Diagnosing a problem and doing your own AC repair in Mason City, Iowa, can seem like a lot of hassle.

But it doesn’t have to be. There are a couple of simple fixes you can try without help that might help you bypass an AC service call.

When you’re experiencing air conditioning issues, try this checklist before getting in touch with a heating and cooling repair specialist like Mechanical Air Systems Co.

Our specialists are standing by at 641-243-4654 when you are looking for expert help. We provide emergency AC repair and service most makes of central AC equipment.

If you want to get a new air conditioning system, we also can do AC installation.

When you’re on the phone with us, contemplate a yearly AC maintenance plan that could help you stay away from future problems. We can advise how often you require air conditioner service.

Ready to get started diagnosing your system? Follow our fast tips below. Many of these steps don’t require any AC knowledge.

Air Conditioner Repair Checklist

1. AC Won’t Turn On

There can be several reasons why your air conditioner won’t run: an overloaded circuit breaker, incorrect thermostat settings, a turned off switch or a full condensate drain pan.

Overloaded Circuit Breaker

Your air conditioner won’t work when you have a blown breaker.

To determine if one has tripped, locate your house’s main electrical panel. You can spot this silver box on the wall in the basement, garage or closet.

  • Ensure your hands and feet are dry before you work on the panel or breakers.
  • Locate the breaker marked “AC” and confirm it’s in the “on” spot. If it’s tripped the breaker will be in the middle of the panel or “off” location.
  • Quickly shift the lever back to the “on” spot. If it instantly trips again, don’t touch it and contact us at 641-243-4654. A switch that keeps flipping could mean your residence has an electrical issue.

Wrong Thermostat Settings

If your thermostat isn’t giving a sign to your AC to work, it won’t switch on.

The main point is checking it’s switched to “cool” and not “heat.” Otherwise your AC will probably not switch on. Or you could get. heated air coming from vents because the heat is running instead.

If you rely on a digital thermostat:

  • Replace the batteries if the readout is empty. If the screen is showing scrambled letters, buy a new thermostat.
  • Ensure the proper option is showing. If you can’t change it, cancel it by lowering the temperature and hitting the “hold” button. This will force your AC to work if programming is incorrect.
  • Attempt to set the thermostat 5 degrees lower than the house’s temperature. Your AC won’t cool if the thermostat matches the room’s temperature.

Once your thermostat is adjusted accurately, you should receive cool air quickly.

If you have a smart thermostat, including ones manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch, look at the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting. If it still won’t work, reach us at 641-243-4654 for assistance.

Shut-Down Switch

Your cooling equipment typically has a shut-off lever by its outside unit. This switch is typically in a metal box mounted on your house. If your air conditioner has recently been worked on, the switch may have accidentally been put in the “off” location.

Overflowing Condensate Drain Pan

Condensate drain pans catch the additional water your equipment pulls from the air. This pan can be situated either beneath or in your furnace or air handler.

When there’s an obstruction or blocked drain, water can accumulate and initiate a safety control to switch off your air conditioner.

If your pan has a PVC pipe or drain, you can drain the surplus water with a special pan-cleaning capsule. You can get these tablets at a home improvement or hardware retailer.

If your pan includes a pump, look for the float switch. If the lever is “up” and there’s liquid in the pan, you could need to install a new pump. Contact us at 641-243-4654 for support.

2. AC Blows Warm Air

If your AC is running but not delivering cold air, its airflow could be congested. Or it might not have adequate refrigerant.

Blocked Airflow

Your equipment’s airflow can be decreased by a blocked air filter or filthy condenser.

How to Change Your Air Filter

A dusty filter can create many troubles, such as:

  • Reduced airflow
  • Frosted refrigerant lines or evaporator coil
  • Inconsistent cooling
  • Higher energy costs
  • Making your system break down sooner

We suggest installing new flat filters monthly, and pleated filters every three months.

If you can’t remember when you last changed yours, shut off your system completely and take out the filter. You can spot the filter in your furnace or air pump’s blower compartment. It might also be found in an adjoining filter holder or wall-mounted return air grille.

Hold the filter up to the light. If you see a lot of dust you should get a new one.

4 Steps to Cleaning Your Air Conditioning Equipment

Brush, grass and shrubbery can block your condensing equipment. This can limit its airflow, impact its energy efficiency and impact your comfort. Here’s how you can get your unit working well again.

  1. Shut off the electrical current completely at the breaker or outside switch.
  2. Remove yard debris around the equipment. Once you’ve cleared larger clutter within a two-foot area, you can use a fine-bristled brush or vacuum to carefully clean the equipment’s fins. Kinked fins can also hurt efficiency, so you can attempt to reshape them with a blunt knife.
  3. Use a hose nozzle to slowly clean the fins from inside the unit. Don’t get liquid on the fan motor.
  4. Replace the top and turn the power back on.