Ask Dirk: How can I troubleshoot my system in hot weather?


After a few stops and starts, it seems spring has finally arrived. It’s around this time that you might want to start thinking about switching from using your furnace to the air conditioning system. Spring can be a tricky time as temperatures fluctuate from warm to cool, and sometimes it’s as cold as the winter temperatures we’ve experienced this season.
After sleeping all winter, your air conditioner may have problems restarting. Before you call for service, here are some tips for troubleshooting your system.
System check
Set your thermostat to the cold position and to a temperature lower than the current indoor temperature. With your thermostat set like this, your fan motor in your furnace should be running and cool air should be coming through your registers. Sounds like a no-brainer, I know, but it’s a good idea to double-check.
You can also check outside to make sure your outdoor air conditioning unit is working. Check the circuit breakers in the circuit breaker box or outside electrical panel to see if all the switches are on. Also make sure that the “disconnect switch” of the outdoor unit is in the “ON” position. This is a safety switch that shuts off the electricity to your device, so a technician can work on your system safely.
You need to replace your air filter regularly, so check again to see if your filter has been changed recently. A clogged air filter will not allow your unit to operate efficiently. You may want to check your return air grille to see if it also has a filter. Filters in multiple places can harm your system. Your technician can advise you on whether to have a filter in the return or in the furnace.
Check the ducts in your home
If you’ve finished troubleshooting your HVAC system and are still having problems, it’s a good idea to check your ductwork. Good ventilation allows air to circulate smoothly throughout the home and ensures that the system operates efficiently and does its job.
Change the fan setting on your thermostat to “on”, which will run the fan continuously. If your fan is running and there is no air being delivered, you may have ducts that have fallen off or become disconnected. If the fan is on and seems to be working, remember to turn it back to the “auto” position so that it only distributes air when AC power or heat is called for.
If you’ve followed these tips to troubleshoot your HVAC system and it’s still not working properly, it’s time to call your trusted HVAC company. Troubleshooting on your own is a great way to find simple solutions and can help your technician focus on more serious issues.
For over 30 years, Roper’s Heating and Air Conditioning has provided essential indoor climate management services to the citizens of Western Nevada. Roper’s is a community-driven family business specializing in the restoration and preservation of Total Home Comfort. Roper’s is located at 2062 S. Edmonds Drive in Carson City.

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