Most of the time you have to wait for a technician to show up to fix your air conditioner; however, if you’re contented to work around with your air conditioner and working around electricity, you will not just save on money, you’ll also get understand why your air conditioner failed.
The first step is to find out if the furnace isn’t the problem, so set first the air conditioner in a thermostat mode and try to lower the temperature setting and check if the furnace fan is operating, because if it does, the problem isn’t in the furnace; however, if the fan doesn’t run, try to reset the furnace circuit breaker and do the process once again, and if it still doesn’t run, it’s probably time to have your unit checked by a technician. Next is to check the external condensing unit and find out if the compressor and fan are working; otherwise, you’ll have to start the troubleshooting.
It is important that you shut off power first before troubleshooting and to do that: shut off the air conditioner and furnace breakers in the main electrical panel, before you remove the access panel of the condensing unit and then use a voltage tester on the wires which are linked into the contractor to ensure that the power is really shutdown.
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Once the power is off, you may now remove and set aside the access panel retaining screws and remove the panel and check if there are signs of rodent’s nests or wires or electrical connectors being chewed, because if there are signs of these, it’s best to discharge the capacitor, but only do this if you have the knowledge of electrical repairs; therefore, remove the capacitor from its bracket and with an insulated screwdriver touch between the H terminal and the C terminal and do the same between the F terminal and the C terminal, after which, on a single-mode capacitors, make a short between the two terminals.
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In replacing a new capacitor, it’s best to take a photo of the wires before disconnecting anything, so you can use the photo as reference later on, and start the wire swapping process following these procedures: use needle-nose pliers to pluck one wire at a time from the old capacitor and try to snap it into the corresponding tab of the new capacitor, followed by wiggling each connector to see if it’s tight, such that when you’ve swapped all the wires, finally, secure the new capacitor.
Reinstall the disconnect block and access panel and turn on the circuit breaker including the furnace switch, and then set the thermostat to a lower temperature and wait for the air conditioner to start running. Expect then for the compressor to run and the condenser fan to spin, but if it doesn’t, it’s time to call the pro.