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Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Tips for Phoenix Homeowners


Now that the Arizona summer has arrived, the settings for your home air conditioner are probably set to specific temperatures throughout the day so your indoor climate remains cool and your energy bill doesn’t skyrocket. Phoenix homeowners put a lot of thought into the comfort levels of their home and what they’re willing to endure to save money, but very few plan for costly repairs. When an AC system unexpectedly stops working properly (or altogether), many panic and perform air conditioner troubleshooting on their own.

Without a plan of action, it can be difficult to know what to do or who to call. Urgency causes residents to make affordable decisions while avoiding preventative measures. When people aren’t prepared, the value of quality just isn’t valued. But why would you hire a cheap HVAC (heating, ventilation and AC) technician for air conditioner troubleshooting services? What makes you think they’re going to fix the real problem and not just sell you on the most expensive option?

Quality HVAC contractors with decades of experience in the Phoenix area don’t need to maximize profits on every job. We care more about home efficiency and helping our customers live comfortably while saving money. We know this adds to the reputation we’ve built over the last 30 years. While we understand why so many homeowners end up troubleshooting AC units on their own, we have to let you know it’s extremely risky. One error can not only make matters worse but it can put your household at risk.

Safety and prevention is important when it comes to heating and cooling systems. With that being said, we know that your understanding of the problem can eventually help you find the best solution. While calling a professional to identify the issue is still your best bet, here are some simple ways to determine if AC repairs aren’t necessary.

1. Check for Blocked Air Conditioner Registers

Even if there is only one blocked return register in your home, the single obstruction can seriously hinder the air passing through your entire HVAC system. Blocked or dirty registers are one of the most common reasons people have trouble with home air conditioning units. Before sending out a technician, we encourage our customers to see if anyone else in the home is blocking the registers unintentionally. Many people don’t know the purpose of the vents.

In most cases, someone has simply placed clothes or other household items over the register by mistake. At the same time, there is also a possibility that blockages have been caused by dirt that has built up inside the register over time. This inevitably blocks the air from passing through while working against your ideal air quality levels. Before worrying about spending a lot of money on an HVAC repair, go around your home and check all of the registers. A minor cleaning or a load of laundry can save you a lot of heartache. Nonetheless, the best way to avoid frantically troubleshooting AC units on your own is to schedule routine maintenance. In the long run, two visits per year can save you a lot of time and money.

If you go too long with blocked registers, you can experience a number of severe problems. A pressure imbalance in your system can attract allergens and pollutants from unconditioned areas of your home. Humidity and temperature control problems can be caused by air output that’s not conditioned well. Over time, your HVAC system will become overworked and less efficient while your energy costs increase. Please keep your registers clean.

2. Inspect Air Ventilation for Dirty Filters

As you can probably already tell, these tips won’t require you to use any tools or remove any panels. For the most part, the efficiency of your home air conditioner depends on your diligence as a homeowner. Many system repairs are due to low quality maintenance or a lack of education. Air conditioning troubleshooting isn’t always necessary when you’re taking care of your system.

Prioritizing routine tasks, like changing HVAC filters, isn’t hard to do. Treat it like an oil change. You know the longer you put it off, the more susceptible you become to avoidable repairs. Dirty air conditioning filters can single handedly reduce the airflow in your house while impacting the effectiveness of your entire HVAC system.

Replacing the filter every month (or at least every quarter) is a great way to eliminate problems that don’t need to occur. When your system isn’t always in overdrive, it’ll help you keep the air in your home the perfect temperature. If you don’t know how to replace the filters in your home then you can always call our service manager for additional advice.

3. Frequently Check Your Thermostat

When most people think about performing air conditioning troubleshooting, they usually believe it involves some sort of technical knowledge. While this can sometimes most certainly be the case, a majority of concerns with home air conditioning systems are caused by human error. While it might be a bad idea to point the finger at the customer, some Phoenix homeowners spend a lot of money troubleshooting AC units when the problem lies elsewhere.

This is why one of the first things we tell homeowners to do is take a look at their thermostat. Sometimes, other people in the home mess with the thermostat settings. Whether your roommate has different preferences or your kids like pushing buttons and flipping switches, a number of factors can play into your AC not turning on. On numerous occasions, we’ve saved Phoenix residents from paying for a service call because they found out the system was accidentally turned off (or the fan switch was on but ‘cooling’ was off). It sounds very basic, but this is a common occurrence.

4. Check for Blocked Condensate Lines

It’s common knowledge that air conditioners have to work harder in Arizona due to the extreme temperatures every summer. The strain required to continuously transform 120 degrees outside to 75 degrees indoors is more than most regions of the country. In turn, the process creates a lot of moisture that eventually needs to find it’s way outdoors.

This is where the condensate pan and line comes in. These two components take the condensation produced by your AC system outside of your home. If moisture from the cooling process is unable to escape your house, water normally begins pooling into the drain pan. If you feel like your air conditioning system is underperforming then take a look outside to see if the condensate line is dripping water. If it isn’t, there most likely is a blockage.

Blockages can be caused by a number of things. While the common cause in Arizona is dust and debris, there could be something lodged in there. If water can’t evaporate then it can eventually cause water damage around the condensation pan. To combat this and allow the moisture to escape, you can easily use a shop vac to suck the blockage out of the line. If this doesn’t clear it out then it usually means something else is in there.

While you don’t necessarily need to call an AC professional to remove the object (or animal), they’ll probably be more experienced than anyone else. Either way, blocked condensation lines can cost you a lot of money if not addressed quickly. This is by far one of the most rewarding ways to troubleshoot your AC system for free.

Receive Additional Advice From Canyon State.

If you’ve performed all of these steps and they haven’t solved the problem, then we’d be more than happy to help. Aside from doing our best to walk you through additional air conditioning troubleshooting tips, we’ll provide you with honest feedback and a variety of viable solutions.

We’re available 24/7 and take pride in establishing trust with our community. One of our factory-trained technicians will help you resolve the problem and get you set up with a cooler, more comfortable home environment today. Call to learn more 623-201-5118.

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