A DIY Guide: Basic Steps to Troubleshoot and Repair Your AC

Air conditioning systems are crucial for maintaining comfort in your home, particularly during the hot summer months. However, like all machines, ACs can sometimes malfunction. While some issues require professional attention, there are a few problems that you can troubleshoot and fix yourself. This blog post will walk you through some basic steps to repair your AC.

Disclaimer: If you're uncomfortable performing these tasks, or the issue seems complex, it's always best to call a professional. AC units are intricate machines and improper handling can lead to more serious problems or potential injury.

1. Check Your Thermostat

The first step is to check your thermostat. Make sure it's set to "cool" mode and the temperature is set lower than the current room temperature. If your thermostat operates on batteries, check if they need replacing. A malfunctioning thermostat can often be mistaken for an AC problem.

2. Inspect Your Air Filters

Dirty or clogged air filters can restrict airflow and cause your AC to work harder, resulting in poor cooling performance. It's recommended to clean or replace your air filters regularly, depending on usage and air quality.

3. Clean Your AC Unit

Over time, the outdoor unit can accumulate dirt, leaves, and other debris, which can hinder its ability to release heat. Turn off the power to your AC unit at the breaker box, then gently clean the fins using a soft brush. Be careful not to bend the fins as they are quite delicate.

4. Check Your Circuit Breakers

If your AC isn't turning on at all, it could be a tripped circuit breaker. Locate your breaker box and ensure the switch for your AC is in the "on" position. If it's tripped, reset it. If it keeps tripping, this could indicate a more serious electrical issue, and you should contact a professional.

5. Examine Your Drain Line

AC units produce condensation, which is drained away from the unit by a drain line. If this line becomes clogged, it can cause water to back up into your AC, leading to poor performance or even damage. You can clear minor clogs with a wet-dry vacuum. For stubborn clogs, you may need to call a professional.

6. Check Your Refrigerant Levels

Low refrigerant levels can cause your AC to struggle to cool your home. If you suspect this is the case, you'll need to call a professional as handling refrigerant requires special training and certification.


Regular maintenance can help prevent many common AC issues. Always remember to change your filters regularly, keep your outdoor unit clean, and schedule regular professional maintenance checks.

While these tips can help you troubleshoot some common issues, it's important to know when to call in the professionals. Air conditioning systems are complex, and some problems require trained expertise to resolve.

For more info, contact a local AC company