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Air Conditioning Help

Air Conditioning: Central Air   or  Room Air conditioners or in attics or finished basements

Central air conditioning:
Your air conditioning system has 2 key components:

  •     The air handler (or more simply the fan which pushes the air).  The air handler is usually part of a hot air heating system.  It's the fan which pushes the air through the ductwork of the house.  In the winter, the furnace heats air, in the summer, the compressor outside cools the air.  In some homes, especially those without central hot air heat, there may be a separate air handler located in the attic of the home.

  •     The compressor, located outside the house. This unit compresses the freon which, when allowed to expand, becomes cold. By passing the freon through a 'radiator' in the air handler, it makes the air cold.  By the way, when the air becomes cold, moisture in the air condenses and is drained out with a pipe to a drain, or pumped to a drain via a condensate pump.

Helpful Hint:  Help, my air conditioning doesn't work and I can't get cool!


Check the air coming out of the vents....

Then continue checking these items.

No air is coming out of the room air ducts. If the check list to the right doesn't solve it, call us to fix the electrical problem.

  1.  Is the thermostat switch set for 'Cool'?

  2.  Make sure it is not set to 'Heat' or 'Off'. 

  3. Try setting the switch to from 'Auto' to 'Fan' to manually make the fan run. (If this makes air flow but it isn't cold, go to "Air comes out cold" section below)

  • Is the safety switch for the furnace turned on? (You may have  one on the furnace and often at the top of the basement stairs.)

  • Is the fan door (bottom panel of the furnace) secure?
     Try banging the upper edge of it to be sure the safety interlock switch behind the panel is pressed in.

  • Make sure the circuit breaker for the furnace or air handler has not tripped. Try clicking it Off and then back On.

==> If none of these items resolves the problem, it's time to give us a call. 


Air comes out but never gets cold.  The answers to these questions determine whether to call us or an air conditioning company.

  1. Is the outside compressor running?  Listen and/or see if the big  fan out on the unit is turning. 
     If not:  check the double circuit breaker near the unit, and at  the circuit breaker box.  Turn the breakers off, and then back  on.  If this doesn't help, it's time to call us.

  2. If the outside unit seems to be running fine (but nothing gets cold), you need to call an a/c company since electrically,  everything is working.  You may need refrigerant or a compressor.

Room Air Conditioners
Typically, you can only have 1 unit on a circuit.  If it doesn't work, check the outlet with a lamp.  If there's no power, check the circuit breakers.

A/C systems in attics and finished basements 

A normal part of the a/c systems is condensation on the cooling coils. This water (condensate) is collected and drained away.... and usually works fine.  But sometimes the drain line gets clogged, or the condensate pump (not always needed) stops working.  You want to know when there's a problem, and if the unit is in an attic or finished basement, you want the system to stop before it causes damage to the sheetrock, carpets, etc.   We can install safety shut-off switches for the condensate drain pipe and a float shut-off switch for the overflow basin. (These devices shut-off the a/c unit if water backs up in the drain line (if plugged by debris or mice debris) or the coils freeze (and thaw) from an a/c malfunction.) You want the system to stop, even if you're not home, before water causes damage.