Central air conditioning is the name of the game way down deep in Dixie where Christmas Day means shorts and a T-shirt with picture of the Grinch on it. Other locales still use the old-fashioned window air conditioner, however, and even some smaller homes in the South utilized a window air conditioner. What, have you ever tried sipping a Mint Julep and discussing the Kentucky Derby favorites without air conditioning? If so, you’ve ever never spent a summer or even a spring in the South.
Troubleshooting a window air conditioner begins by checking the power to the unit. Make sure that your window air conditioner is plugged in. If the AC’s plug is making sweet, slow love to the outlet, head to the main service panel and check for a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Window air conditioners are notorious for blowing fuses and tripping circuit breakers so be prepared with a brand new fuse or the ability to flip the circuit breaker back into position.
Window air conditioners are so notorious for blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers that you have a whole list of things to check when your window air conditioner continually blows fuses or trips the breakers. Among the things to check out to see if it’s faulty are the capacitor, compressor and fan motor. If those three things check out okay, but your window air conditioning unit is still blowing fuses like a dowdy old lady in a Marx Brothers film, then it’s probably a case of dirty coils or bent fins. Clean the coils and use a fin comb to work the fins of the AC back into position.
If your window AC is throwing out air, but it’s not very cool, check to make sure that the thermostat has not been set high by some joker who doesn’t appreciate the alchemical beauty of the invention. The thermostat may also be faulty as could the capacitor, overload protector or selector switch. You may want to go ahead and splurge for a fancy digital multitester as this piece of electrical equipment may pay for itself just from the use you get testing out your window air conditioning unit when it starts acting up.
If the air conditioner engages in short cycling, check to make sure your thermostat hasn’t gone south for the summer. If the thermostat checks out okay, look to the capacitor as your problem. Discharging the capacitor is your best bet, but if that doesn’t solve your problem, chances are there is an air flow obstruction in the condenser. Clean the coils, straighten the fins and use a mini-vac to make sure the obstruction is removed.