What It Means to Troubleshoot an Air Conditioner and How to Do It Safely

May 11, 2023
AC Installation in Cave Creek, AZ

Before you pull out your toolbox and start fiddling with the air conditioner in your Carefree, Arizona home, it’s important to understand the difference between troubleshooting and repairing. While it’s perfectly acceptable for homeowners to troubleshoot minor issues, tampering with certain AC parts can cause tremendous problems.

Why Troubleshooting Is Different From Fixing

Troubleshooting measures are generally meant to address minor oversights. For instance, if you forgot to change your air filter, your cooling system could be struggling to create a noticeable difference in your indoor temperature. Swapping a dirty air filter out is a quick and easy way to resolve a host of common AC problems.

This is also true of thermostat batteries. Your thermostat acts as the brains of your HVAC equipment. Neither your heater nor your air conditioner will turn on until your thermostat tells it. If you have an older, standard thermostat that runs on batteries, putting in a new thermostat battery could be all that’s necessary for getting your air conditioner to start.

Troubleshooting also can include clearing debris from the exterior of your air conditioner’s condenser/compressor unit, wiping down your air registers and vents, and resetting your circuit breaker. Effective troubleshooting can resolve minor issues that don’t require opening up your AC unit and tampering with its moving parts.

Troubleshooting Won’t Void Your AC Manufacturer’s Warranty

Most AC manufacturer warranties, home service agreements, and home insurance plans strictly forbid DIY air conditioner repairs. Tampering with covered equipment could cause all of these protections to be voided in an instant. For example, with some warranties, evidence of simply opening up and touching an air conditioner’s blower motor fan can instantly void all related coverage.

Troubleshooting Is Unlikely to Make Problems Worse

Another clear distinction between troubleshooting measures and DIY AC repairs is that troubleshooting is unlikely to make problems worse. If you reset your AC unit at the circuit breaker and it doesn’t turn back on, no harm is caused. Putting a new AC filter in, even if it doesn’t solve the underlying problem, won’t create more AC stress or structurally damage your cooling equipment. Conversely, repairs typically involve the removal and replacement of parts, taking complex components apart and putting them back together again, or removing obstructions that are lodged deep within cooling equipment. There’s a lot that can go wrong when these and other invasive measures are taken with the wrong tools and absence of model-specific training.

Knowing how to safely and successfully troubleshoot minor AC issues is nothing short of empowering. However, attempting DIY repairs is always a high-risk endeavor. We proudly serve residents of Carefree, AZ by offering top-notch heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. We also provide ventilation, ductwork, and thermostats. If you need professional AC repairs, contact Vent Masters today.

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