September 29, 2006, Newsletter Issue #11: Air Conditioner Problems-The Basics

Tip of the Week

When your air conditioner isn't working, there are a few simple things to check on first before running off to buy appliance parts. You may think you know what is wrong with your Amana air conditioner, but every good repairman has a checklist of things to look at. Ruling out the obvious by elimination is necessary before getting down to the real work of repairing or replacing air conditioner parts. If your air conditioner isn't working, check the following before breaking out your tools:
1. Make sure that the unit is plugged in, then examine circuit breakers, to ensure power hasn't been cut off. Your Amana air conditioner, like all makes and models, requires electricity to run, so the fix might be as simple as replacing a blown fuse or re-setting the circuit breaker.

2. If the unit is plugged in and the circuit breaker or fuses are in tact, check your thermostat next. Make sure it is indeed set to air conditioning and not heat, and the temperature setting is adjusted a few degrees below room temperature. You can quickly activate the air conditioner by setting it for a very low temperature, 60 degrees or so. Make sure the unit is running, and reset it for the temperature you desire.

3. If your unit does turn on, but doesn't function properly, the next step is to check the filter. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, which makes the unit work harder to cool off the house.

If you are still having problems with the air conditioning unit, it's time to take a closer look at the machine to see what is wrong. Some problems are simple to fix. Noisy appliance parts may need some internal tightening or cleaning. If there are issues beyond noise and dirt, you'll have to get out the toolkit and prepare to do some additional looking for the source of the problem.

You may discover one or more of the following:
1. Bad wiring
2. Faulty thermostat
3. Bad compressor
4. Bad selector switch.

If you encounter one or more of these, do some careful reading on how to proceed. Know that many units have warranties that become void if certain "do-it-yourself" work is done. When you replace parts, try to stick with the brand your unit currently uses. If you have Whirlpool, use Whirlpool replacement parts. If you have Kenmore, use Kenmore appliance parts. This insures the best compatibility and ease of replacement.

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