There are a couple of things you can try before calling to schedule an ac repair. Check and replace your furnace filter if dirty. Also, check both the furnace and ac electrical service breakers. Note : Do not continue resetting a breaker that repeatedly trips as you could cause a more serious problem to your furnace or ac. If your ac is still not cooling there is one more thing you need to do. This is very important….TURN IT OFF and call your HVAC service provider to assist you.
We always tell our customers to turn off an ac that is not cooling properly. Then we set up a service appointment to diagnose and repair the ac in question. I can’t count the times that I have shown up for an ac repair appointment only to find the ac still running (or trying to). The logic goes something like this : “It’s cooling a little bit, so I will leave it on so that I can have a little bit of cool air”. Huge mistake! There are a couple of problems with this. If the system is frozen or iced up (which may not be apparent), then there is nothing we can do to diagnose and correct the problem until the ice is thawed. Which can take an additional hour or two of our time (= higher cost of repairs), or require us to reschedule the repair for another day to give the system time to thaw out naturally. This occurs more frequently than I care for.
Another problem occurs when an ac with a relatively simple problem is left to run which puts stress on the ac and causes a more serious failure. A blown capacitor is one of the most common ac repairs. The good thing is that it is relatively simple and inexpensive ac repair. But, if the system is left running with a defective capacitor it puts stress (and creates an high temperature overload condition) on the outdoor fan motor and compressor. Last week, I went on an ac repair appointment with this exact problem. After replacing the capacitor, the outdoor fan motor began to operate properly, but the compressor was not coming on due to the overheat condition. Luckily, the compressor kicked on a few hours later after it was allowed time to cool. Another customer had the same problem last year, but was not so lucky. They allowed the ac to run all weekend knowing that it was not cooling properly. It also had a defective capacitor, but the compressor was damaged by allowing the ac to operate in a disfunctional state. That customer ended up replacing their entire air conditioner system.