Troubleshooting your window air conditioner

Being able to troubleshoot and fix a faulty air conditioning unit on a hot, sweltering, day is a lot better than enduring the heat as you wait for a professional A/C repair man to show up and fix it. Some of the newer A/C’s like the Friedrich Chill CP08G10 we reviewed are less prone to problems, but some of the things you can do to try and identifying the problem on your window air conditioner, depends on what the problem is. Browse the issues below to troubleshoot your specific problem.

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If the unit isn’t running perhaps it has no power in which case you should check the cord, the plug, and the outlet. You should also check to see if there is a blown fuse or if the circuit breaker at the main entrance panel has tripped. In this case you would restore the circuit or replace the fuse. A motor overload or safety shut-off will also cause the unit not to run. To restore it wait 30 minutes then press reset. If it doesn’t start, it may be necessary to wait another 30 minutes and press the reset button another time.

If the unit switch is faulty that can also cause the unit not to run. To fix this check this check the terminals and insulation for burns; if there are burns, replace with a new switch. If the switch appears fine, call a professional.

If the fuses are blown it could be that there is a circuit overload, or that the voltage is low. If there is a circuit overload, put the unit on a different circuit. If the voltage is low, call a professional or call your power authority.

If the cooling on the unit is inadequate, it may be that the thermostat is set too high in which case you should lower the thermostat by 5 degrees. Dirty filters and coils can also cause a problem; try cleaning or replacing the filter and clean the coils. If the condenser is blocked from the outside cause the unit to give insufficient cooling, so make sure that the outside of the unit is not blocked. If the motor and compressor is faulty or the unit leaks this problem will occur; call a professional in these cases.

If the fan is running but the unit doesn’t cool, it may also be that the thermostat is set too high in which case you should lower the thermostat by 5 degrees. It may also be that the thermostat is faulty, in which case you should test the thermostat. If it is faulty you should replace it or call a professional. Perhaps the coils are dirty; clean the coils. If the compressor and motor are faulty call a professional.

If the unit cools but the fan is not running check if the control switch is set wrong; if it is, reset it by trying different settings. If the fan is clogged, clean and tighten the fan blades. If the fan blades are bent, straighten them. A faulty fan motor will also cause the fan not to run even though the unit is cooling. If the fan motor is faulty, replace it or call a professional.

If the unit turns on and off repeatedly it could be that either or both the coils and the motor is/are dirty. If this is the case, clean the coils, and clean or replace the filter.

These troubleshooting tips should cover 90% of window air conditioner problems; but if your unit has a problem not covered here feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email and we’ll try to address the problem, or get in touch with your local A/C professional.

 

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