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Air Conditioning Troubleshooting
Made Easy!

The following Air Conditioning Troubleshooting methods are for do-it-yourselfers that want to save some money. You will need to have some common sense troubleshooting skills and some basic tools.

When troubleshooting an air conditioner, you need to ask yourself what is the a/c unit suppose to be doing, and what is the a/c unit actually doing? It is only then that you can narrow down the problem.

So we will discuss some common problems, the possible causes for these problems, and the solutions to these problems.

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting

Problem - A/C Unit Will Not Start

Causes and solutions:

No power- Test for voltage (might be a bad breaker)
Loose connections- Tighten connections
Burnt or broken wires- Replace wires
Bad Thermostat- Replace thermostat
Blown Fuse- Replace Fuse
Bad Transformer- Replace transformer

Problem - No air blowing out of your vents

Causes and solutions:

Burnt or broken wires- Replace wires
Bad Thermostat- Replace thermostat
Bad Capacitor- Replace Capacitor
Fan Relay Bad Or Bad Control Board- Replace Fan Relay or Control Board
Fan Motor Bad- Replace Blower Motor
Evaporator iced up- This could be due to a very dirty air filter...if that's your case, replace your air filter, then turn your thermostat to the off position and the fan swith to on, this will help melt the ice. Once the ice is melted (about 4 hours), turn the thermostat back on in the cooling mode, and your good to go. If this is not due to a dirty air filter, then it's because your evaporator coils need cleaning, or your system is low on refrigerant, or your blower motor or capacitor is bad, or you have a collapsed return air duct.

Problem - Outdoor fan will not start

Causes and solutions:

Bad Capacitor- Replace Capacitor
Bad Fan Motor- Replace Fan Motor
Bad Defrost Relay- (for heat pumps) Replace Defrost Relay
Burnt, broken, or loose wires- Replace Wires

Problem - Compressor will not start, but the fans run

Causes and solutions:

Shorted or broken wires- Replace Wires
Bad Capacitor- Replace Capacitor
Bad Contactor- Replace Contactor
Compressor Stuck- Add a hard start kit or bang on compressor with a rubber mallet.
Shorted or Grounded Compressor- Test motor windings and Replace Compressor
Open Overload Protector- Test for continuity, may be open due to a faulty fan motor or a lack of refrigerant. Run water over compressor for 15 minutes to cool compressor down, then check continuity again. If Compressor starts, check pressures for indications of low refrigerant or high head pressures. If compressor doesn't start, allow it to cool down for a few more hours and check continuity again. If compressor still doesn't start...replace compressor. 

Problem - Compressor and outdoor fan will not start

Causes and solutions:

Shorted/broken/loose wires- Tighten or Replace Wires
Bad Contactor- Replace Contactor
Bad Thermostat- Replace Thermostat
Tripped/Bad Breaker/Blown Disconnect Fuses - Reset or Replace

If the Compressor and fan motor have over heated and shut down on thermal overload- Wait for them to cool down or cool with water hose and then re-diagnose.  The cause of this is usually attributed to the outdoor fan motor over amping due to loose bearings or a weak capacitor.

Note: On split systems, where half of your unit is on the ground outside (condensing unit), and the other half is located in a closet, garage, or the attic (evaporator): These two units are on separate circuits. Therefore you should also check the breaker switch to make sure it's not tripped and the fuses at the disconnect. This is to ensure that you have power to your condensing unit. If power is found at the condensing unit, then one of the above solutions should solve your problem.

Problem - Compressor is abnormally LOUD.

Causes and solutions:

Loose Compressor hold down bolts- Tighten bolts found at base of compressor
Leaking check valve- Replace valve
Refrigerant over charge- Remove refrigerant to proper levels
Broken internal springs- Replace Compressor

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting - END.

A/C Handyman
Air Conditioning Troubleshooting
Repair, Service and Maintenance
104 S Pomeroy
Mesa, Arizona 85210
PH: 480-343-2530

Types of systems we service: Air Conditioner, Heat Pump, Gas Heating, Furnace, and Electric Heat.

Brands we service: All major brands including: Mastercool, Trane, Amana, Ruud, Goodman, Carrier, York, Goettl, Payne, Lennox, Rheem, Bryant, Heil, Kenmore, and Coleman.

Areas we service: Phoenix, scottsdale, mesa, tempe, gilbert, chandler, apache junction, and queen creek.

Return from air conditioning troubleshooting to air conditioning problems.

A/C Handyman - 104 S Pomeroy, Mesa, AZ. 85210

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Customer "Reviews"


Easy to work with great service

by George Arechiga

I manage 2 duplex units a total of 4 homes in Arizona and when I need service I call the A/C handyman. He is easy to work with and I don't feel like he is over charging me he has very good rates. And he shows up when he says he will. I really like his service.


Honest Air Conditioner Repair

by Ethel Duplisea
(Mesa, AZ)

Bradley was recommended to me by a family member. It was one of the best reommendations I have received in some time. A/C Handyman is on time, proffesional and charges a fair price. Thank you Bradley.


Quick and Excellent Service

by Russ
(Mesa, AZ)

My A/C wasn't blowing cool, so I called at 7:00 am on a Friday. He showed up at 8:30 (when he said he would BTW) the same day! Added freon, and didn't try any hard sell tactics. Would highly recommend his services.


Delivered on his Promises

by John Birch
(Chandler, AZ)

I saw Bradley's company in a comparison against most all the other Hvac companies in my area... while others sounded good, I was not impressed with what customers wrote about their service and fairness on pricing.... I think Bradley is extremely honest and you really do get pricing that is half of the other HVAC companies... Nice! Bradley is also the owner which I like. Nothing like dealing directly with the person that owns the business that you are buying from!!


Honest Work!

by Leah Vega
(Gilbert, AZ)

We have two air conditioning units in our home, and every year before the hot weather hits we like to get our air conditioning units serviced to make sure they are working in the most optimum condition. The gentleman that came out to service our units was very courteous and professional. I will definitely be using this company in the future for all of my a/c service needs.


Fair, Honest, and Responsive

by Les
(Scottsdale, AZ)

I called Brad early sunday AM. By 10:00 AM, the air was cold and I was relieved not to have a ridiculous bill. I have had some bad experiences with AC companies in the past but his timeliness, friendly manner, and fair prices were a huge relief. Brad's my AC guy from now on... thanks Brad!


Found my AC guy! Thanks

by John Shumway
(Queen Creek, AZ)

I do IT consulting on my own so I thought that there must be smaller companies with hard working honest guys around that do AC work. Google brought up Bradley's web page, and actually read the testimonials and thought I would give him a shot. Bradley came and diagnosed the problem to be a motor, he spent an hour making sure, and returned after obtaining the part and finishing up the other work he had scheduled that day which ended up being 11:00pm to replace it so my family could get some sleep. NO WAY would a large company have come that late, at least not without extreemly heavy fees. Thanks for the fair price and Excellent service!


Quick and good service!

by Joe Andreyka
(Gold Canyon, AZ, USA)

We got fast service when we needed it, and our a/c problems were solved, and our service rep was courteous and dependable.

Thank you! Joe and Janice Andreyka


Quick Service!

by Valerie & Don
(Apache Junction, AZ)

Brad had all the parts necessary for fixing our unit quickly. I would highly recommend his services. The charges were very reasonable.

Thank you for your expertise and very Quick Service!


Excellent Service and Knowledge

by Randall Thompson
(La Habra, CA)

I live in California and own a rental in Mesa, Az. I have used Brad as my A/C guy for a few years now because he is always there when I need him and I feel that he is honest and upfront with all details of the job. He knows A/C repair very well and gets right to the problem. Being from out-of-state I feel vulnerable to unreputable servicemen. I feel lucky to have found Brad.


Quality Service That is Reliable and Dependable

by Laura Foster
(Phoenix, AZ)

Brad is the AC expert that I rely on for all repairs and questions. In fact, we are buying a new A/C unit through Brad and he will be installing it this month! I recommend him to all of our friends. He is honest, extremely knowledgeable and reliable. He comes when you need him and you can always bank on what he tells you!


Dependable, Professional Service

by Doug Hersho
(Houston, Texas)

Having a rental property in Gilbert Arizona while living in Houston Texas requires reliable contractors that you can depend on for servicing. A/C Handyman has filled this requirement beyond expectations. One phone call is all it takes and you know that you don't have to worry about constant followup. Bradley will see to it that the problem is analyzed, reported back to you and repaired as required professionally. I highly recommend their service.