What to Check Before Your AC Stops Cooling

It is the hottest day of the summer. 95 degrees and humid. Your AC goes out and the temperature inside your home is rapidly rising. Everyone in the family is getting sticky, sweaty and irritable.

You call the cooling company and they cannot come out for several hours, maybe even several days and you start to panic.

This is what B&W wants you to avoid completely… So we put together the ultimate AC guide to make sure you know what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

THE ULTIMATE AC GUIDE: Make sure your AC works, even on the HOTTEST day


What to check when/before your AC stops cooling:


We all think we “just” changed it. Check your filter size. If the thickness of the filter is 1 inch or less, it will clog faster and prevent adequate air flow. Filters should be changed out every three months, unless there are pets and a lot of dust in the home, then they should be checked more frequently.


Make sure your outdoor air conditioning unit is not clogged with grass clippings and debris. If it is, use a hose to clean it off. After you get it cleaned, you should call a professional and have your entire heating and cooling system cleaned and checked to make sure it is in running order.


If the coil is frozen over, turn the unit off. The coil will freeze up because of poor air flow or a refrigerant leak. If the copper lines have ice on them, then the coil is likely icy too. Nothing can be repaired until the coil is thawed. At this point, the unit is not cooling, so the room temperature will not increase with your system off. Unless your coil froze up because your filter was like a wool rug, typically homeowners will need to contact a professional to fix this problem.


Make sure your condensate drain is flowing. If you can see the end of the drain line, watch for the periodic drips. If the condensate cannot drain, the unit will turn off. If there is a condensate drain pan, there is likely an overflow switch that turns the unit off if the pan fills with water. Is the floor drain open? It could be clogged and prevent the condensate line from draining. Typically you will need to contact a professional to fix this issue.


Make sure that the electrical connection is not disconnected or off. Pets and weed trimmers can possibly cause damage to the electrical connection. Once you check this, go inside and make sure that the breaker is not off. There is also a switch on your furnace. It typically looks like a light switch. Sometimes they get accidentally turned off, so make sure it is in the “on” position.

If your system is still not cooling, call a professional. Remember, most of these problems can be easily prevented by regular maintenance by a trained professional.