While summer may soon be coming to a close, a warm and humid September may prompt you to keep the temperatures low inside and crank the air conditioning up to high. The last thing you want is for your air conditioning system to sputter out. Brush up on common problems that require home AC repair. Plus, learn why putting off a repair can lead to much costlier expenses. And find out how to avoid home AC repair scams.
Common Home AC Repair Problems
Look out for these common issues that may require a technician to perform a home AC repair. You will know there is a problem if your air conditioning unit is not doing its job of keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, producing cool air, or even starting up.
An air conditioning system’s cooling process produces condensation which, when the unit is working properly, flows away from the equipment without issue. However, if it’s a particularly humid day, or there is a clog in the condensate drain lines or drip pan, excess moisture may build up. This hinders the air conditioner’s performance and potentially damaging its components. Home AC repair performed by a trained technician includes inspecting the condensate lines, drip pan and clearing any clogs.
Air conditioners are charged with refrigerant. Refrigerant absorbs heat and allows air conditioning systems to run efficiently, upon installation. A refrigerant leak will affect the unit’s performance and hinder its ability to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. A technician performing your home AC repair will find and fix the leak, and conduct a refrigerant recharge.
Ice buildup on condenser coils
Your air conditioning system’s condenser coils are located in the outdoor unit. If they freeze up, your unit will not run properly and will not keep your home cool. Poor airflow through the unit can cause ice to build up on the coils – low refrigerant levels, dirty air filters or clogged air ducts are typically to blame. The technician conducting your home AC repair will identify the cause of the buildup, fix that problem, and thaw the condenser coils.
Busted compressor and/or condenser fan
Your air conditioner’s compressor and condenser fan is also located in the system’s outdoor unit. The compressor transfers hot air out of your home to keep the place cool. If the compressor and fan don’t work, the hot air will not properly escape your home, making it difficult for the air conditioner to keep your dwelling at a comfortable temperature. An overheated compressor can also cause the safety controls on your unit to kick in, turning off the air conditioner. A home AC repair tech can pinpoint the problem and inspect the outdoor unit to determine if there is further damage to fix.
Potential Effects of Putting Off Home AC Repair
It’s never pleasant to foot the bill for an unexpected home AC repair. However, not fixing the problem may lead to worse, costlier expenses down the road. Not to mention issues that could threaten the health of your family.
First off, a faulty air conditioning unit does not run efficiently. Therefore, it has to work harder to keep your home cool. This is an issue that can lead to higher energy bills. And over time, these add up to a lot more than the cost of repairing an issue.
On that note, putting off repairs may eventually lead to needing to replace your entire air conditioning unit at short notice. Now that would be expensive.
Finally, an air conditioner in need of home AC repair may contribute to any unhealthy environment. In particularly, for anyone living in the home with respiratory issues. If excess moisture builds up in an air conditioner with drainage issues, it may cause mold and mildew to grow, decreasing air quality within the home. Similarly, an air conditioner with poor ventilation can trap dust, further diminishing air quality.
When It’s Time to Replace vs. Repair
Even the most qualified of home AC repair technicians cannot do much to fix an air conditioning unit that is just too old, or too defective, to work properly. The home services experts at Angie’s List give the following guidance on when it’s time to replace – not repair – an air conditioning system:
“If the unit is more than 6 years old, and the repair will cost more than half the price of a new system, it’s best to buy new. Energy Star recommends replacing an air conditioner that’s more than 10 years old, even if it’s still working. The system won’t have many more years left in it, and it’s likely to be using more energy than necessary.”
Avoid a Home AC Repair Scam
Unfortunately, there are many scam artists and exploitative contractors. These folks look for opportunities to take advantage of desperate homeowners. The No. 1 way to avoid a home AC repair scam is to contact a trusted HVAC company (like A.Johnson!). Angie’s List shares additional tips, which helps ensure you work with an honest, reputable company.
- Check the paperwork. Make sure the company is licensed, bonded and insured before allowing them to start a home AC repair.
- Ask for references. A common warning sign is a company without references. If the company doesn’t have any references, pick up the phone and call someone else.
- Know your contractor. It always helps to build a relationship with a contractor who can handle all of your possible heating, cooling, and plumbing needs.
If you experience any air conditioning issues, call or contact us at A.Johnson and ask any question you want! We have the experience and expertise to help with any AC issue!