A central heating unit can fail without a notice and you may be left hanging for days until a technician finally shows up to resolve the issue. It is true that you should let a professional deal with heating and cooling repair, but you do not always need them or at least you can make things work until a technician arrives and takes a closer look at everything. You can easily do some basic repairs if of course you have some knowledge of how heating and cooling systems work. And, you should try to do the repair only if you are comfortable working around electricity.

In most cases, you only need to spend some money on replacement parts and your air conditioner will start working again. Here are a few tips that will help you handle things better. Keep in mind that if basic fixes do not work, you should do not try to push things too far and call in a professional to find the more elusive problem.

  • Check the Furnace: You should always start by checking the furnace and ensuring that there is no problem here. For this, you should simply change the thermostat to A/C mode and then lower the temperature setting. There is probably no issue here if the furnace fan starts. You consider resetting the furnace circuit breaker in case the fan does not kick in. If the fan still refuses to start, it is better to call a professional for heating and cooling repair.

  • Check the condensing unit. There can be problems with the outside condensing unit that can affect the unit. It is important to ensure that both the fan and compressor are running fine. Be sure to turn off the furnace breakers in the electrical panel before you try to remove the access panel of the condensing unit. Even then, you should use a voltage tester to ensure that there is no power in the wires.
  • Have the start/run capacitors replaced. In many cases, the problem is in the start/run capacitors or the contractor. If they fail, your A/C will not work. Thankfully, it is easy to replace these parts- it is quite inexpensive to buy new ones. You should consider getting those parts changed, especially if you have not changed them for the last five years. Sometimes, the problem is with the condenser fan motor, but you should replace it only when you are sure about the issue because the motor can cost you $150 or even more. Always refer to the nameplate on the condensing unit to buy replacement parts.
  • Test the fuses. It is also a good idea to test the fuses in the disconnect block. To check the fuse, get your multimeter and set it to the lowest Ohms scale. Then, touch it to the fuse and see if you get a numerical reading. If there is a reading, the fuse is working just fine. You have a blown fuse if you get a minus symbol, a zero, or an infinity symbol on the meter. Have them replaced if they do not work.