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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Some Quick Troubleshooting Tips for a Central AC


You can trust your air conditioning system to turn on and cool your house during the hot summer weather. Well, most of the time you can trust it. No AC system can work perfectly in all circumstances, and you may find one day that you turn on your air conditioner and that it either doesn’t come on, or it turns on but the air coming from the vents isn’t cool enough.

Your first instinct may be to call a professional for air conditioning service in Studio City, CA That’s a good idea—it’s much better than trying to see if you can fix the problem yourself or finding an amateur (“a guy who knows a guy”) to do the work. However, there are a few troubleshooting steps you may go through that may reveal the cause behind your AC not cooling properly.

Step 1: Check the thermostat

This does seem obvious, but often the obvious steps are the easiest to overlook. Check the thermostat settings to see if it’s in “fan only” mode. See if someone else has changed the programming so the thermostat isn’t coming on when it should. Replace the batteries if the screen is blank. Yes even many hardwired thermostats have a battery.

Step 2: See if a circuit breaker has tripped

If no part of the air conditioner will turn on—the fans, the compressor—the system may have lost power. One possibility is a general power failure, although this is unlikely to be something you miss. Go to the electrical panel and see if the circuit breaker to the air conditioning system has tripped. Reset it if it is, then try the air conditioner again. If the tripped breaker continues to happen, call for professional repairs to see what’s wrong.

Step 3: Change a clogged air filter

When the problem is that the air that isn’t cool enough, it may be a restriction of airflow into the HVAC cabinet because of a clogged air filter. This filter isn’t designed to clean the air but prevent contaminants from entering the AC and damaging components. When debris clogs up the filter, very little air can enter the AC and be cooled down, and you’ll end up with warmer air around the house. Change the filter for a clean one and remember to do regular filter changes every 1 to 3 months as needed.

Step 4: Clear away the outdoor cabinet

If you’re still getting lukewarm air from the system, look at the outside condenser cabinet. It should have about a foot on all sides clear of debris like branches and shrubs. If the condenser can’t exhaust heat outside, the system won’t be able to effectively cool the home.

Once you’ve taken all these steps and you still have an AC that won’t turn on or won’t cool the house, reach out to our technicians. We’re experienced, licensed, and insured, and we have a long history of helping keep homes cool.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electrical has served Los Angeles, Van Nuys, and the San Fernando Valley since 1990. Call us when you need AC help.

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