It's easy to feel a little panicked when you realize that your air conditioned home isn't as cool as it's supposed to be. While help in the form of an HVAC professional is just a phone call away, it's generally a good idea to perform a few simple checks to make sure there's indeed an issue with your air conditioner. You don't have to be overly familiar with how the unit works, so don't worry about having to roll up your sleeves, grab some tools and step outside your comfort zone. Instead, simply consider these scenarios that could lead you to believe the A/C is broken. If these scenarios prove to be untrue, however, it's time to summon professional help.
You Inadvertently Adjusted The Thermostat Settings
It might be a little embarrassing when you realize the error, but you'll also feel a sense of relief to know the lack of cold air blowing through your home was simply a result of inadvertently changing the settings on your thermostat. Check, for example, that the control panel is set to the cooling function, rather than the heating function. Additionally, make sure that the system is set to come on automatically, rather than waiting for you to adjust the temperature manually. It's easy enough to press the wrong button when you leave the home in the morning, for example, and then panic when you return home after work and find the house is warm.
Certain Activities Have Added Heat To The Home
A surprisingly warm home can be indicative of the use of any number of large appliances, rather than suggest that your air conditioning is broken. Check with your family members to see if they've been running appliances such as the oven and dryer. The prolonged use of each of these appliances can raise the temperature inside your home and force your A/C to play catch-up; although it will successfully lower the temperature over time, it might be a while before you notice the effects.
The Breaker Has Tripped
The circuit breaker connected to your air conditioner's condenser unit can trip due to a variety of issues — perhaps the unit got excessively wet, for example. If the breaker has tripped, the A/C will not be running, regardless of how you set your thermostat. Make a quick trip to the circuit breaker panel in your home and make sure that the breaker marked with the words "air conditioner" is in the on position. If it's tripped, flipping it back into position can start the A/C again, but it's still a good idea to call an HVAC contractor, like one at Soco Air Conditioning, to assess why it may have tripped.