What to do When Your Air Conditioning isn’t Working

The last thing you want to do when your air conditioner isn’t working is panic. When the temperatures are soaring and you feel like your home is getting hotter by the minute, it can be extremely frustrating when your AC suddenly decides not to work. But, you can keep your cool (pun intended) and actually make sure your home stays comfortable even when the sun is hot and your AC is on the fritz.

You can make sure your AC is ready to take on the summer by having it inspected this spring. Before it gets too hot outside, have a technician look at it to make sure everything is in working order. You should also change your filters and clean your vents so your AC will work at its best.

But, even when you do take precautions, air conditioners do go out. If yours isn’t working properly try these tips.

Do some Troubleshooting

When you first notice that cold air isn’t coming out of your vents, do some troubleshooting to see if you can identify the problem. If you have central air, check the circuit breakers or fuse box to make sure they are all on.

If you don’t notice any problems here, make sure the unit itself doesn’t have any visible damage. Look for cracks, leaks or frayed wiring. These can all prevent your unit from working the way it should.

Now, go outside and look at your AC unit. Check to make sure it isn’t clogged with leaves, sticks and debris and use a rake to clear away the space around the unit so it can easily bring in the air it needs.

Contact a Professional

If you aren’t able to get your AC working again after doing some basic troubleshooting, or if you can’t identify the problem, it’s time to contact a professional. If you don’t know how to service an air conditioner, it can be dangerous to attempt do-it-yourself fixes.

A technician will be able to repair things like frayed wires or a cracked unit. He’ll also be able to inspect your entire system to find out why it isn’t working properly. There are all kinds of things that can stop an air conditioner from working and each kind of unit is susceptible to different kinds of problems.

Some common air conditioning problems include a broken thermostat, damaged ductwork and low refrigerant levels. These problems can all be diagnosed by a professional who can also recommend repairs and then get your AC in working condition again.

Reduce the Heat Coming into your Home

While you are waiting for your unit to be serviced, start taking measures to reduce the amount of heat that is coming into your home. When you do this, you can keep your home as cool as possible so you can stay comfortable until your AC is working again.

Avoid using appliances like your washer, dryer, stove and oven. These can all heat up your home and when you use them sparingly, your home will stay cooler. Do laundry in the early morning or evening hours when it’s cooler outside. Opt for meals that don’t require you to use the stove or oven or use a slow cooker instead.

Use blinds and curtains to prevent direct sunlight from entering through your windows and heating up your home. You’d be surprised at what a difference blocking sunlight can make when it comes to keeping your home cooler.

During hours when it’s cooler outside, like in the morning or evening, open your windows to allow cool air to enter and the hot air to exit. If your home is especially hot, you can also hang damp sheets in your windows so that as the breeze passes through, it will help to cool down your home.

Set up Temporary Cooling Solutions

If you will be without air conditioning for some time, you should set up some temporary cooling solutions so your family will stay comfortable and safe. There are several different kinds of temporary coolers you can use and in some cases, you may want to use a combination of options for best results.

Setting up fans can help you increase air circulation so your home feels cooler. These work best in smaller rooms but can also be used to spot cool almost any space in your home. Try setting up a fan in a window so that it is blowing out. This seems contradictory, but will actually work to push hot air out of your home so it stays cooler.

Another option is to use a climate control unit with a hose that fits in your window. These are extremely effective and are a great option if you need to keep your home cool for more than just a few hours. They come in all sizes so you can find one that will effectively keep your home comfortable.

Evaporative coolers can also keep your home cool until your central air is up and running again. These work by using water to cool air and then blowing that cool air out into the room.

Many of these temporary coolers also work well as spot coolers to supplement another kind of air conditioning. If there are places in your home that never seem to stay cool, a fan or cooling unit might be the answer.

Using a temporary cooler can keep your home comfortable and safe and are absolutely essential if your air conditioning stops working when it is especially hot outside. With these temporary solutions, you can continue to cool your home until your central air is working again.

If your air conditioner stops working when it’s hot outside, don’t worry; these tips can help you cool things down again. Start by doing some troubleshooting and then contact a professional if you aren’t able to get your AC working again. In the meantime, prevent heat from entering your home as much as possible and use some temporary cooling solutions to keep your home comfortable.

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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