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The Ultimate Guide to DIY AC Repair: Keep Cool and Save Money

As the number one Arizona residential plumbing and HVAC company, ProSkill Services knows the importance of comfort and the role temperature plays in maintaining it.

When your air conditioning machine looks like it’s reached the end of its lifespan, ProSkill Services’ air conditioning repair service breathes a new (and cooler) lease of life into your machine.

No matter the model, ProSkill Services is dedicated to getting your AC back on its feet as soon as possible. With our expert and friendly technicians, ProSkill Services is armed with over 100,000 parts in stock and ready to go. The result? No waiting for parts to arrive before you are comfortable in your own home.

If you are trying to DIY a repair for a faulty air conditioner, it is essential that you know what you are doing. Your safety is the utmost priority, so only undertake repairs yourself if you feel confident and understand what you are doing and the safety measures you will need to implement.

What Signs Show That My Air Conditioner Needs A Repair?

For many homeowners, action is taken only when their air conditioner stops working (i.e., their home isn’t cooling down). Waiting for this fault means that the repair bill is likely to be higher, and, in some cases, the air conditioner may need to be replaced.

Signs that your air conditioner may need a repair include:

If you’ve noticed unexplained spikes in your energy bills, your air conditioner could be working harder than it should be, which will result in more energy being used for the machine to function. This suggests a problem with efficiency and will worsen over time if not repaired.

If you have noticed any unusual noises, such as grinding or squeaking, your air conditioner may have a mechanical problem.

Not only are leaks problematic for your air conditioner, but they are also harmful to your family’s health. Leaks that are not repaired can often lead to mold, which is dangerous when inhaled and can cause respiratory conditions.

Of course, the obvious sign that your air conditioner needs a repair is if it is not cooling down your home. Equally, if some areas of your home are cool but others contain hot spots, your air conditioner needs looking at.

Should I Fix My Air Conditioner Myself Or Hire a Professional?



There are certain repairs only a professional should undertake. Repairing your air conditioner yourself when you have no experience or understanding of safety measures can be dangerous. On top of this, you could cause further damage, meaning your repair bill may end up at a higher cost.

However, some DIY repairs are safe to do at home, so long as you are well-informed and follow the safety guidelines set out in this article.

Air Conditioning Repairs and Maintenance Tasks That Are Safe To DIY

If you are taking the DIY route for your air conditioner, the following tasks are more suitable:

Air Conditioning Repairs That Require a Professional

On the other hand, the following repair tasks should only be performed by a professional:

Prevention Is Cheaper Than A Cure For Air Conditioning Repairs

It is important to note that regular maintenance will save you money in the long run.

Repairs can be costly, so take the time to look after your air conditioner to avoid machine malfunctions. 

If you neglect routine maintenance for your air conditioner, you can expect costly repair bills as well. You will also notice that the harder your air conditioner needs to work, the higher your energy bills will be.

With that in mind, make sure you are not neglecting your machine for long periods of time.

Scheduling professional air conditioning maintenance and tune-ups gives you peace of mind that your unit is deep-cleaned, performing efficiently, and has been inspected thoroughly for malfunctions.

DIY Air Conditioner Repairs: Safety Rules

Before you inspect your air conditioner or attempt to repair it at home, you must act on these safety rules.

  1. Switch off your air conditioner first

It is essential that your air conditioner is turned off before you do anything else. You will need to turn your circuit breaker to your air conditioner to the “off” option.

If you are struggling to locate this, you will be able to find it in your machine’s user manual. If, after consulting the manual, you still cannot find it, please contact a professional.

Do not proceed until the machine is completely switched off.

  1. Wear protective gloves and safety glasses

To prevent potential injury, protective gloves and safety glasses should be worn when attempting to DIY any repairs on your air conditioner. These gloves and eyewear create barriers against cuts, burns, and chemicals and should not be neglected.

  1. Do not attempt anything you are unsure of

If you do not understand the mechanics of your machine, please get in touch with a member of our friendly team to assist you.

Find The Root Of The Problem

Before you can repair your air conditioner, you need to first diagnose the problem.

For DIY diagnoses, it is best to consider the most common air conditioning issues.

Check Your Air Filters

If your air filters are blocked, this is an easy fix.

Inspect your air filters to determine whether they are blocked or clogged with dust and debris.

If this is the case, your air conditioner is likely working overtime and struggling due to a lack of airflow.

Not only will the functionality of the machine be reduced (ie, your home will not cool down properly), but the efficiency will also be impaired, resulting in higher energy bills.

DIY Air Conditioning Repair: Blocked Or Dirty Air Filters

To solve the problem of dirty or blocked air filters in your air conditioner, follow the steps:

  1. Double-check your machine is switched off effectively
  2. Replace the air filters
  3. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner or a soft-bristled brush to remove the dirt and debris attached to your air filter housing
  4. If you have a permanent filter, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on care and cleaning.

Check Your Outdoor Unit

If your air filters are free from dirt and debris and are not clogged, head outside and check out your air conditioning unit. Due to its placement, debris and leaves can often block the outdoor unit, causing a fault.

DIY Air Conditioning Repair: Dirty or Jammed Outdoor Unit

You should clean your outdoor unit at least once a year to prevent it from becoming blocked and contaminated with outside dirt and debris.

To effectively repair a dirty or blocked outdoor unit, follow the steps:

  1. Ensure your air conditioner is unplugged at the mains
  2. Remove any plants, leaves, or debris from around the unit. For the future, avoid planting anything within a foot of the unit to avoid blockages
  3. Take the condenser’s top off by following the instructions in your user manual. You will need a screwdriver
  4. Wearing protective gloves, remove any clumps of grass or leaves from inside your unit
  5. Use a handheld vacuum to vacuum up any remaining dirt or debris
  6. Using a soft-bristled brush, brush away stubborn debris and grime that has stuck on the coils. You will find better results if you brush with an up-and-down motion rather than side-to-side.
  7. Use, specifically, a foaming AC coil cleaner and comprehensively cover the coils with the solution. Make sure you are using protective gloves to handle any chemicals
  8. Allow the foam to soak for 5 - 10 minutes
  9. To wash the foaming solution off, use a garden hose. Try not to spray the electrical components, and do notuse a power washer
  10. Allow your components to air dry. Do not position them in direct sunlight, and ensure all components are completely free of moisture before use
  11. Reassemble the top of your unit once dry
  12. Turn your air conditioner’s power back on

Check Your Thermostat

A faulty thermostat is a common air conditioning problem. Luckily, repairing a thermostat is more straightforward than repairing the entire machine. If you have identified that your thermostat is not turning on, is unresponsive, the heat or cooling will not turn on or off, or the room temperature is not accurate, your thermostat needs attention.

DIY Air Conditioning Repair: A Faulty Thermostat

Before scheduling repairs with a professional, you can follow the steps to attempt to fix your thermostat yourself:

  1. Double-check that your thermostat is set to the right setting. In the winter, it should be set to “heat.” In the summer, it should be set to “cool.”
  2. Adjust your thermostat by 5 degrees (hotter in the winter, cooler in the summer.) You should then hear a clicking noise. After waiting a few minutes, evaluate whether your supply registers are exhaling air or your return vents are inhaling air
  3. If your thermostat is digital, try replacing the batteries. This should be done at least once per year
  4. If your thermostat is mechanical, give it a cleaning. After removing the thermostat cover, use a small brush or cloth to wipe it over
  5. If you are comfortable doing so, check the thermostat’s wirings. Remove the thermostat’s cover and make sure the wires are connected to their appropriate mounting screw
  6. If none of these strategies work and the thermostat is still not functioning as it should, book a repair appointment with ProSkill Services

DIY Air Conditioner Repairs: When DIY Is Not Enough

If you have attempted all of the DIY air conditioning repairs listed in this article and your machine is still faulty, it’s time to call the pros. It is recommended that you have your repairs done before the summer months so that you are not without your air conditioner when the heat strikes. Book a repair appointment with a member of our friendly and expert team today, and let us return comfort to your home.

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