can ice up in the future, so stay tuned to learn more!

3. Clean the Outdoor Unit 

The outdoor unit, also known as the condenser unit, plays a crucial role in the cooling process. Over time, dirt, leaves, and debris can accumulate on the unit's fins, reducing its efficiency and airflow. 
To clean the outdoor unit, start by turning off the power to avoid any accidents. Use a garden hose to gently spray water on the fins, removing any dirt and debris. Be careful not to use too much pressure, as it can damage the fins. If the fins are bent, use a fin comb to straighten them. 
Regularly cleaning the outdoor unit will help ensure that your air conditioning system operates smoothly and efficiently. 

4. Check Your Drainline

Number 4 can be an easy fix but is the most common service call we get. That is, clogged drain lines. With the humidity levels we experience in South Florida, clogged drain lines are all but inevitable - especially if it’s been a while since you last did your maintenance.

Your unit has a protective device called a safety (or float) switch which is designed to cut power to the system if a clogged drain line is detected. If the clog is minor, you might be able to resolve it yourself if you have a shop-vac. And even if you can’t undo the clog yourself, at least you’ll be able to communicate the issue to your A/C company, potentially reducing time and money for your service visit.

5. Test Circuit Breakers and Fuses 

Before calling an A/C company, you should check for any issues with your circuit breakers and fuses. These components play a crucial role in the operation of your air conditioning system. 

Start by locating the electrical panel in your home. Open the panel door and inspect the circuit breakers for any tripped switches. If you find any, simply flip them back into the 'on' position. 

Next, examine the fuses to ensure they aren't blown. If you notice a fuse with a broken filament, it needs to be replaced. Remember to use the correct amperage rating when replacing a fuse. 

Testing your circuit breakers and fuses can help identify and resolve electrical issues that may be causing your A/C problems. 

Bonus safety tip for your A/C breaker:

A serious word of warning: if you flip your breaker and it trips again quickly, under no circumstance should you flip it again. You need to call your trusted A/C company. If the breaker is repeatedly tripping, there is a very high chance you have an electrical short somewhere in your system. Repeatedly flipping the breaker can do more damage to your system and create a fire risk. Don’t take the chance. Call a pro.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Often Should I Clean or Replace My Air Filters? 

It's recommended to do so every 1-3 months, depending on factors like pets, allergies, and dust levels. 
Regular maintenance helps keep your A/C system running efficiently. 

What Are the Signs That My Thermostat May Need to Be Repaired or Replaced? 

If your thermostat is displaying incorrect temperatures, not responding to input, or constantly turning on and off, it may need to be repaired or replaced. 

These issues can affect your A/C system's performance. 

How Can I Determine if There Are Obstructions Around My A/C Vents? 

To determine if there are obstructions around your A/C vents, start by inspecting the area for any objects or debris that might be blocking the airflow. 
Clearing these obstructions can help improve the efficiency of your A/C system. 

What Are Some Common Issues That Can Cause the Outdoor Unit to Become Dirty? 

Common issues that can cause the outdoor unit to become dirty include: 
- Dirt 
- Debris 
- Leaves 
- Grass clippings 
Regularly check and clean the unit to ensure proper airflow and prevent potential damage. 

How Can I Test and Troubleshoot Circuit Breakers and Fuses in My A/C System? 

To test and troubleshoot circuit breakers and fuses in your A/C system, start by turning off power to the unit. 
Then, check the breakers and fuses for any signs of damage or tripping. 
Replace them if necessary.