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How to Tell if your AC is Broken

Sputter, spat, woosh: those are the typically the sounds of a failing air conditioner, providing its last gust of cold air. Of course, there are many reasons why an AC will give way, eventually, but believe it or not, sometimes your unit isn’t broken at all. If you think that your air conditioner is broken, then here are some signs to check before making the final diagnosis:

Check the Thermostat

One of the first places to check is your thermostat. Known as the programmable device that “runs the show” in your house, sometimes it can be set to an inconsistent temperature, causing your air conditioner to not function properly.

Believe it or not, sometimes a homeowner will set the thermostat to a higher-than-average temperature and will completely forget about the change made. Of course, this is a simple fix — but it might be due to the reason that you don’t check your thermostat as often as you should!

The best solution to fixing this problem is to make a habit of checking your thermostat at least twice a day. The reason why this will work best is that it will not only help you know the status of the temperature, but it will give you options to adjust it accordingly throughout the day.

For example, you might want to set your thermostat to a much lower temperature at night, compared to the morning when you’re at work. This will not only help you save money on your energy bill, but you’ll be more aware of what you’re setting it to, or what time of the day your home needs to be cooled down the most.

Look at the Location

Believe it or not, sometimes a thermostat is installed in the wrong area of a home. Since this could be a high possibility, it’s never a bad idea to factor this into the equation of a poorly functioning air conditioner. When you have a home heating/cooling unit, your technician will place the temperature controlling device in an area that will help it function properly. Of course, sometimes an area will be deemed correct — and then it turns out to be the wrong spot, completely.

When you have a thermostat installed in your home, regardless if it’s hard-wired or WiFi, it should be placed away from all windows and external-leading doors. The reason is simple: these elements will interfere with your settings. Think of your thermostat as a thermometer. When exposed to hot climates, the temperature will rise — but when put in the cold, the temperature will drop.

Since you set your thermostat to a specific temperature, there is the possibility that a misplaced device will sense the wrong room temperature and will ultimately work against you. If you ever feel that this could be a possibility as to why your unit isn’t working, then you may need to have your thermostat moved into a new, correct location in your home, such a hallway!

Observe the Filter

Another prime suspect in a non-functioning air conditioner is a dirty air filter. Sometimes, it’s possible that a homeowner will forget to replace the filter when needed. Although this is a typical scenario (especially for those that move into a new home) for most, it should be taken care of immediately.

When it comes to your air filter, think of this “accessory” as the lungs of your unit. Just like the human body, if there’s a blockage in the respiratory system, then the body will work twice as hard to force the circulation to go through — despite any debris that may be present. The same concept applies to your air conditioner, where it will work twice as hard, using more energy, to blow air through the filter.

Not only will this diminish the amount of air coming out of the vents, but it will also decrease your indoor air quality, causing airborne debris to spread throughout your home (and lungs). If you’re looking to resolve this issue, then it’s best to change your air filter approximately every two-to-three months — depending if you have pets. If you do have pets, then it would be wise to change your filter every two months. Once you change your air filter, you’ll soon notice a huge difference in the air quality!

Is your air conditioner still not functioning properly, even after checking these spots? For HVAC service that’s out of this world, call your Houston air conditioning specialists at Universal Home Experts today at (713) 364-0226, or click here for more information.