How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

5 Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Tips

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Heating & Cooling > 5 Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Tips
5 Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Tips

There are some things you can do to make sure your air conditioner runs effectively. By working these troubleshooting tips you may find you don’t need to call in a professional. Understanding how your home is cooled can keep you on the right track for maintaining a comfortable environment as well as lower your energy costs during the hot months.


The EPA offers some tips to make sure your air conditioner is running properly. It helps everyone when you take the time to be more efficient with your energy consumption.


Five quick tips can help you reach your energy goals as well as help your house stay the temperature you like. No one wants to be running to the thermostat all the time and taking care of your system can help maintain a proper home temperature.

  1. 1.Clear Debris Near the Condenser

    The more efficiently your run your unit, the better it is for everyone.

    One of the easiest things to do is check the air intake by the condenser. This is usually located outside or in your garage. If leaves and dirt have developed around the condenser it cannot effectively pull in air to cool. It makes the entire unit run less efficiently and can even cause overheating and damage to the unit. Clearing this debris is an easy fix.

  2. 2.Adjust the Thermostat Heat Anticipator

    If you find you seem to be constantly adjusting the temperature, check the thermostat heat anticipator. You can change the degree marker on the unit so that it will cycle on BEFORE you reach a temperature that is undesirable. Often units are set to cycle on once the temperature rises two or three degrees which keeps you running to try and correct the temperature all the time. By lowering the window you should be able to control the temperature much more closely.

  3. 3.Condensate Pump Problems cause Pooling Water

    If you notice pooling water, check your condensate pump by pouring water into the pan, if it doesn’t start, the power is either off or it is broken. This makes the cooling ineffective and you lose all ability to dehumidify the air. Humid air is always warmer and makes it much less comfortable in the house.

  4. 4.Clean the Venting System

    Check your vents and make sure they are clean. Depending on the makeup of your house and the air quality in the surrounding area, you may find your ducts need to be cleaned. Air filters can only pull out so much junk and eventually your ducts need to be wiped out so the air can be distributed more efficiently.

  5. 5.Be Sure Your AC Unit is the Proper Size

    Check the size of your air conditioning unit. If you have done any remodeling you may need to consider an upgrade. Your unit needs to be the proper BTU for the square footage of your home. If you have high ceilings, you need to take this into account as it is then cooling more space than it would otherwise.


    These few steps can help you figure out your cooling issues. Once you have them under control you will be surprised by how much money this can save you on your energy bill. The more efficiently your run your unit, the better it is for everyone.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.