PHOENIX — When home air conditioning units go out, it can be brutal on the indoor temps and expensive. The problem is even worse when the units stop working during the hottest time of the year.
Mike Donley, an A/C tech expert, shares his top tips for what to do if your A/C stops working.
- Find the thermostat and make sure it's on cooling. Turn it off to figure out if the unit has power. Then turn the fan from auto to on. If the fan does not come on, it means you've lost power to the whole system.
- Go to the breaker panel. Turn it off and reset it. Go back to the thermostat and turn it on. Be patient because this process can take a few minutes.
- If it's still not working, find a fuse box that should be by the A/C unit. Take the fuses down to the hardware store, have them test the fuses, or buy new ones if needed.
If none of the options work, Donley said it's time to call the experts for help right away.
On top of A/C's breaking down at homes across the Valley this summer, a material shortage is making it challenging for many air conditioning techs to fix problems as quickly as they're used to in the past.
Donley said the air conditioning industry is feeling strains and shortages because of the pandemic, like many others. Techs are working harder to find parts and equipment to fix the air conditioning.
He said it's delaying things some, but thankfully he's still been able to find ways to keep people cool at home.
When replacing equipment, Donley said standard efficiency is usually more available than expensive, state-of-the-art equipment. That's because some manufacturers have cut production in some products and upped production in basic gear, to help alleviate shortages.
That leads to some customers settling for what's available to survive the summer heat.
Finally, one way to stay proactive with caring for air conditioning units is to change the filters. Donley recommends changing them when you get your electric bill, that way you're also keeping an eye on how much you're spending on electricity.
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