Steps to Take if Your Air Conditioner Breaks

Steps to Take if Your Air Conditioner Breaks There’s never a really convenient time to have a broken air conditioner in summer. What’s worse, like most mechanical devices, an air conditioner tends to fail when its under the greatest cooling load—i.e., during a sweltering heat wave. Just for fun, add visiting relatives to this scenario. Now what?

Most of the time, a broken air conditioner requires intervention by a qualified HVAC service professional. Events like this are why 24/7 emergency response is available. Before you make that call, however, try a few tips that might resolve the problem.

What to Check

  • Make sure the thermostat switch is set to “Cool,” not “Off” or “Heat.” We know, it’s sounds obvious, but it happens.
  • Change the air filter. A severely clogged filter strangles airflow and may trigger a safety function that shuts down the system to prevent compressor damage. Replace the filter if it’s dirty and try to restart the A/C. If it shuts itself off again, get professional service.
  • Check circuit breakers. If you find a tripped circuit breaker in your main electrical panel, reset it and try the A/C. If the breaker trips again, discontinue DIY efforts and schedule service with your HVAC contractor.

While troubleshooting and repairs are underway, remember that an overheated house may present safety issues for certain individuals. If necessary, relocate to a cooler environment temporarily. If you’re staying home, try these tips to stay cool, too.

Tips to Stay Cool

  • Close blinds and drapes during daylight hours. Solar energy from sunlight heats rooms.
  • Keep air moving. Circulating air makes a hot house feel cooler. Got ceiling fans? Use them. Strategically position box fans to create a flow of air from open windows throughout the house.
  • Turn out unnecessary lights. Any type of light bulb—incandescent, CFL or LED—generates heat. You’ve got enough of that already.
  • Dress appropriately and drink water. Wear light-colored, baggy clothes: short-sleeve shirts and shorts preferably. Start drinking water or sports drinks before you feel thirsty and continue intake throughout the day.

For certified professional repair of a broken air conditioner, call Paitson Bros., Terre Haute’s 24/7 HVAC service provider since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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