DIY Central AC Troubleshooting and Repairs

October 13, 2023 9:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Top,View,Of,Residential,Air,Conditioning,Unit,Outdoors,With,FanHaving a central air conditioning system is a great convenience during hot summer months. However, just like any other appliance, it can run into problems and require repairs. Instead of calling a professional right away, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to identify and potentially fix the problem yourself. In this blog post, we will guide you through some DIY central AC troubleshooting and repair tips to help you save money and keep your home cool.

1. Check the Thermostat:

One of the first steps in troubleshooting your central AC is to check the thermostat. Make sure it is set to the correct temperature and mode (cooling). If the thermostat is not turning on the AC or if it is displaying an error message, replace the batteries if necessary. Also, check the wiring connections to ensure they are secure. If all seems well with the thermostat, move on to the next step.

2. Check the Air Filter:

A dirty or clogged air filter can cause your central AC system to work inefficiently or even stop working altogether. Locate the air filter, usually found near the return air vent, and inspect it for dirt, dust, or damage. If it is dirty, replace it with a new one. This simple step can greatly improve the performance of your AC and prevent potential damages.

3. Clean the Condenser Unit:

The condenser unit is the large outdoor component of your central AC system and it can become dirty over time, hindering its ability to cool the air effectively. Before cleaning, turn off the power to the unit from the circuit breaker. Remove any debris, such as leaves, grass, or twigs, from the condenser fins using a soft brush or a vacuum with a brush attachment. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fins. Then, carefully spray water onto the fins to remove any dirt or residue. Allow the unit to dry completely before turning the power back on.

4. Inspect the Ductwork:

Leaky or poorly insulated ductwork can cause your central AC system to lose cool air, which can not only result in higher energy bills but also lower the efficiency of the system. Take a look at the ductwork accessible to you, checking for any visible leaks or disconnected sections. You can seal small leaks with foil tape or mastic sealant. For larger leaks or damaged ductwork, it may be necessary to call a professional for repairs.

5. Check the Circuit Breaker:

If your central AC unit is not turning on at all, it is possible that there is an issue with the circuit breaker. Locate the circuit breaker panel in your home and check for any tripped breakers. If you find a tripped breaker, reset it and check to see if the AC turns on. If the breaker trips again immediately or shortly after resetting, there may be an issue with the wiring or the AC unit itself, and it is recommended to call a professional for further assistance.

6. Troubleshoot Unusual Noises:

Unusual noises coming from your central AC system can be a sign of a problem. If you hear rattling, grinding, or squealing sounds, it could indicate issues with the fan motor, blower motor, or bearings. Firstly, make sure that none of the components are obstructed by debris. If the noise persists, it is advisable to contact a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problem before it worsens.


Troubleshooting and performing basic repairs on your central AC system can be a cost-effective way to keep it running smoothly. By following these DIY tips, you can identify and potentially fix common issues without having to immediately call in a professional. However, if you are unsure or uncomfortable with any aspect of the troubleshooting or repair process, it is always best to seek help from a qualified HVAC technician. Remember to prioritize your safety and the proper functioning of your central AC system.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Ken’s Comfort Zone Air Conditioning is proud to remain a family-owned and -operated business, providing residential clients and businesses alike with a complete range of central heating, air conditioning, and ventilation services, including service calls, repairs, and installations. We’re proud to have been awarded the Monitor Newspaper 2015 Ceder Creek Lake area Readers’ Choice Award for best air conditioning contractor. Additionally, we carry an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and are members of the local Chamber of Commerce and the NFIB. For your peace of mind, Ken’s Comfort Zone Air Conditioning is fully licensed, bonded, and insured. Call us today for all of your HVAC needs!

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