When the heat hits during the summer, you need to make sure that your air conditioner is ready to flood your house with comfort. Unfortunately, heat can overwhelm capacitors in your condenser coils and improper maintenance can cause your evaporator coils to ice over. Taking a little time to troubleshoot on your own will help you to keep your AC running properly.
It takes more power to start a fan than it does to keep a fan running once it has started. Thus, if you use a motor that is powerful enough to start a fan, you will waste electricity by running the motor once it has started. To get the fan started without the need for a stronger motor, a capacitor is used. A capacitor is a small, electrical component that stores electricity that can be used to give a motor the burst of power it needs to get started. While this is all well and good, when you introduce heat to the equation, you have a recipe for capacitor destruction. And once your capacitor is out of commission, your fan won't start, and your AC unit won't be able to keep your house cool. Unless you are familiar with small engine repair, you shouldn't try to replace a capacitor, but you can use a long-stemmed screwdriver to reach down into your condenser unit, hook the fan blade, and give it a quick flick to get it started while you are waiting for help to arrive.
If you don't change your filter on schedule, it can get so dirty that it starves your evaporator for air. Without enough air to keep the refrigerant running through your unit from getting too cold, it can cool the air running through your evaporator to the point that any water vapor in the air will freeze and stick to your coils. To remove the ice, you will have to shut your thermostat off and wait. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process, but avoid trying to break the ice off, which can damage your coils. Once you have removed the ice, change your filter, then turn your system back on.
When your air conditioner stops blowing cold air, you might think that you have no choice but to call in the professionals, like those found at http://affordableplumbingandheat.com/. If you know what to look for, you can diagnose your own problem with your capacitor or find iced over coils. At the least you should be able to keep your coils producing cold air until the professionals arrive on the scene, and at best, you can make repairs on your own.