The best way to keep your home cool is by having regular AC maintenance, including inspections of all equipment components and cleaning. Unfortunately, even with regular inspections and maintenance, parts can wear out or break down from age or use.

An air conditioning repairman can help you decide whether to replace the faulty part or upgrade your whole system. This could include a new indoor evaporator coil, a new compressor or a new condenser fan. Often, it makes more sense to replace your air conditioner in the long run, especially if it’s old and prone to breaking down.

If you’re looking for a quick DIY AC fix, try turning the thermostat to cooling mode and lowering the temperature setting. If this doesn’t solve the problem, flip the furnace circuit breaker to “on.” Then turn on the outside unit and watch for the fan to spin; if it doesn’t, call a professional.

Air flow can be blocked by a dirty air filter, which should be changed regularly. Poor air flow can also cause the evaporator coil to freeze up, which is another common AC Repair trouble spot that needs a service technician.

Faulty wiring or a bad capacitor can cause an AC to shut off prematurely. Capacitors can degrade slowly, but when they fail, they usually do so in an instant. Capacitors require special skills and tools to change, so it’s a good idea to leave this repair to a professional.

Dirty evaporator coils are another big issue that can cause an AC to stop working properly. The coils collect dust and dirt throughout the year as they work, which can clog them. Clean them with a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush or microfiber cloth. You can also try using a shop vac to suck out the debris.

The compressor coils are also a common problem spot, but they’re a little more difficult to reach. Turn the power off at the access panel and remove and store the retaining screws. Then open the panel and take a look at the compressor and condenser fans. If they’re dirty, you can clean them with a vacuum cleaner or brush and soapy water.

If the fan or compressor isn’t spinning, a dead condenser fan motor may be the culprit. Shut off the power and the furnace switch and unplug the condenser fan. Then, unscrew and lift the cover to reveal the fan motor. If it’s dead, you can replace it with a new one or a rebuilt version of the original.

A service technician can also check your system for proper humidity levels and make recommendations based on those results. They can also look for and repair any leaks in your ductwork, which are another major cause of AC problems. The fewer leaks you have in your ductwork, the more efficient and comfortable your home will be.