Your home's central air conditioning system is comprised of two parts: the condenser outside of your house and the air handler found inside your house. The cooling process begins with the condenser, so power issues will have an immediate impact on your HVAC system's operation. By understanding why the power could be failing, you will be able to troubleshoot air conditioning repairs on your own.
Power Loss: Fuses or Circuits
Start by checking the circuit breaker that powers the condenser. You should have a dedicated circuit for the condenser, so if it is causing the circuit breaker to trip, you may need an electrician to look into the problem further.
There is also a circuit breaker located outside your house directly next to your condenser. Make sure that this circuit has not been tripped either, and reset it if necessary.
Power Loss: Thermostat Problems
Is your thermostat battery-powered? Replace the batteries in the unit, even if the thermostat's display is working correctly. There may only be enough juice in the batteries to power the display, and the thermostat is having difficulties sending the proper signals to turn the air conditioner on and off.
Power Loss: Damaged Condenser
The condenser works by receiving the electrical signal to turn the unit on. It pumps refrigerant into the coils, turning the gas into a liquid that moves through the pipes to your air handler. If there is an issue where the condenser is not receiving the proper amount of refrigerant to operate, it will cause the unit to be noisy and shake while powering up, potentially causing the unit to overheat and shut down.
Have an HVAC technician come to your home to repair this type of problem. There may be a leak in the refrigerant line that needs to be detected and fixed.
Intermittent Power Loss: Dirty Condenser Coils
Is your air conditioner sometimes producing cold air but shutting down at other times? It's possible to have an intermittent power loss issue due to dirty condenser coils.
The coils for the condenser are easy to access for cleaning. Shut the power down and remove the top cover on the condenser. Then use a garden hose to spray the coils from the inside to the outside, pushing all the dirt out of the unit. Replace the cover, turn the condenser's power on, and see if it fixed the problem.
Still can't find the source of your air conditioner's power issues? It may be time to call a HVAC repair professional to look into the problem for you.