Is the Power On?
This might sound like a really silly question. But, with so many people using natural light during the day, you may not even realize that you've had a power outage.
- Check Outages - If you don't have power, check to see if it's a temporary outage in your area...
- Do you neighbors have power?
- Does your power company show an outage online?
- Yes, There's an Outage - If it is a temporary outage that has already been reported in the area, then your solution is to wait until the power comes back on and see if everything starts back up like it should.
- No, There's Not an Outage - If there's not a temporary outage in your area, check your breakers. You could have accidentally tripped one, causing the power to shut off.
- Yes, The Breaker is Flipped - When you flip the breaker back on, if it immediately flips off again, then it's time to turn everything off, call an electrician, and have a professional HVAC technician come to the house to see what's going on.
Is the Thermostat Working?
The thermostat is another quick, easy check you can do to see if there is a simple error you can handle on your own.
- Thermostat Power - Many thermostats run on batteries. If your HVAC isn't kicking on when the temperature falls out of range, then it could just mean your thermostat's power is too low. Replace the batteries and turn the thermostat 5-10 degrees in the direction you want the house temperature to move and see if it kicks on. If it does, problem solved! If not, it's time to give us a call.
- Thermostat Setting - Check to make sure the thermostat is on the right setting and didn't get bumped into a different one. There is cool, fan, and heat. Fan just circulates air, while the other two settings are self-explanatory.
- Thermostat Error - Your thermostat might be flashing a symbol that you don't recognize. For example, if your system has just turned off after a cycle and you immediately change the temperature again, it could flash a warning that it needs to wait a little bit before turning on again. This is normal and is no cause for alarm. You can always search your thermostat type and what the symbol means to get a good idea of what's going on.
Is the Filter Clean?
- Check the Filter - When was the last time you changed the air filter? Clogged filters restrict airflow and can make it difficult for your system to keep the temperature where you want it. When you change it, go ahead and mark your calendar or set a reminder for the next time you need to make the switch!
- 1-inch filters should be changed every month
- 2-inch filters should be changed every 2 months
- 4-5-inch filters should be changed every 6 to 12 months
Inspect Your Vents
Some people have this idea that closing vents and doors to rooms they aren't using will help concentrate all the air flow into the room they are using and therefore maximize efficiency. That couldn't be further from the truth. The air will still get pushed through the ductwork to those rooms and then have nowhere to go. The room your in won't get any more air than it would have in the first place, and all the air will leach into other areas of the house trying to get the whole home to the right temperature.
- Open the Vents - Go through the house and make sure all the vents are open.
- Tidy Up - Even if you know all the vents are open, make sure they are all not blocked by any clothes, kids' toys, plants, etc. Your vents should have two feet of room on all sides.
- Get the Ducts Cleaned - Every so often, it's a good idea to have your ductwork thoroughly cleaned. Your ducts can accumulate quite a bit if dust, debris, dead insects, and even dead rodents. Not only does this block air flow, but it also can be harmful to your health to breathe in the air that passes over these materials day after day.
Check the Outdoor Unit
Now that you've checked everything inside, it's time to check outside! A lot of people stop at the inside checks and then just call a technician because they are intimidated by the idea of trying to look at the outdoor unit. But, there are a few simple things you can take a look at before calling.
- Remove Debris & Crowding - If weeds have started growing up around your unit or animals have made nests on or near it, you'll want to clear that away. There should be three feet of room around your unit for optimal efficiency.
- Check for Damage - Missouri experiences a lot of crazy weather! And that can mean fallen branches, debris being blown into the unit, and other sources of damage.
- Do a Light Clean - Use a gentle nozzle on a standard hose to spray down your unit (but not under pressure!) to help get rid of any clogging leaves and particles that could be causing problems.
- Check the Disconnect Switch - The are disconnect switches to your indoor and outdoor units. On the outside, it will be in a service box mounted on the wall near your condenser unit. Make sure this is switched ON.
- Check Your Fuses - There is a fuse between your thermostat and your AC. If it's been blown, this could be a simple swap! Standard sizes are available at most hardware stores.
- Check for Freezing - If you have a high-efficiency furnace, then subfreezing temperatures could cause the condensation line to freeze all the way back to the unit, freezing up the unit and preventing it from kicking on. Try thawing this out to see if it begins working again.
If you have gone through this checklist and are still experiencing issues, give us a call! Royal Heating & Air is here for you, and our technicians would love to come out and check your system to make sure everything is working like it should be. Your comfort and health means a lot to us, and we love helping however we can!