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AC Troubleshooting Tips to Try Before Calling Your HVAC Company

As an HVAC company, we here at Big Mountain Heating & Air Conditioning want our customers to come to us with all of their heating and cooling needs, especially repairs. However, we also understand that not every AC issue calls for a visit from our technicians, which would waste both time and money for everyone involved. If your AC isn’t working, the solution may be surprisingly simple, which is why we’ve compiled a troubleshooting checklist for you to use before calling us for AC repairs:

1. Thermostat Settings

Your thermostat is the brain of your heating and cooling system, making it the first place you should check if something goes wrong with the AC. It’s a little too easy sometimes (especially with a touchscreen) to accidentally change the settings while you’re adjusting the temperature, so you’ll want to make sure that your thermostat is set to COOL and the fan is set to AUTO. If the screen is blank, you simply need to replace the batteries to restore power to the system.

2. Circuit Breakers

Once you’ve made sure your thermostat is working correctly and the system still isn’t working, it’s time to check your electrical panel for tripped circuit breakers. Indoor and outdoor central air conditioner units are typically on separate circuits, so be sure to check that both breakers — which should be labeled — are flipped on. If one or both of the circuit breakers is tripped, it will be in the middle position. Flip the breaker off, then on to restore power, and the system should turn on within a few minutes.

3. Vents and Air Filter

If you’ve ensured that your air conditioner is on and set properly but you’re still experiencing issues with inadequate cooling, something may be causing low airflow. Low airflow is one of the biggest causes of AC inefficiency because it prevents air from circulating through the system. It can be caused by anything from closed vents to air duct blockages.

Improve your system’s airflow by making sure that your air filter is clean and replacing it if it’s dirty — you should do this every couple of months. Then, go to all of the air vents in your home and make sure they’re open. If there’s still little to no air coming from the vents, call on Big Mountain Air for help.

4. Outdoor Unit

Just like dirty air filters and closed vents can cause poor airflow inside your home, debris that builds up in the outdoor AC unit can do the same. In fact, a clean outdoor unit is essential to the airflow of your entire HVAC system, so it’s important to keep it clear of this outdoor debris:

  • Dirt
  • Twigs and branches
  • Leaves
  • Plant growth
  • Landscaping materials

If your outdoor unit has built-up debris, turn off power to the unit and use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to clear it away.

Call on Big Mountain Air

If you’ve followed all of our troubleshooting steps and are still having problems with your AC system, it’s time to call the experts at Big Mountain Heating & Air Conditioning. We are the Sacramento AC company residents trust to take care of their AC systems.

For fast, high-quality air conditioner repair, contact us today!

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What Our Customers Have To Say

Good Rebates

This is a review for a complete HVAC system replacement from Big Mountain. I started at the SMUD website looking for the best rebate program and found a list of contractors there. I vetted out companies that had a lower number of completed jobs per the SMUD rebate program data.

Lee S.

Very Professional

Had my A/C go out yesterday, called Big Mountain today and they had a serviceman in my area of Lincoln, he was here within a half hour and fix my unit in a very professional manner, and the cost was reasonable. I was very impressed with the company and the serviceman.

Tom D.


I had a appointment with them between 1-3 and one of their staff members called me and kept me updated when they will arrive which was nice. Steve arrived on time and was really nice for explaining what could the cause be. My ac fan was working but cool air wasn’t coming out.

Krystal L.