Your split-system cooling system won’t work unless both units – the indoor evaporator and the outdoor condenser/compressor – are operating. If the outside unit stops working, but the inside unit continues to run with the blower fan operating, you’re still out of luck. The system won’t be cooling your home (aka, a broken AC) unless both sides of the system are working. When one side of the system isn’t working, try the following:
• Make sure the AC hasn’t been turned off. Typically, there’s an on-off switch in a small box near the outside unit.
• Check the circuit box in your home to make sure the breaker for the outside unit hasn’t tripped. If it has, turn it all the way off, then flip it back on. If this happens more than once, you’ll want a licensed electrician to determine why the breaker keeps tripping. This could be a fire or safety hazard in the making.
• Make sure the thermostat is set to “cool” and that the temperature setting is lower than the room temperature. (If this is the problem, your inside unit likely isn’t working either.) Properly adjusting the thermostat is a lot simpler (and cheaper) than calling in air conditioning service.
Other Issues to Consider in Your AC Malfunction
When the outside unit breaks down but the inside unit is running, the culprit may well be a broken compressor in the outside unit. That’s typically a major repair, something that might even warrant a system replacement. If the outside condenser/compressor unit is a lost cause, resist the temptation to only replace that unit. It’s usually much better from a performance and efficiency standpoint to buy an integrated system, rather than mixing and matching indoor and outdoor units. Plus, if one side of your old system has failed, it’s likely just a matter of time before the other half goes kaput. Other potential issues that could shut down the outside unit may include the coils freezing up, a malfunction of the fan in the condenser, an electrical issue, or a problem with the refrigerant line.
Jansen Heating and Cooling will be happy to send out trained technicians to look at your broken cooling system, diagnose what’s wrong, and recommend an air conditioning repair at a fair price. Under Jansen’s upfront guarantee, you’ll only pay the quoted price for an HVAC repair, even if the technician discovers and fixes some other problem while he’s completing the job.
Proper Maintenance Will Minimize AC Issues
The best way to reduce the chances that your cooling system will go on the fritz – whether it’s the inside or outside unit – is regular maintenance. This means simple tasks by you the homeowner (such as keeping vents and registers clean and clear and replacing the home air filter regularly) and annual professional maintenance. As is the case with heating systems, yearly maintenance is highly recommended for central air conditioning systems. Discuss joining Jansen Heating and Cooling’s Maintenance Club. This membership not only ensures discounted preventative maintenance on a set schedule, but also makes sure that requirements of your system manufacturer’s warrantee will be met.