What to Do When Your Home AC Stops Working

Many Tampa Bay residents have experienced their fair share of power outages, especially in the recent aftermath of Hurricane Ian—which left devastation across the southwest coast of Florida. (Our thoughts go out to our fellow Floridians impacted by the storm.)

Outside of a natural disaster, though, it’s easy to lose your cool when your AC system stops working and you feel uncomfortable inside your Clearwater home.

So, what should you do? Read on below to discover easy ways to check if your home air conditioner isn’t working and learn how to fix it.


  1. Check Your Home Air Filters

Air filters are essential to a healthy HVAC system, yet often overlooked when self-diagnosing AC issues.

Air filters catch airborne dirt, dust and debris that pass through your home into your AC. If your air filter becomes too dirty or clogged, then your indoor air flow can become weak over time—and your system won’t run like it should.

The best way to fix the issue is to replace your air filter regularly. Mark your calendar to check your air filter at least every month, and if it appears dirty, change it out. Not only will this help you improve air flow, but it can improve indoor air quality and allow you to cool your home without strain to your HVAC system.

Learn how to check and replace the air filter in your home on our blog, and watch the video below to learn how air filters work.


  1. Check Your AC Thermostat

It’s not uncommon for your AC thermostat to take its time reaching your home temperature setting, especially during the warmest months in Florida. But when it never reaches your desired AC setting, it’s time to troubleshoot the issue.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is your thermostat screen blank? First, check if the batteries are dead. If the batteries are out of power, switch them out with new ones. Replacing your thermostat batteries with AAAs is a much cheaper fix than an AC maintenance call.
  • Is your thermostat set to “Cool?” Make sure you’re not running the HVAC system on “Heat” or just spinning the “Fan.” This will do nothing but move around hot and humid air in your home.

If your thermostat still has trouble reaching your set temperature, but the unit continues to run, it’s time to call our licensed and trained AC technicians at Air Care to check the HVAC system.


  1. Check Your HVAC Circuit Breaker

Has your AC unit stopped working altogether? Consider checking your circuit breaker controls and performing an HVAC switch reset.

Circuit breakers are mechanical switches that can trip into the “off” position if the electric current in your home is larger than it should be. Sometimes, it’s tripped up by a power outage, while other times, during electrical or renovation work in your home.

Your circuit breaker box is almost always in your garage, but sometimes tucked away in a hallway closet or pantry. To perform a reset, simply find the switch that’s connected to your HVAC system. (It’s usually labeled “HVAC” or “AC” by an electrician.) Switch it into the “off” position, then back “on” again, and see if your AC unit starts back up.

Watch the video below to learn where to find your HVAC breaker switch, or contact Air Care for AC help today.


  1. Check If You Blew a Fuse

There’s also a fuse connected to your AC unit, which powers your thermostat and works similarly to a car battery. If the fuse is dead or working improperly, your thermostat won’t jump-start the thermostat to power your HVAC system.

Unless you have experience with detecting and changing out electrical fuses—especially as part of your HVAC system—call our AC technicians at Air Care today for assistance.


  1. Listen and Look for Signs of AC Issues

Before you call an AC technician, use your sense of sight and hearing to detect potential HVAC issues that can make it difficult to cool your home:

  • Is your AC blowing cool or warm air from the vents?
  • Does the thermostat ever reach its desired temperature?
  • Do you hear any strange noises coming from your outdoor condenser? Your indoor air handler?
  • Does the HVAC system consistently cycle on or off? Constantly run without cooling?
  • Is your air blowing warm or cold when set to “Cool” on the thermostat?
  • Is there excess moisture in or around your unit? Your air vents?
  • Are there leaks or standing water in or around your air handler? Condensate drain?
  • Do you notice any damages to your HVAC components? Your ductwork in your attic?

If you notice any of the above AC challenges—or others that seem out of the ordinary—it’s time to reach out to our trained HVAC professionals at Air Care to diagnose the problem and find a solution.


  1. Call a Licensed AC Technician

Time and time again, we receive calls from concerned Clearwater residents who say their home AC stopped working. When we ask them the last time they had AC maintenance, our question is sometimes followed by a long pause and “I’m not sure.”

The truth is, most AC issues can easily be prevented and fixed when you schedule regular system maintenance. Learn about HVAC tune-ups and more below.


How Often Should I Schedule AC Maintenance?

At Air Care, we recommend having your AC serviced twice a year so our AC technicians can detect early signs of wear and tear on your system, diagnose any issues, and recommend the necessary repairs to avoid a total system replacement. During each AC maintenance appointment, they will also perform following work on your HVAC system:

  • Check and clean burners
  • Inspect filters (clean or replace if needed)
  • Check carbon monoxide levels
  • Check contactors and relays for wear
  • Adjust refrigerant levels
  • Inspect pressure and temperature
  • Inspect safety devices and controls
  • Test emergency shut-offs
  • Inspect ductwork
  • Flush and clean drain line and trap
  • Inspect heat exchanger for leaks and cracks
  • Tighten electrical connections

If you are a current Air Care customer, keep your eye out for our Fall mailer about maintenance specials and when to schedule an appointment. If you’re a new customer, contact Air Care to learn more about our services, pricing, and advice on detecting AC issues.


When Should I Replace my AC?

The best way to diagnose your central cooling and heating system is to have an AC expert take a look during an appointment. Our Air Care technicians will inspect and fix necessary repairs, as well as help you decide the right AC system to install if you need a replacement, taking into consideration the size of your home, ductwork, insulation, Clearwater-area climate, and more.

As a trusted Rheem Pro partner, our service technicians are certified to repair, replace and maintain all Rheem AC systems. We also service and repair all (but not limited to) AC systems, including Carrier, Trane, Goodman, Bryant, York, Lenox and more.

Give us a call today to learn more about new AC installations.


Need AC Service? Contact Your Clearwater AC Professionals

It’s important to keep your Clearwater home free from heat and humidity throughout the fall and all year long.

Trust our team of air conditioning professionals at Air Care, who can assist with AC maintenance, repairs, or installation needs—whether this fall or all year long. We service Pinellas, western Hillsborough, and southern Pasco counties.

“Have you ever had a problem with anything that you could fix on you own? Was the person who came out to do the job for you so good that you only ever want that quality of work done again? I have, and I must say that Bob at Air Care comes with the best recommendation possible. He fixed my air conditioner in the middle of a Florida summer without taking time off for a break. Bob did an amazingly good job. Thanks!” – Paul B. from Florida

Need AC service? Contact Air Care today.




FloridaAcademy.edu: Common air conditioning issues Florida

WaypointInspection.com: Which breaker controls HVAC