Easy Fixes for Your Central Air Conditioner

person removing dusty air filter from large vent
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Dishwasher soap
Condenser oil
Replacement filters/fuses
Epoxy caulk

A central air conditioner is among the most common interior temperature control devices in residential spaces. However, an air conditioner is prone to some typical problems. To understand the common problems of a central air conditioner and their easy fixes, use the following information.

Common Central Air Conditioner Problems

Check out replacement filters on Amazon.

Insufficient Cooling: It is often felt that the air conditioner is not cooling the interiors despite proper voltage readings and no indications of a functional problem. Such air conditioners seem to be ineffective despite resetting the temperature controls.

Frequent Stoppages: The air conditioning unit seems to stop repeatedly without any apparent cause. This is referred to as the conditioner freezing-up. Frequent stoppage impairs the overall cooling and adds to the power bills as the AC unit needs to be repeatedly switched on, which raises its power consumption.

These problems can be easily solved by following the steps below:

Step 1 - Cleaning Filters

Checking and cleaning the filters is critical. Debris is often impacted upon the filters. You can clean the filter with lukewarm water and a mild household detergent. If the filter seems damaged, replace it. This is rather simple since air conditioning filters are sold in standard sizes and can be replaced without special tools. Some air conditioners have primary and secondary filters. You need to check both of them.

Step 2 - Cleaning Air Ducts

Air ducts are vulnerable to getting covered with dust over a period. Some ducts get partially choked, which retards their ability to ventilate fresh air. The seams around the duct might be leaking cool air. Thoroughly check the seams of the air duct and if any spacing is visible, seal it using a synthetic caulk.

Step 3 - Fixing Condenser Coils

You don’t need to remove the condenser coils. Get started by covering the surrounding parts with a plastic sheet. Don’t pour water over the coils. Use a sponge dipped in lukewarm water for repeatedly scrubbing the coils. Rinse the coil with minimal water. Don’t use detergents or soaps as they may leave residues within the air conditioner.

Check the shape of the condenser fins. They should not be bent. If their alignment seems disturbed, straighten them with a fin comb. This tool is usually available as a part of AC maintenance kits and can also be bought from electronic supply stores. Use a thin coating of branded condenser oil for lubricating and protecting the coils. Apply the oil using a paintbrush.

person repairing wires in a central air conditioning unit

Step 4 - Cleaning/Replacing Fuses

Broken or blown fuses of the AC unit are commonly responsible for causing voltage stoppages. Replacement fuses or circuit breakers are easily available in standard sizes. Replacing the fuses doesn’t require much skill. You need to remove the older fuse by unscrewing it or pulling it with a plier and insert the new fuse.

Step 5 - Resetting Central Air Conditioner

Reset switches are prone to repeatedly switching off the air conditioner if there are voltage fluctuations. Reset switches in many air conditioners need manual control. This means that you have to push them into the working position. Most reset switches are present as red-colored buttons that need to be pushed with some effort.

Step 6 - Removing Physical Hindrances

If none of the above-listed measures seem to work, physical hindrances are likely causing the malfunction. The air conditioner might be struggling to vent out the warm air. Start by checking the surroundings of the air conditioner. Ensure that all leaves or other objects like ladders and racks are at least three feet away from their external unit. Check the sides of the air conditioner and remove any nests that might be choking the venting system of the AC unit.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commissions at no cost to you.