What to Know About Air Conditioner Repair

By Lyle Weischwill | Aug. 23, 2023 6:18 am PST

Image of homeowner having AC problems.

As soon as you notice a problem with your air conditioner such as warm air coming from the vents or the unit not running at all, take steps to restore cooling.

That first step doesn’t have to be calling an air conditioning repair technician, if you’re willing to spend a few minutes checking things that could resolve the problem immediately.

Basic Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

Start by making sure that your AC thermostat is set to Cool and that the set temperature is significantly lower than the current room temperature.

What you do next depends on whether the air conditioner blows warm air or isn’t working at all.

The Air Conditioner Blows Warm Air

One of these quick fixes might get your AC to blow cool air instead of warm air.

  • See if the fan in the outside condenser is running. If not, reset the house circuit breaker and the outside circuit breaker for the condenser unit. The air conditioner should resume cooling when the outside condenser fan begins running.
  • Replace the air filter if it’s dirty. A clogged air filter can block air flow, causing the evaporator to freeze up. A frozen evaporator won’t cool the air.
  • Turn the thermostat to Off to shut off cooling, and turn the circulation fan on. After a few hours, turn the thermostat to Cool. The air conditioner may resume cooling if the evaporator defrosted while running the fan only.

The Air Conditioner Isn’t Working at All

When your AC unit is completely dead, try these DIY troubleshooting tips.

  1. If your HVAC systems has a flip switch — like a light switch— near the indoor blower, make sure the switch is in the On position.
  2. Check the house circuit breakers for the air conditioner. Resetting a tripped circuit breaker may restore cooling.
  3. Many air conditioners shut off if the condensate drain pipe clogs, and water doesn’t drain from the evaporator pan. A float switch beside the inside unit trips when drain water backs up in the drain pipe. Clear the clogged drain pipe to reset the float switch and restore cooling. Here’s a video that shows how:

If these basic troubleshooting steps don’t restore cooling to your home, schedule repair service online and we’ll send a Sears Technician to your home to diagnose and fix the problem. Same-day and next-day service appointments are available in many areas.

Tips for Scheduling Air Conditioner Repair

Few of us schedule repair service often enough to know the drill, so these tips might make the process clearer.

  • Schedule service with a service provider that offers same day or next day service. Most reputable air conditioner repair companies have enough service technicians to offer quick service. Sears Home Services has same day or next day AC repair service available in many areas.
  • Schedule service online. Setting up service online can be quicker and easier than scheduling service over the phone.
  • Most service companies offer service within a time window between 2 and 8 hours instead of at a specific time. Plan to be home within that time range to meet the technician for service.
  • Many air conditioner repair providers charge a trip fee to have the technician visit your home and diagnose the air conditioner failure. Be prepared to agree to pay the trip fee when setting up service. You won’t have to pay the trip fee until the technician arrives at your home and begins diagnostic work.

Image of tech helping customer

What to Expect When the AC Repair Technician Arrives

Here are the basic steps the air conditioner repair tech goes through:

  1. The technician examines your air conditioner and diagnoses why the air conditioner isn’t cooling.
  2. The technician discusses the diagnosis with you and provides an estimated cost for the repair. The technician also estimates how long the repair will take.
  3. If you agree to have the technician complete the repair, the tech completes the work, verifies that the air conditioner works and collects payment. If you’ve had your air conditioner for more than 10 years and repair parts aren’t available, the technician typically discusses air conditioner replacement with you.

When you need to replace your AC unit, schedule a free consultation with one of our Sears Home Services HVAC experts. We’ll visit your home and evaluate your needs, then recommend a replacement system that will be right for your home.

Trust Sears Home Services for all of your central air conditioner repair and replacement needs. We have the experience and resources to help you keep your home comfortable all summer long.

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