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Table of Contents

A Homeowner's Primer on Air Conditioner Repair

How to Recognize When Your Air Conditioner Needs Repair

DIY Tips for Air Conditioner Repair

Tips for Scheduling Air Conditioner Repair

What to Expect When the AC Repair Technician Arrives

Schedule your HVAC repair now!

Call (213) 596-2538
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Homeowner's Guide to Air Conditioner Repair

6 min readUpdated Mar. 20, 2024Eric WoodHVAC
Image of homeowner having AC problems.

When your air conditioner starts showing signs of trouble, knowing what to do can save you time and frustration. This guide will provide you with an understanding of basic air conditioner repair, including how to spot problems, tips for handling minor issues yourself, and when to call in the pros. We'll also talk about how to keep your air conditioner running smoothly with preventive maintenance and how to decide whether it's time to repair or replace your system.


  • Act promptly when you notice AC issues by conducting basic troubleshooting steps to potentially resolve the problem without professional help.
  • Depending on whether your AC blows warm air or doesn't work at all, different troubleshooting steps apply, such as checking the thermostat settings or resetting circuit breakers.
  • When basic troubleshooting fails, schedule repair service online with a provider offering same-day or next-day service.

A Homeowner's Primer on Air Conditioner Repair

Understanding how your air conditioner works and recognizing common issues can help you troubleshoot problems and keep your system in good shape. Let's start with the basics: your air conditioner cools your home by removing heat and humidity from the air, using a refrigeration cycle that involves a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. If any of these components fail, your system might not cool your home effectively or might stop working altogether.

Common problems include inadequate cooling, which can be caused by a dirty air filter, low refrigerant levels, or a faulty compressor. Routine maintenance, such as checking and cleaning your air filter regularly, can help your system work more efficiently and prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

It's a good idea to schedule a yearly tune-up with a professional HVAC technician, who can spot and fix small issues before they become big ones, ensuring that your air conditioner operates as efficiently as possible.

How to Recognize When Your Air Conditioner Needs Repair

If you're having problems with your air conditioner, it's important to know the signs that indicate it might need professional attention. Here are three signs that your air conditioner may need repair:

  1. Your vents are blowing warm air: If your air conditioner is blowing warm air instead of cool, it could be due to a refrigerant leak or a malfunctioning compressor.
  2. Your air conditioner isn't providing enough airflow: A lack of airflow could be caused by a clogged air filter, a faulty fan motor, or problems with your ductwork.
  3. Your air conditioner is cycling on and off frequently: This could be due to a malfunctioning thermostat, an oversized unit, or a refrigerant leak.

If you're experiencing any of these issues, it's a good idea to call a professional. The skilled technicians at Sears Home Services can diagnose and fix any problems with your air conditioner, ensuring that your system is running at its best. Don't wait for a small problem to become a big one—schedule your repair service today.

DIY Tips for Air Conditioner Repair

There are a few simple things you can do yourself to troubleshoot common air conditioner issues.

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.

technician 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.

Schedule your HVAC repair now!

Rely on our skilled technicians to diagnose and repair your HVAC equipment, ensuring optimal comfort in your home.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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