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Dog days of summer

The dog days of summer are July 3 through August 11 and yep, we are in the thick of it right now. There are days that I ponder how people survived without air conditioning. Perhaps lots of front porch swinging with ice cold lemonade. But modern conveniences have improved our comfort and we expect those comforts to work flawlessly.

So what steps should you take if your air conditioner stops working?

  1. One of the most common causes of a cooling issue is a tripped breaker. Breakers are designed to protect your system and your home. Tripped breakers, if not addressed, can lead to expensive repairs.
  2. Change your air filter once a month and more often if you have several pets. A dirty air filter restricts air flow, reduces air quality, makes a home uncomfortable and can result in frozen indoor coils. This can lead to expensive repairs.
  3. An A/C system is a sealed system and should not have a refrigerant leak. However, if it does, efficiency falls, electricity use rises, your air conditioner may not cool, the coil may freeze and the compressor could become damaged. The problem may be as simple as a bad valve or a weakened connection.
  4. Check to make sure the switch isn’t turned off. Some heating and A/C systems have a wall switch at the indoor unit for safety and convenience. This wall switch may have accidently been switched off or left off during mild weather.
  5. Thermostat problems are another issue that should be looked at when your A/C isn’t cooling properly. Some thermostats must be toggled between heating and cooling modes. If it is in the wrong position or breaks, your A/C won’t start. Quality digital thermostats rarely fail. Some of the cheaper digital thermostats have a switch that might break or a voltage spike might cause a malfunction.

You can still swing on your front porch or even drink lemonade. But if you follow our advice, and keep your A/C system running efficiently, when the heat becomes just a little too much to bear, you can bask in the coolness of your air conditioned home.

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