A/C problems? Do these things before calling for service

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Summer is the worst possible time for your air conditioner to go on the fritz. That's true anywhere, but especially so here in the Valley of the Sun.

There are any number of things that can cause problems with your a/c unit, some of them very simple to fix.

3TV's Ryan O'Donnell got some tips from Mike Donley of Donley AC and Plumbing on what you should doing before calling for a repair appointment.

Make sure the temperature is set low enough (below the temperature of the room) to bring the unit on. If it flips on, which should happen in just a few moments, listen for any unusual sounds.

Try changing the fan switch from "auto" to "on." If the fan comes on, you will know there is power to the unit. If  the fan doesn't come on ,you probably have a power problem.

If no power is going to the unit check the circuit breaker in your electrical panel . You can reset the breaker and see if power is restored.

If there's still no power, look at the fuse. Most units have a fused disconnect at the unit. The fuses can be pulled out and tested or replaced at some local hardware stores.

If your a/c is running and blowing warm air, make sure your filter is clean. If changing the filter doesn't help, it's time to call in the professionals.

To avoid getting ripped off, check out the company you choose with the Heat Pump Council, the Registrar of Contractors and the Better Business Bureau.

Be wary of offers and prices that sound too good to be true. They usually are. Get all estimates in writing.

If parts are replaced, keep the old ones in case something else goes wrong.

Finally, Donley suggested getting involved with the technician by asking questions. Make sure you understand the answers.

Related: Tune-up your air conditioner now to save money, avoid frustration this summer

Donley Service Center
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