During a scorching Canadian summer, the last thing you need is a problem with your air conditioner. But while
some issues are definitely best left to AC repair professionals, you’d be surprised how many can be solved with a
simple fix — saving you both time and money. We’ve put together a handy guide to the most common AC
problems and how you can solve them yourself at home.
Common AC Problems
It’s easy to panic when something goes wrong with your air conditioner, thinking it’ll be complicated, dangerous or
expensive to fix. But most of the time, your issue will turn out to be pretty common and nothing to worry about.
Some of the most frequent AC problems can include:
● Not turning on
● Not turning off
● No cool air flowing
● Water or other liquid leaking from unit
● Strange noises
● Unusual or unpleasant smells
Let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways you can fix these problems yourself, without having to call in the
1. Set Your Thermostat Correctly
If you’re experiencing a problem with your AC, one of the first things you should check is whether you’ve set your
thermostat correctly. You wouldn’t believe how many potential problems are simply caused by the thermostat
being set to “heat” rather than “cool!”
For your air conditioner to function properly, the unit should be set to “cool” and the temperature should be at
least 3 to 5 degrees lower than the temperature outside. The fan should also be set to “auto” rather than “on” so
that it doesn’t end up blowing hot air when the cooling system is not running. Note that it may take several hours to cool down a warm house in the summer, so be patient when trying this method out.
2. Look for Tripped Circuit Breakers
If your AC simply won’t turn on, don’t panic. The answer may be as simple as a broken fuse. Head to your fuse box
and see if any of the switches are in the “off” position. If they are, it means the circuit breaker has tripped. Try
flicking the switch back to “on” and see if this gets the AC working.
If this happens more than once, or the breaker trips as soon as the air conditioner comes back on, that’s a sign of a wider electrical problem. In that case, you should keep your AC unit switched off and contact a licensed electrician as soon as possible.
3. Close Your Windows and Doors
One of the most common causes of AC cooling problems is leaving a window or door open somewhere in your
home. If warm air is coming in from outside, then it will feel like your AC isn’t working, even when it is.
4. Investigate for Water Leaks
If you’re still having problems with your AC, the next thing to do is look for signs of water leakage. Water leaking
from your unit can mean there’s a blockage within the system, which could be caused by anything from a closed
vent to a dirty, clogged air filter.
5. Open Your Air Vents
While it’s important to keep your windows and doors closed, many people make the mistake of thinking this also
applies to their air vents. But when it comes to air vents, the opposite is true: you need to keep air vents open and
unobstructed in order to keep the air circulating through your air ducts. This applies to rooms where you are not
using the AC, as even one blocked vent can disrupt the whole system.
6. Clean Your Air Filters
If your AC is turned on but the cool air just doesn’t seem to be coming out, then the next thing to do is check your
air filters. As air circulates through your home, dust and bits of dirt can collect on the filters, eventually clogging
them up and stopping the flow of the cool breeze.
Most filters can be easily removed for cleaning or replacing. Check the manual that came with your air conditioner
to find out how to access your filters.
7. Check Your Outdoor AC Unit
Many people are pretty good at keeping their air filters clean, but forget to check their condensers: the unit
outside the house where the warm air is deposited. These can easily get clogged with leaves, mud, or bits of dirt.
If you’re still having problems with your AC, take a look at your condenser. If it’s dirty or blocked, give it a gentle
rinse with a hose to get things moving again.
8. Listen for Low Refrigerant
Some AC issues are easy enough to diagnose on your own, but you’ll ultimately need to call in an expert to help fix
the problem. For example, if you hear a bubbling or trickling sound coming from your air conditioner, it could
mean that your AC unit is low on refrigerant. This is the “fuel” of your system, absorbing the hot air from your
home and releasing it outside.
If you suspect low refrigerant, call a licensed technician to check it out. (Because refrigerant is a toxic substance,
it’s best left to the professionals.) Usually, low refrigerant is caused by a leak, so the technician will determine if
your AC unit needs to be repaired or even replaced with a new air conditioner.
9. Sniff Around for Dirty Air Ducts
Another common culprit for a malfunctioning AC unit is a build-up of dust or dirt inside your home’s air ducts. If
you notice a funny smell when you turn on your AC or anyone in your household is suffering from allergies, it might be time for a professional air duct cleaning. This helps your AC function at optimal levels and also keeps the air inside your home clean and safe for everyone.
10. Call a Licensed Technician
If you’ve tried all of the above and you still can’t get your air conditioner working again, it’s time to call in the
professionals. Enercare’s team of expert technicians is on hand 24/7 to answer all your AC questions and get your
system up and running again as soon as possible. We also offer a maintenance plan that includes regular servicing
and check-ups for your AC unit, and a protection plan that covers the cost of any unexpected AC repairs.
With Enercare, you can enjoy a safe, comfortable and efficient home cooling system, with expert support every
step of the way.