Can I fix my air conditioner?

Central air conditioners can work for years without problems if properly maintained and serviced annually. If they aren’t working properly, call a NATE certified technician from Flame Furnace.  But before you phone, maybe you have the time and know-how to see if you can resolve problem yourself?

What to do when the unit stops working

If you have your system inspected and cleaned annually, it should run without any trouble. However, if it stops working completely and you aren’t sure why, here’s something you can do to troubleshoot before calling Flame:

1. Check the circuit breaker or fuse box to find out if the unit has power.

2. Check the fuses in the disconnect box located outside, near the condenser to make sure there’s power.

3. Replace or clean the furnace filter.

4. If the condenser coils are coated with dust or debris, use a garden hose to wash them off.

5. If the air conditioner still won’t work, call Flame and we may have to recharge the refrigerant.

What to do when the unit won’t stop running

If the air conditioner runs constantly, here’s what to do:

1. Turn up the thermostat.


If you set the thermostat a few degrees higher, you will save energy and a lot of money when it comes time to pay your electric bill. And your significant other won’t have to complain about wearing a sweater indoors.

2. Take the cover off the condenser and find out whether anything is blocking the airflow.

3. Vacuum the interior of the condenser and then flush it with a garden hose.

4. If the fan blades are bent or dirty, straighten them out and/or clean them.

5. While the cover is off, oil the motor on older air conditioners.

Newer units are sealed and cannot be oiled.) Take off the plastic covers — there should be two — and put a couple drops of lightweight oil, such as 3-in-1, into each.

6. Replace the cover.

7. Check the furnace filter and blower to see whether they’re blocked.

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean dust and dirt on or around the blower.

8. Replace the filter if necessary.

What to do when the unit freezes up

If the high-pressure lines from the condenser to the furnace or the evaporator coil in the top of the furnace are iced up, then shut the system down:

1. Either turn off the breaker in the panel or pull the disconnect switch outside at the condenser.

2. Call for service; your system is probably low on Freon and needs to be recharged.

What to do when water pools under the evaporator

When there’s water under the evaporator at the base of your furnace, the drain is probably clogged. You can clear it, but it’s probably easier just to replace the whole thing. If you want to try clearing it, however, here’s what to do.

1. Take off the trap, and if it’s PVC (plastic) you can cut the pipe to remove it.

2. To remove debris and algae, pour a vinegar-water or bleach-water solution (1 to 10 parts) into the drain.

3. If you have flexible tubes, take them off and clean them by pouring the solution through them.

You can also run a wire through the tube to scrape the walls. Do it gently so you don’t poke a hole.

4. Reassemble the tubes and trap.


Time is money.  So if you don’t have the time to perform any of these service checks, give Flame a call.  Our reliable technicians and service team (40 vehicles in the field) are standing by, ready to fix your HVAC problems.

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