Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioner Repair for Homeowners

Your typical air conditioner needs regular maintenance just like any other appliance in order to operate reliably well during the spring and summer seasons. It isn’t uncommon for air conditioner components to be damaged in the winter due to freezing temperatures, so it’s best to periodically check an air conditioning unit during the cold season. Even if you aren’t running your air conditioning at all during the fall and winter, it’s still a good idea to check the unit’s parts, hoses, and compressor every so often. For instance, if your air conditioning stops blowing cool air, there are a handful of do-it-yourself repair steps you can use before calling a professional to do a simple, yet expensive, repair job.

Safety should always be your first thought when repairing any electrical equipment, especially larger machines like an air conditioner. Make sure that you kill the power going to the unit from your home’s electrical panel. Often the smartest way to go is cut the power to the house entirely before opening the air conditioner’s grill cover over the condenser.

Sometimes all the condenser needs is to breathe again, so a damp cloth will wipe away any excess debris from the condenser’s fan. Some of the air conditioner’s components are easier to reach than others. Exercise care if you have to unscrew the unit’s fan casing since there are sensitive electrical parts attached to both the condenser and the fan itself.

From here, you can get a better idea of where the problem with the unit lies. Once in a while, the air conditioning unit’s motor may simply need an oil change or have some other build-up interfering with the air conditioner’s overall performance. Lazy handymen may choose to simply spray the entire unit with a water hose inside and out, but this method is not recommended here. It can cause more harm than good if the motor becomes rusted.

If you find that all of the air conditioning system’s components appear in reasonable order, turn the electricity on and wait at least 15 minutes before judging your handy work. An easy way to tell if you’ve fixed the issue yourself is to touch the hoses that run from the condenser. If one of them is now cool to the touch, you have fixed the issue with little effort at all.

But after all your efforts, if the unit still blows warm air, the problem with the air conditioner may be in the system’s coolant reservoir, not the condenser, motor, or fan. In this case, these repairs should only be attempted by a professional due to the dangers involved with handling chemicals.