One of the best things about warmer weather is locking yourself indoors and cranking up the AC. However, when your AC quits on you, it can be a stressful, challenging thing to deal with. There’s truly nothing more frustrating than facing the dog days of summer without any relief in sight, and when your air conditioner goes out in the middle of a heat wave for no reason, it could leave you wondering why. When it comes to older machines, there are a handful of potential reasons you could be looking at issues with your AC, from loose nuts and bolts to a clogged filter. Taking your AC to Bradley Mechanical heating and air conditioning service might not just be the right move for restoring your AC to its former condition: It might also help you use your AC more efficiently, cutting your home heating bills in half during the summer months. But before you take your machine in to get serviced by the pros, here are a few things to try on your own when your AC cuts out unexpectedly.

Unplug It

With any technological issues, one of the easiest ways to address a temporary glitch is to give your machine some time to cool off between uses. If your air conditioner has been on for too long, it might need a bit of time off to stop from overheating. If the machine has totally stopped, unplug it, wait five minutes, and try plugging it back in to see if it starts up again. If this doesn’t work, try using a different outlet to make sure you’re not dealing with a problem with the power supply. Sometimes if you’re trying to plug in a larger appliance to an outlet that wasn’t built to deal with such a high power charge, it can end up shorting and creating a dangerous spark or pop. If you’re not seeing any action after plugging in your machine, it might be time to take a look inside your unit to see if anything is going on. However, before you start dismantling your AC unit, there are a few other basic steps to try.

Change the Temperature

Sometimes your AC can shut off because of a temporary glitch or trip in the circuit breaker. Though unplugging and plugging back in should solve this, sometimes it also helps to turn the machine on and change the actual temperature setting. This could help re-establish communication with your thermostat or central cooling system. Try lowering the temperature to see if that makes a change. If you’re still not getting any cool air out of your unit (or any air at all,) turn off your machine completely, unplug it for at least ten minutes, and start the process over again.

Check Your Home Thermostat

Sometimes, our home thermostat and AC unit simply lose touch. This could be the result of a tripped breaker or a host of other issues. If you have a smart thermostat, it could simply be the fault of a bad WiFi connection. Try addressing the problem by playing around with your thermostat. You might be dealing with as simple a fix as a reset breaker, or you might be looking at a broken thermostat. One way to tell that it’s your thermostat’s fault rather than your AC’s fault is to check if your thermostat is communicating with your heater. If it’s still connected to central heating, you’re probably dealing with an issue with your AC unit.

Clean the Filter

Many appliances, like newer washer/dryer units and AC systems, have built-in safety features to prevent dangerous clogging or overheating. In the same way that a clogged lint trap can lead to a home dryer shutting down, too much lint or too much dirt being filtered out through your AC unit can result in your AC simply shutting off to protect itself. Try cleaning the lint trap in the unit and replacing it before turning it back on. If this doesn’t do the trick, remove the face of the machine and see if there’s more lint trapped inside. Sometimes you’ll have to actually go out back to where the machine meets the window (if it’s accessible to you) and move away any stuck sticks, leaves, or debris to make sure the path is clear. If none of this works, you’ll want to take the face off your machine and have a look inside. Check for any loose bolts, standing water, and most importantly, a frozen coil. If your coil has frozen, you’ll need to call your HVAC repair professional to have your machine serviced.

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