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What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Dies
A sudden air conditioner outage is never going to be anything but stressful. Here at Shipton's Heating and Cooling, we completely understand that.
The one thing that keeps stress levels manageable when you are dealing with an unexpected heating and air conditioning failure is to know what you should do when this happens.
This post will give you the steps you need to take as soon as you notice your air conditioner is not cooling properly or has suddenly failed.
We also strongly suggest you program our 24/7 emergency HVAC repair phone number into your phone now - our live operator is standing by to assist on evenings, weekends and holidays for HVAC emergencies.
What to Do Right Away When Your Air Conditioner Fails
The first and most critical step to take when your AC dies is to conserve all available cool air inside your space.
You want to take the following steps right away - before you do anything else!
1. Close your window blinds or curtains (or cover your windows with sheets or towels to block sunlight).
2. Run ceiling fans or floor fans to increase air circulation (if it is very hot, placing a bowl full of ice cubes in front of a floor fan can serve as a handy makeshift AC unit for small rooms).
3. Wear cooling clothing that is loose and thin to allow your skin to breathe (cotton is a great choice if you have it).
4. Gather in the coolest rooms in your home - especially during the hottest daylight hours.
5. Remember to stay well hydrated with fresh plain water and to take cooling baths or showers as needed.
What to Do to Get Your AC To Work Again
After you have tended to your family's immediate safety needs, your next step is to find out why your air conditioner stopped working.
Once you understand the reason for your dead AC unit, you can make decisions about whether to try to repair your air conditioner or replace it with a new unit.
Unless you have a professional background in air conditioner troubleshooting and repair, we strongly suggest contacting your Shipton's service technician at this stage.
This is because AC refrigerant is highly toxic and should only be handled by a trained professional. Inhaled refrigerant can damage your respiratory passages and lungs and cause chemical burns to the skin.
PSSSST: If your AC unit is very old and failing or dead, CLICK HERE to find out how you can win a FREE brand new air conditioner - on us!
Common Causes for Sudden Air Conditioner Failure
Some of these common causes are simple to troubleshoot on your own. But if these tips do not work to restart your air conditioner, do not hesitate to give our HVAC technicians a call!
1. Check the air conditioner circuit breaker.
In some cases, it could be that the circuit breaker that is connected to your AC unit has been tripped. This is more likely if that circuit breaker is powering more than one high power home appliance.
2. A fuse has blown.
You can also head out to your home's fuse box and check to see if one of the fuses has blown. If you happen to have a multimeter on hand, you can do a quick continuity test to discover whether the fuse could be the culprit.
3. Dirty or clogged air filter.
The air filter on your air conditioner unit is there to keep dirt, dust and debris from reaching the inner moving parts of your air conditioner.
If it gets too dirty or clogged, obstructed airflow can cause your AC coils to freeze over - literally.
In addition to changing out the air filter, you may need to run a warm air current over the coils to defrost them (a hair dryer works great for this).
4. The outside condenser is dirty or clogged.
It is all too easy to completely forget about the outside part of your air conditioner. But this is actually where the majority of dirt, debris and dust collects.
Over time, storm debris, mud, leaves and even animal nests can clog up the inside of the outdoor condenser. You can remove the lid to take a look inside - but be sure you turn off the power at the main electrical box before you do it!
5. Your AC capacitor has conked out.
If the blower motor is what keeps the airflow moving through your air conditioner, the capacitor is its under-appreciated assistant. A blown capacitor means your blower motor won't start.
As long as your air conditioner still has some overall useful life left in it, you could get by with replacing the capacitor to get your unit started again.
When It Is Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner Rather Than Call For AC Repair
Energy Star states that you can realize noticeable gains in efficiency and air quality by replacing any air conditioner that has been in use for 10 years or more.
You can increase these gains by replacing your AC and furnace at the same time. This can be a tough decision since most furnaces outlive their air conditioner counterparts though.
Your Shipton's service technician is happy to come out, assess the overall condition of your HVAC units and give you a free estimate for AC repair or replacement.
Contact Hamilton Ontario Shipton’s for 24/7 Emergency HVAC Service
Shipton's has been installing, servicing and repairing all makes and models of heating and air conditioning equipment for nearly 100 years.
Our 24/7 emergency HVAC service is always on call for you. Call us anytime day or night and speak to a live person and get your emergency repair resolved quickly.