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Problem: AC Unit Not Turning On-How to Fix it.

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Problem: My air conditioner will not turn on. What could be the problem with my AC not turning on?

Answer: I found this excellent YouTube video from Word of Advice TV that explains many problems that can cause your Air Conditioner to not work or come on. This is one of the best videos I have ever seen on troubleshooting an air conditioner. I hope this helps you find and fix your air conditioner or heat pump system. If you have any questions please respond in the comments below or email me Steve Arnold at: Support@arnoldservice.com. Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to serve you! Hope you have a blessed day! Steve

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Top 10 Air Conditioner Service Call Problems

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Many people have trouble troubleshooting and finding out what is wrong with their air conditioner when it does not work. I found this excellent Youtube video from Word of Advice TV that shows what are the top 10 air conditioner service call problems. I have the video below. I have the problems listed below the video.  You can see that many of these problems can be easily fixed and are easy inexpensive problems.  I counted 17 top problems and 9 honorable mention problems. I hope this helps you find and fix your air conditioner’s problem. We would love to help you out and earn your business. Please email us anytime if you have questions. Support@arnoldservice.com

  1. Bad Capacitor. Please click here to see the capacitors we sell.
  2. Refrigerant Leaks
  3. Plugged or stopped up condensate drain line. If you have a condensate pump make sure the pump is working and the condensate pump safety switch is not open.
  4. Bad control board on furnace or heat pump.
  5. Bad condenser fan motor. Please click here to see the condenser fan motors we sell.
  6. Bad blower motor or bad blower motor capacitor. Please click here to see the blower motors we sell.
  7. Compressor shorted to ground. (will need a new compressor).
  8. Dirty furnace filter
  9. Tripped AC Breaker (If your AC is not coming on I would suggest turning the breaker completely off and back on again to make sure the breaker is on. Do not touch anything metal on your circuit breaker box for safety).
  10. AC completely out of refrigerant (Freon).
  11. Dirty Condenser Coil
  12. Bad Contactor. We sell contactors on the following page: Please click here to see the contactors we sell.
  13. Drain pan coil leaking water.
  14. Mouse or insect damage in the control box.
  15. Broken or loose wires.
  16. Locked Rotor on compressor. Might use an SPP6 to unlock compressor. Please click here to see the SPP6 compressor hard start booster we sell.
  17. Inefficient Compressor where the valves are blown on the compressor.

Honorable Mention Problems:

  1. Furnace switch turned off on the side of the furnace.
  2. Blown AC disconnect fuses.
  3. Evaporator Coil completely clogged with lint and dirt.
  4. Restricted metering device. Either restrictor pin orifice or TXV stopped up or not working properly.
  5. Cracked condenser fan blade.
  6. Thermostat bad or thermostat batteries bad.
  7. Low voltage transformer bad. Please click here if you are interested in the low voltage transformers we sell.
  8. Door safety switch on furnace not pushed all the way in. Furnace blower door is loose.
  9. Vandalism where someone intentionally did something to cause the AC unit not to work.
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Why is my new heating and air conditioning system not heating and cooling my house properly?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

We have this questions asked many times over the years and I want to post my response to this frequently asked question: I am so sorry to hear that you have spent all this money and still do not have a furnace and air conditioner that are working properly! I have this problem asked many times over the years and my answer is:  I would strongly recommend that you have your HVAC contractor do a Manual J Heat Gain and Heat Loss calculation on your home before installing a new furnace or doing any other work. We are required here in Louisville, KY to submit a Manual J calculation to the Housing Department, Code enforcement before a permit will be issued to start a new installation. Without the Manual J calculation, it would be a guess as to what size equipment needs to be installed and this is why many people get the wrong size equipment. Requiring a heat gain, heat loss calculation protects the homeowner from getting the wrong size HVAC equipment installed. Most companies have a Manual J computer program where they enter the required information like the home’s orientation (facing north, south, etc.) the amount of insulation, window types, door types and all surfaces that gain or lose heat and more. The computer program will figure the amount of heat loss and gain and tell the contractor what size HVAC equipment needs to be installed.  I would recommend that you get this Manual J calculation completed for your home so you know for sure that you are getting the right sized HVAC equipment installed. Even though it is a pain and extra expense for the homeowner and contractor this insures the right size equipment is installed and is invaluable for protecting your energy bill and comfort. We have many other air conditioning and heat pump troubleshooting pages. Please click here to see more troubleshooting advice. Please click here to see the many name brand air conditioner and heat pump repair parts that we sell. We would love to answer your questions and earn your business! If you have any questions please email us anytime: Support@arnoldservice.com

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Problem: Why is my fan blower motor running all the time?

Problem: We have many people ask, “Why is my fan blower motor running all the time. My blower motor will not shut off?” “Why does my fan motor run continuously when I use my furnace?”

Answer: I found a real good Youtube video made by ACServicetech that explains 4 reasons why fan blower motors run continuously. In this video ACServicetech goes over why the Blower Fan Motor Won’t Shut off/Continuously Runs and some of the most common reasons why furnaces or air handlers have this problem. ACServicetech shows step by step Troubleshooting on how to figure out what is causing this problem. This is a great video that I would highly recommend that you watch  if your fan motor is running continuously. Many thanks to ACServicetech for making this informative video! If you have any questions please feel free to email us anytime or respond in the comments section below. We have many heating and air conditioning troubleshooting links, Videos and Resources on the following page: Please click here for more troubleshooting resourcesWe would love to help you out and earn your business! Our email address is: support@arnoldservice.com

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Top 10 Reasons Why the Blower Fan Motor will not come on. Furnaces, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps

Questions: We have many people ask, “how can I find out why my fan blower motor is not working?” “Why does my fan motor not work when I turn on my furnace or air conditioner?”

Answer: I found a real good Youtube video made by ACServicetech that explains the top 10 reasons why fan blower motors will not come on. ACServicetech goes over what to look for in the system, components that fail most often, how to test the components, where to take readings with a multimeter as well as other tips! This is a great video that I would highly recommend that you watch  if your fan blower will not come on. Many thanks to ACServicetech for making this informative video! If you have any questions please email us anytime. Our email address is: support@arnoldservice.com. We would love to help you out and earn your business!

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Problem: Why does my air conditioner fan motor keep burning up?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Question: In May I started to have some problems with my outside ac unit. My fan stopped running but I could get it back running by spinning the blade when it hmmmmmed. Blade was easy to spin Called an AC Company to see what was wrong They said the fan motor was bad and put in a new fan motor and oval capacitor.
But didn’t replace the dual capacitor said it didn’t need to be replace it was good. Ran good and cooled down the house good for about a mouth or so but started having the same problems. My fan stop running I could get it back running by spinning the blade when it hmmmmmed. Blade was easy to spin, but motor was hot to the touch
Ac company came out again said it was a bad new motor. Company put in a new fan motor and oval capacitor but didn’t replace the dual capacitor said it didn’t need to be replaced that the capacitor was good. Ran good and cooled down the house good for about a mouth or so but started having the same problems. My fan stopped running but it’s hard to spin now and takes a couple of tries to spin when it hmmmmms. The motor was hot to the touch. Now the fan motor won’t start to spin by me spinning it at all. It is too hard to spin. Note: The motor is still hot to the touch. What could be possible wrong with my unit? Why does my fan motor keep burning up?

Answer: Hi! I am so sorry to hear that you are having all these problems with your fan motor. There are several things that can cause a fan motor to go out prematurely. I will list some of them below then you can assess whether any of these might be causing your fan motor to go out so often.
1. Installing a universal fan motor that is not matched correctly with the right RPM or horsepower to power the fan blade. Motor not matched to the diameter and pitch of the fan blade. Motors should be matched (RPM, Horsepower, Amps) with the fan blades or it will over-load the motor and the motor will fail soon.
2. Having a fan blade that is off-balance and causes vibration to the motor and unit. A new balanced blade would be best.
3. Installing a fan motor and capacitor where the capacitor does not match the specs on the label of the fan motor. The fan motor capacitor should match the specifications on the motor label.
4. Installing a fan motor where lots of moisture is present like from a leaking gutter or down spout. Water pours on to fan motor when it rains or when snow melts.
5. Not having the rain shield installed (when required) or leaving drain plugs open where water and moisture can get into the motor. Some motors have rain shields to prevent water from getting into the motor. Many universal motors do not have rain shields, but have drain plugs that can be opened or closed depending on how the motor is installed, horizontal, vertical, shaft up or shaft down.
6. Improper wiring. Where the motor is not wired according to the label on the motor.
7. Improper rotation of the fan blade. With the fan blade spinning in the wrong direction the motor will not load and it will burn up over time.
7. Grass, weeds, plants or children that stick into the fan blade path and stop or impede the fan motor when it is running.
More than likely the HVAC company you had installed a universal fan motor. Many of these motors use an individual capacitor and this is why they did not hook into your existing dual capacitor. They probably are using the dual capacitor for the compressor only and the fan motor they installed has a separate single capacitor. I am just guessing. I am thinking that probably number 1 is probably the problem. That is why we mostly sell OEM fan motors so they will be matched with the fan blade and the customer has an easy time with the installation. If you would send your unit’s model number I will try to find out which OEM motor fits your unit. Our support email address is: support@arnoldservice.com. We will be glad to try and help you out!  Steve Arnold

Please comment below if you would like to add to this post or email us at: support@arnoldservice.com

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Question: What is the control inside my heat pump that adjusts from 0 to 45?

Question: I have a 1995 Nordyne heat pump. I have a part that I can not figure out what it does? I noticed beside the defrost control board is a control that can be turned and adjusted from 0 to 45. What does this control do? The knob is missing and I can’t tell what its set on. Thanks, Chris

Answer: Great question! I really do not have a Nordyne parts program, but more than likely the control that you are referring to is probably a auxiliary heat thermostat. Some installers installed these controls to automatically turn on the auxiliary heat (electric, gas) when the set outdoor temperature is achieved. So if you set this control to 30, when the outdoor temperature reaches 30 degrees the auxiliary heat (most of the time electric heat) will come on along with the heat pump so you do not feel cool air coming out of the registers. This saves on your heat pump run time because the heat pump is getting a boost from using the auxiliary heat. If the outside temperature goes above 30 then you only use the heat pump’s heat and not any auxiliary heat. When I was doing installs I would use these thermostats to make sure a customer feels warm when the temperature is real cold outside. I would set the control at 20 degrees. Many installers and apartment complexes recommend turning the emergency heat on when the temperature goes below 30 for long periods of time. With the auxiliary heat thermostat you do not have to worry about turning the heat pump to emergency heat because it senses the need for the emergency heat or aux heat automatically. I hope this answers your question. God bless you and your family. Steve

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Problem: Outdoor heat pump unit makes a loud sound in the winter? What is this noise?

AC parts

Question: Hi, thank you.  We have a standard all-electric attic blower with outdoor condenser Carrier AC/heat unit.  In the winter, in the middle of the night, the unit outside will make a loud decompression/discharge sound, almost like firing a torpedo.  Not a squeak or rattle or gurgle, but a one-time bwwwuuuusshhhh.  Once or twice a night, when it’s pretty cold out.  loud enough to wake us up. Chris, Buckeye Arizona.

Answer: Thanks so much for your interest in our website and the opportunity to do business with you! From what you describe this sounds like you probably have a heat pump unit and the noise that you are hearing is probably the heat pump going into defrost mode. When a heat pump goes into defrost the reversing valve will shift into cooling mode so the outdoor unit will be defrosted. During this defrost time the heat pump defrost control should turn your indoor electric heaters on so you do not get air conditioned cold air coming out of the registers. If it is cold enough outside you will probably see smoke (moisture) raising above the outdoor unit. I have had heat pump customers call me saying it looks like their outdoor unit is on fire when actually this is normal. Yes, going into defrost mode on some heat pumps can be noisy when the reversing valve shifts the outdoor fan turns off and your indoor electric heaters are energized. I hope this is the problem because this is normal from a heat pump. If it becomes too noisy you might want to call a service tech to come and make sure the operating pressures and refrigerant levels are right. Below we have a real good YouTube video made by Air Comfort Heating and AC which explains how a heat pump system defrosts and what to expect. I hope that you have a blessed day. Steve

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Problem: Loose Insulation mats inside blower compartment are causing our AC to freeze up?

troubleshooting air condtioners and heat pumps

Problem: We experienced low air flow in our vents so we changed our air filters, then looked at the unit in the attic to find that our evaporative coils were frozen and (what I think are insulation mats) located above and below the blower are being sucked in by the blower. We ran the fan alone with the ac off to defrost the coils but the insulation mats were still blocking the air flow. My question is what is the purpose of these mats and will our unit be okay without them? If they must be replaced, will we be able to purchase and replace it ourselves? Thanks for your time & may God bless all your endeavors!

Answer: Thanks so much for your blessings, interest in our website and the opportunity to do business with you! Thanks for asking a great question! Yes, I have seen what you describe happen several times before. The mats which are glued to the metal body of the furnace or air handler come lose and restrict the air flow going into the blower! The insulation mats are used to reduce noise and prevent heat or cold (winter time) transfer, build up inside your air handler. Without the mats you might get noisier blower air flow and you might get some heat entering the return from the hot metal duct work in your attic. The insulation keeps the heat out so that you do not get hot air pulled into the return. If it was me I would try to purchase some spray glue at home depot to re-attach the insulation pieces. Sheet metal shops use a special duct work insulation glue to glue the insulation in place. If the glue does not hold I would remove the inside insulation and insulate the duct work on the outside. Here in Louisville, KY it is HVAC code to have ducts insulated in unconditioned spaces like attics and crawl spaces. The insulation keeps the duct work from heat or cooling lose or gain. The supply lines are insulated to keep them from sweating water in the summer time. I hope you can easily get this fixed. I know that nothing is easy when working in the attic. Hope you can work up there in the early morning before it gets real hot! I hope that you have a blessed day and week!

Steve Arnold, https://arnoldservice.com

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Question: Is it best to turn off heat pump and go to emergency heat when real cold out?

AC parts
Question:  I forgot to ask: I live near Buffalo (very cold winters) Somebody told me that it’s best to turn off heat pump (and use emergency heat) during the winter Is this correct?
Thanks  Pat

Answer:  I always recommended to my customers if the temperature out side is 20 degrees or below for more than 2 days straight, then switch to emergency heat because all that you are doing is getting a vicious run cycle where the heat pump never shuts off. The heat pump thermostat goes back and fourth between auxiliary heat and heat pump. The temperature is never satisfied in the heat pump cycle so you get into a run all, constant run all the time mode. This is very hard on your outdoor heat pump unit and will shorten the life of your heat pump. This is one reason my most heat pumps only last about half as long as air conditioners because they run in both summer and winter. My suggestion is to only run in regular heat pump mode when the temperature in above 20 degrees out side. It the temperature outside is below 20 degrees for an extended period of time go into emergency/auxiliary heat.  This might run up your electric bill, but you will be warmer and it will save your heat pump from failing too soon.

Steve Arnold, https://arnoldservice.com