As a homeowner, keeping your air-conditioning system in good working order is an important consideration. Making sure your HVAC unit is functioning properly is even more crucial if you live in the deep south. Understanding how your air conditioner works and performing regular and routine maintenance can head off a large air conditioning repair bill. Here is all you need to know about air conditioner repairs:
Neglecting regular maintenance of your AC unit can lead to huge repair costs. Most homeowners can perform some maintenance issues, whereas an HVAC technician must do others with the proper training and specialized equipment. Check out more here https://thermodynamixllc.com/ac-repair/
Having a reputable HVAC company do an annual inspection and maintenance service of your entire air conditioning system can catch minor issues before turning into big problems. The best time to have your system professionally checked is in the offseason, meaning the spring or fall. This way, you won't have to suffer through the heat while waiting for the repair person during their busiest time of the year.
Homeowners can perform simple tasks, like changing the air filter when needed and checking the evaporator and condenser coils and the drain line regularly to be sure they aren't becoming clogged.
The air filter is responsible for keeping all manner of debris, from dust to pet hair, out of your air conditioning unit. Ideally, the filter should be checked every two months during the summer.
The coils are responsible for exchanging hot air for cold, so it is critical to keep the coils clean, so air can circulate properly.
The drain line removes the water that condensates on and drips off the coils. It is essential that the drain line not become clogged, as this will allow the water to pool and possibly back up into your air conditioning system.
Paying attention to just these three things alone can prevent many common AC problems and will go a long way in helping your air conditioner run more efficiently.
More complicated maintenance, checking the coolant level, compressor, and thermostats, must be done by a certified technician. Additionally, a thorough professional cleaning should be performed as part of your annual service. Be sure to check with your AC company that this is included as part of your annual maintenance.
You may be able to troubleshoot your AC unit yourself, before calling the repairman. If you have checked the filter, coils, and drain, the problem may be as simple as flipping a switch.
AC Won't Run
If the air conditioner doesn't run, check to be sure it isn't a tripped breaker or blown a fuse. If neither is the case, then try "resetting" the unit by turning the breaker or main switch off and then back on. Finally, try lowering the thermostat by five degrees. If none of this works, it is time to call the HVAC technician.
Loss of Cooling
Several issues can cause an AC to blow warm air or cool intermittently:
1) A clogged filter, restricting airflow and resulting in the unit working harder.
2) Clogged or frozen condenser coils will also result in poor airflow and reduce air conditioner efficiency.
3) Loss of refrigerant that will result in the unit not being able to complete the warm- to the cool-air exchange process. Here the air conditioner will require a "recharge" after the leak is fixed. Note that the system must be recharged with the proper type of coolant as specified by the manufacture, or system damage will result.
4) A faulty compressor fan will not be able to circulate air properly across the condenser coils. This can also result in the compressor overheating, and possibly failing altogether.
The compressor is what circulates the coolant through the coils. If the compressor stops working, then the AC unit will not operate.
The thermostat plays an essential role in the operation of your air conditioner. As it is the operation's brain, if the thermostat isn't functioning properly, neither will the AC unit. Digital thermostats are much more efficient than the old dial-style analog models. If you don't have one, consider switching to a digital as it will make your air conditioner work much more efficiently, reduce your utility bills, and wear and tear on the AC unit.
Water from condensation is a byproduct of air conditioner operation. As warm air hits the cooler coils, the moisture in the air turns to water and drips off the coils. If the drainage system should become clogged, the water can back up into the air conditioning unit and cause damage to the electrical components. This is easily prevented by making sure the drain and drain hose are free of mold, algae, and other debris and that water is draining freely.
Continuing to operate a malfunctioning AC system can lead to further damage. If any of these issues occur that you cannot remedy yourself, shut the system down, and call a qualified HVAC technician.
Hiring a Qualified HVAC Company
Even for the experienced do-it-yourself homeowner, most major air conditioning repairs are best done by a qualified AC technician. However, finding a qualified and reputable air conditioning company is often easier said than done.
The first step is to ask your family, friends, neighbors who they use, how long they have used them, and how their work's quality. These people will typically not be shy about letting you know who the quality and shoddy service providers are.
Call the companies on your list to inquire about prices, warranty their work, and offer free estimates. Note that companies that offer free estimates do so because they are skilled and offer competitive prices. Do not even consider any company that charges for an estimate.
Have two or three companies come out to give you estimates and use the things you have learned in this article to see if they give you straight answers to your questions. Also, know that some HVAC companies will offer a service contract. Before you sign one of these, be sure you understand the fine print. Know exactly what the plan covers and compare the service plan's cost to the cost of having just an annual service performed.