When your air conditioning does not turn on or your home is not reaching the temperature you've selected on the thermostat, your first instinct may be to run over to your air conditioner and see what's gone wrong. But while the air conditioner itself is sometimes the culprit, this is not always the case. Air conditioning problems don't always have anything to do with the air conditioner itself. Sometimes, they have more to do with the other components of your HVAC system. Here are a few ac system repair issues to consider.
A Faulty Thermostat
If there's no cool air flowing through the vents, go check the thermostat. There's a chance it has run out of batteries, which would cause it not to communicate properly with the air conditioner and turn it on. You can typically change the batteries just by removing the thermostat from its mount on the wall and then popping new batteries into place. If your thermostat is hard-wired, then batteries can't be the issue -- but there might be a problem with the electrical connection. Check to make sure the circuit has not flipped. If the circuit is on but the thermostat is not on, this could mean there's a short in a wire or that one wire has become disconnected -- an issue any electrician or HVAC contractor should be able to fix.
Let the air conditioner run, and then feel in front of each duct to see whether there is cold air coming out. If cold air is coming out of some ducts, but not others, then you may have an obstruction in the ducts. Animals like squirrels sometimes build nests in ducts. Children may also shove things down through the vents, and those items can create obstructions. An HVAC contractor can reach into the ducts and remove these items for improved airflow.
A Dirty Filter
Depending on how you look at it, this one might be considered a problem within the air conditioner -- but it's not an issue with any of the AC unit's motorized parts. If you let the filter get too dirty before replacing it, then your air conditioner may struggle to circulate air through the filter. The fix for this could not be simpler. You just pull the old filter out and put a new one in place; the air should flow freer, so your home should cool off a lot faster.