Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find some commonly asked questions with some often found answers. Please keep in mind that every situation is different and that the answers provided here may not solve your particular issue.

Why does my AC kick on, cool for a short time, and then blow warm air?
Why won't my outdoor AC unit turn on?
Why does my AC run non-stop yet not cool my house well?
Why can't I get my upper floor/2nd story cool?

Why does my AC kick on, cool for a short time, and then blow warm air?

This will typically happen when you're air conditioner is freezing up. When the evaporator coil isn't getting enough warm return air to cool and recirculate it will actually begin to ice up and freeze stopping the flow of refrigerant entirely. Because your house wasn't reaching the cooled temperature you set your thermostat to the system continues to run but will actually blow room temperature air instead of chilled air. You've essentially got a return air issue. Make sure your filters are clean. If you have clean filters see if it helps removing the filter all together. What you may find is that your filters were too restrictive (try some cheaper ones) or that you just have inadequate return air. This could be a ducting design issue, dirty ducts, or your air handler fan may be going out.

The other thing you'll want to check is if your evaporator coil is dirty. It may have gotten dust and clogged over the years and thusly isn't able to remove the warm air from your house and is freezing up beneath a layer of dust. The coil is inside your furnance or air handler housing usally right where the copper tubing penetrates the chassis. You'll have to look for a door or other access point. You can simply wipe it down and most hardware stores sell evaporator cleaner in an aerosol can.

Why won't my outdoor AC unit turn on?

You'll want to first make sure a breaker or switch isn't tripped or set to 'off' for the season. Many units have a seasonal breaker switch right at the unit as well as a dedicated breaker inside your breaker panel. From there, listen to it. Is it humming but the fan just isn't spinning? If that's the case, be careful, and see if you can push start the fan with a stick. If this is something you have to do regularly then your fan motor is seizing up and needs to be replaced. If it's not humming then you'll want to verify your thermostat is wired correctly. You'll need a litte know on the wiring and a volt meter. Basically, you can easily check if it's wired correctly at the thermostat iteself by testing the wires in the various positions of on, off, and auto as well as cool, fan, and heat. Is your inside fan running? If it isn't running then it's more likely that some wires are crossed. Beyond that we recommend you call a profressional.

Why does my AC run non-stop yet not cool my house well?

Please walk through the Common AC Issues section on this site to see if that resolves any of your issues. From there you may have an issue with the refrigerant charge in the unit itself and you'll need to have a professional come out and look at that. If it's your first season in a new house or with a new unit you may also want to verify it's sized correctly.

Why can't I get my upper floor/2nd story cool?

You can reasonably expect a difference of 3-5 degrees between your ground floor or basement and an upper story. Depending on the size of your house you may want to consider a split system or second system. A window or portable unit may be worth considering as well. Take a look at your return air registers on the 2nd story. Do you have any? If you do not have any you'll want to leave a door open if possible, or even cut an inch or 2 from the bottom of your doors to encourage more return air flow. Remember, an AC is about removing warm air more than it's about circulating cooled air. The other sections on this site should be able to help you troubleshooot other issues you may be having.