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How to Fix My Air Conditioner, AC is Not Working

Have you turned your air-conditioner on and found it’s not heating this winter?Are there any unusual smells, sounds or operations you have become aware of?What does the fault code mean on your air-conditioner?

If you find your AC is not working, there are a few things you can do before you need to call a professional in to investigate the problem. We always recommend you utilise a qualified refrigeration mechanic, not a certificate 2 electrician or plumber. This way you receive experience from a mechanic who has spent four years learning how air conditioning systems work. Certificate 2 electricians and plumbers only spent six weeks learning how to install air conditioning systems, they are not allowed to service your air-conditioner.

The First Thing to do When Your Air Con Stops Working

The first thing you need to do is record any information regarding the problem you’re having. This includes any fault codes on the wall controller, any flashing lights on the unit, any abnormal operation including detailed when, how and what happened. All this information is important to diagnose your air conditioning unit quickly.

Reset the Fault on your Air Conditioning Unit

Once you have recorded the information surrounding the fault, it’s time to reset the power to the system and see if the issue is cleared. You can do this by turning the power to your air-conditioner off for up to 5 minutes then turning the power back on. Generally a switch is located within arms reach of the outdoor unit that allows power to be isolated to the system. You can also turn off the dedicated circuit breaker for the Aircon unit.

Why Should You Clean Your AC Filter

While you’re resetting your air conditioning unit, it is important to remove the filter from the unit and inspect for cleanliness. A blocked filter is one of the most common faults with air conditioning systems and they play a big part in preventing correct air-conditioner operation. A blocked filter reduces the airflow of the indoor unit,  this results in poor performance of the unit and increased running costs. If your air-conditioner is not working, ensure the filter is checked first.

Air Conditioner Outdoor Unit Airflow Restrictions

It is important to note your air-conditioner will fail, especially when the outdoor temperature is very hot or very cold, if the outdoor unit has minimal airflow. If the outdoor unit is obstructed by rubbish, organic plant waste, bushes or shrubs, pet hair, fences or other building structures, it can cause a massive problem for the air conditioning unit operation. These air flow issue can cause a fault to log in the unit and the unit to stop working. Resetting the power to the unit will generally clear this fault but it will return if the cause of this restriction is not sorted.

What’s Next

Once the reset is complete and your filter is clean, check the controller is set to heating and 30°C and/or cooling and 16°C (Depending on the time of year). Run the unit for 20 minutes checking you have hot air coming from the indoor unit on heating and cool air on cooling. If the temperature of the air has not changed within 20 minutes, there is a serious problem with your air-conditioner that needs to be further investigated.

How to Find a Reliable Service Company

Not all air conditioning mechanics are created equally! There are a few things to consider when deciding the best company to use for your air conditioning repairs.

There are distinct categories within the trade that most refrigeration mechanics specialise in. These categories are domestic service, domestic installation, commercial maintenance, Commercial refrigeration, commercial service and commercial installation. Most refrigeration mechanics will only have real experience in two or three of these areas or a little bit of experience in all areas. For your home air-conditioner, you need to find a service/repair company that has experience in domestic air conditioning systems. The best way to find the right person for the job is to contact the manufacturer of your air conditioning unit and ask them for the local service agent in your area. This ensures the technician you are using has a wealth of knowledge on the air conditioning system you own and can quickly diagnose and repair any faults.

Be Aware

There are a few ‘get there fast’ companies that offer same day or the next day service. We find these companies tend to be hit and miss as there is a skills shortage in our industry as it is and the chances of getting a good mechanic fast is slim (especially when it’s busy!). These companies utilise plumbers, electricians and salesmen to attend and diagnose problems with your air conditioning system. They are generally sales incentivised and often overprice simple repairs to sell a new system instead. Quite often customers are told parts are longer available or are too expensive in order to get the new unit replacement sale over the line. Just beware and vigilant and ask lots of questions when you have one of these companies in your home.

In a Nutshell

  • Check your filter is clean, this is one of the most important steps that can be done by the homeowner or tenant
  • Reset the power and clear the fault
  • Insure the outdoor unit has adequate ventilation and there is no obstructions
  • Contact the manufacturer and find out who the local service agents are in your area. This will ensure quality tradesmen attend and quickly determine the fault and repair the unit
  • Beware of ‘get there fast’ companies as they are often after the new unit sale over wanting to repair your air-conditioner

Need Help?

T&K Airpower have been working to keep Adelaide and the Sunshine Coast homes comfortable for over 25 years. Is your air-conditioner not working? Not sure how to fix your broken air-conditioner? Give us a call and we will be more than happy to help.