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The thermometer is climbing past 89, 90, and heading toward 100. You’re at work and get a notification that your home’s central AC stopped working. Or, you’re at home, hear an unusual noise, and your AC stops abruptly. Either way, emergency AC repairs are stressful.

Don’t panic. All Year Cooling is here to offer tips on what to do when your AC breaks down unexpectedly. It might be something you can get fixed quickly and get your home nice and cool again.

Take Steps to Determine If It’s Something You Can Fix

If your AC is running but not cooling your house, it’s an emergency. However, it’s not time to panic. Start by seeing if you can pinpoint where the problem is. 

Look at the Breaker

Did a breaker trip? If so, put it back. If it trips again, there’s a problem that an expert needs to repair.

Inspect the Air Filter

Check your air filter and make sure it’s not clogged with pet hair, dust, dander, etc. It may be as simple as a clogged filter. 

Check Your Thermostat and Settings

If that doesn’t work, check your thermostat. Is the temperature set correctly and not to a fan-only setting? If someone adjusted the temperature or shut the system off, turn it lower or back on. If the setting is at fan only, switch back to a cooling setting.

Listen for Unusual Noises

Listen to the system as it tries to turn on. Is it banging, whistling, grinding, or screeching? Take note as that’s another way for a technician to determine what might be the problem before they arrive. Different noises mean different things.

  • Buzzing – Parts are loose or a fan motor is dying.
  • Clunking – Something is loose.
  • Gurgling – The drain line is clogged.
  • Humming – Electrical controls or thermostat needs repair, or something is stuck.
  • Rattling – A fan is loose.
  • Squealing – Air pressure is incorrect or the blower or fan is having issues.
  • Whistling – The air filter is clogged, coils are frozen, or vents are clogged.

If you can get an audio recording of the noise, the technician can listen to it and try to pinpoint the issue. 

Feel the Vents

Put your hand up to a vent, is any air coming out? That can help a technician determine where the problem might be. 

Look for Leaks

Do you see any leaks? If water is building up in the condensate pan, there’s a clog in a line. Flush it with vinegar or bleach and water to kill any algae. 

Smell the Air

Do you smell anything that smells like it’s burning or very hot? If there is a chance that there’s a problem with the electricals or overheating system, call ASAP and shut off your AC while you wait. Always prioritize your safety.

Tips to Keep You Cool While You Wait

When you call a South Florida AC repair company, what can you do to stay cool until a technician arrives? All Year Cooling has a few tips that work.

Run Fans

First, run any floor and ceiling fans to keep air circulating. Even if it’s warming up, the breeze from a fan will keep your skin cooler, which helps immensely.

Take a Shower

Hop in a cool shower, but we have a tip beyond that. If possible, shower in a T-shirt over a swimsuit or shorts. Damp clothing helps you feel cooler for a lot longer, so you won’t need to take another shower until your clothes have fully evaporated and dried out. Keep a spray bottle to mist your face and neck as much as you need.

Wear Light, Loose Clothing

Loose clothing that allows your skin to breathe will help you feel cool. Light-colored clothing also helps you stay cooler

Turn Off Any Heat Generating Appliances

Do not run a clothes dryer, oven, TV, or desktop computer if possible. They will heat your home. Turn off lights and shut blinds to limit the heat the sunlight adds to your rooms.

Avoid Future Emergencies

What can you do to limit the chance of an emergency? There are three things you should be doing or consider implementing into your home’s AC system.

Listen for Unusual Sounds

Listen to your system and get to know what it sounds like when it’s working correctly. If anything changes, call a technician ASAP. Address changes before they occur. When you have something fixed before it breaks down, it usually costs less to repair and saves you from having a warm home due to a complete system failure.

Have Your System Maintained Regularly

Yearly maintenance keeps your system running properly. You should also make sure you’re doing your part. Change your AC filter every month or two. Two months may be okay, but homes with multiple people or pets should change their filter more often as hair and dander build up fast. If you burn something in the oven and the house fills with smoke, change your filter.

When you’re changing your filter, use the recommended size. If you go with a filter that’s too restrictive, it impacts airflow and makes your system work harder, which can wear out parts faster.

Make sure you clean off your coils and the outdoor components. If dust, pollen, and dirt build-up, it impacts how effectively the system can release heat from the coolant. If grass, branches, leaves, and other plants cover the vents on the outdoor system, it blocks the fans from moving the hot air out of the box. Keep the box clear and make sure shrubs and plants are at least three feet away.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Invest in a smart thermostat. It monitors your home’s temperature and can alert you when something is off. Even better, a smart AC system can alert you to any potential issue. Technicians can remotely check the diagnostic tools to pinpoint what is wrong and fix it remotely or know if a trip to your home is required. If you need a new system, a smart system may save frustration in the years to come.

Use our tips to ensure you stay cool all summer, even during an AC breakdown. While you do what you can to keep your system running, nothing in life is guaranteed. Our technicians are here to get you up and running quickly. Even if you need a brand-new central AC system, we offer same-day installations

All Year Cooling