To Call or Not to Call? Troubleshooting Tips for Your AC

It's a predicament you've likely been in at one time or another if you live in Florida: the AC goes out after hours or on a weekend, and you're left trying to decide between paying after-hours fees for an emergency diagnostic visit or suffering without AC until regular business hours. We know this is frustrating, and we also understand the misery of spending a night (or worse, a summer day) without AC in the humidity and heat that comes with living in the Sunshine State. While we don't advocate DIY AC repair (one mistake can cost you thousands!) we do believe in giving our customers some simple diagnostic tools to help them decide if their AC issue warrants a call, or if it's a simple tweak that they can do on their own to get their system up and running again. 

Here are a few scenarios, and tips from the pros, to help when you are faced with the question: "To call, or not to call?" 

Your AC is cooling unevenly or not cooling well throughout your home. 

If your system is running, but the house isn't cooling (or is cooling unevenly) it could be as simple as a dirty AC filter. Given enough time, dust and dirt can built up on your filter causing restricted air flow. Not only does this significantly lower your unit's efficiency, but it can lead to long-term damage to your system (like ice buildup on coils) if not taken care of. If you notice that your system just isn't meeting your temperature expectations, try switching out your filter first. If you don't notice improvement, it's time to call in the pros since it could be sometime more serious, like a coolant problem. 

You notice that your AC unit is leaking. 

This is never a DIY option, so you might as well pick up the phone and call us! Leaking from your AC unit can actually be due to one of several problems, including ice blocking the drain line, but all of the potential issues will warrant a visit from your AC tech. 

Your AC is turning on/off at the wrong time, or isn't maintaining the desired temperature. 

Before you panic, believing that your AC unit is getting ready to die and require a total replacement, take a peek at your thermostat. When it comes to your HVAC system, the thermostat is essentially the "brains" of the operation, and your means of controlling the temp of your home. If the thermostat goes out, your system won't be able to operate properly, and won't be receiving the signals to turn on/off as needed. This problem is seen frequently now with the growing popularity of smart-home systems and wi-fi thermostat options. If the thermostat gets booted offline, or if your internet is having trouble, it can affect your thermostat and therefore affect the temp of your home. By checking the settings on these things first, you can save yourself the drama of a call to the AC techs! If all seems fine with your thermostat, then it's time to call your local HVAC provider. 

You smell burning when you turn on the heat. 

We know, you might have lived in your home for years and never used the heat...it's something many Floridians face! When the temps do drop though, and you have to crank up the warm air, it can be alarming if you smell what you think is something burning or melting within your system. However, you likely don't need to worry. Dust builds up on your system, and when you fire it up, that dust starts to burn off for the first few minutes. However, if you continue to smell a strong burning/melting scent, or if you notice smoke coming from anywhere in your system, shut it off and immediately all your local HVAC service. It's better to be safe than sorry! 

We hope this helps you feel a little more confident in knowing when you need to pick up the phone and call for help, or tackle the troubleshooting yourself. Polk County residents know they can call on Ridge Energy Savers for all their HVAC needs, no matter the time of day (or night). Our emergency services mean you never go without heat or AC, and you know you're getting the very best in pricing and service. Give us a call the next time you need a little help keeping your cool!