All You Need to Know about AC Repair
Posted by Will Housh on June 9
Summer weather has hit throughout the country – at some point this season, you may need AC repair. When a cooling system is on the fritz, it can be a concerning time for homeowners – we’re here to make your life a little easier!
HVAC.com has some very comprehensive resources available to aid homeowners like you in times of AC repair crisis. Using the resources below, you can work to protect your cooling system from breakdown, better understand what types of AC repairs you may face, know what to do in emergency situations, and know how to find a trusted AC repair company when you need them.
Prevent AC Repair with Maintenance
The best way to prevent an air conditioning system problem is to properly maintain your unit. You’ll find this information helpful in your mission:
“AC maintenance prevents the need for AC repairs. Maintaining your system properly means you’ll be less likely to experience breakdowns during cooling season. Protect your system and prevent expensive repair bills!
- Clean off your unit. Keeping your exterior air conditioner condenser unit free and clear of obstructions allows air to flow through the system correctly. This eliminates stress and keeps the system working properly. Clear away vegetation and clean off debris – follow these simple AC cleaning instructions.
- Clean indoor vents and registers. As air circulates through the home, dust and dirt can stick to your vents and registers. This not only makes your home dirtier, but diminishes your indoor air quality. Follow these vent cleaning instructions to do so easily!
- Change your air filter. Air filters need changed every 30 to 90 days, depending on the type of filter you have. It’s a wise idea to get on a regular schedule – note filter changes on your calendar, and make a note to check them every month during the summer, when your system runs ‘round the clock. Follow these filter change instructions to get the job done.
- Keep pests out. When critters get in to your home’s HVAC system, they can cause great destruction. Their presence and leftovers have a negative impact on your indoor air quality. Pest-proof your AC components to keep them out! “
Common AC Repairs
Should you experience a system breakdown, know that there are a few common causes of summer AC repairs. Below you’ll find a few of the most common ones AC repair technicians face each day throughout the warmer months. Having a better understanding of the troubles your system may face can help you feel more at ease with the AC repair process, and better comprehend the information given to you by your technician.
Home AC Repair: Refrigerant Leak
“Air conditioners contain refrigerant, which allows the system to run efficiently, releasing heat from the air to cool it. Air conditioners are charged with refrigerant upon installation; a poor charge or a refrigerant leak can cause the system’s refrigerant level to fall below the proper amount. To remedy this, the home AC repair which is performed is a refrigerant recharge, accompanied by fixing the leak if that was the source causing low refrigerant levels.
It is important that the technician performing your home AC repair charge your cooling system with the proper amount of refrigerant. The manufacturer will specify this amount – correct refrigerant charge allows your cooling system to perform efficiently and accurately.
Home AC Repair: Drainage Issues
An air conditioner’s cooling process produces condensation, which normally flows away from the equipment, causing no problem. If there is a clog in the condensate drain lines or drip pan, or if outdoor humidity levels are high, moisture may back up into your air conditioner. Excess condensation will increase indoor humidity levels and hinder the air conditioner’s performance. It could also cause damage to your air conditioner’s components.
To correct this issue, your home AC repair technician will inspect all condensate lines and the drip pan. The lines will be cleared of clogs, and may be treated for algae growth to prevent future clogs. If air conditioner components have been damaged, your technician will provide you with an estimate to repair this equipment.
Home AC Repair: Broken Compressor Fan
Your air conditioner’s outside unit is home to the compressor, fan, and condenser coils. These components work to release heat from the air, transferring it out of your home to produce a cool indoor climate. When the outdoor fan isn’t working correctly, the heat transfer process is hindered. Not only will this prevent your air conditioner from adequately cooling your home, a broken fan can cause the system’s compressor to overheat. An overheated compressor could trigger the air conditioner’s safety controls, turning your air conditioner off; overheating can also cause damage to the compressor itself, requiring home AC repair or compressor replacement.
A qualified home AC repair specialist will diagnose the issue preventing the outdoor fan from working properly. Your fan will be repaired or replaced if necessary, and the outdoor unit will be inspected to assess whether the issue has caused further system damage.
Home AC Repair: Frozen Condenser Coils
If your air conditioner’s condenser coils, which are located in the outdoor unit, freeze up, your system will not run properly. Poor airflow through your cooling system can cause ice to form on the coils. Obstructions are typically the cause – such as dirty air filters or blocked return air ducts. Low refrigerant could also be the cause, requiring a refrigerant charge. A home AC repair technician can diagnose the issue behind your frozen coils, resolve it, and safely thaw your coils to restore cooling in your home.”
Emergency AC Repairs
AC breakdowns don’t always happen at convenient times. When your cooling system goes out in the middle of a hot day or night, it can be easy to panic – but stay calm! If you need AC repair after hours or in a hurry, there are a few steps you should take first – then call for local air conditioning repair.
Step 1: Try Air Conditioner Troubleshooting
Did you know that sometimes, what we assume to be a serious emergency air conditioner repair can actually be solved with some simple troubleshooting?
Cooling system issues may seem like an emergency, especially if you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of HVAC equipment. Cooling system troubleshooting steps can be performed by most any homeowner – sometimes, your emergency air conditioner repairs may be solved with the flip of a switch or a filter change.
Before calling a technician for emergency air conditioner repairs, check out our Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Guide. These fixes could restore cooling sooner and save you an expensive emergency repair bill.
Step 2: Shut Down Your System
If your air conditioner isn’t cooling, or is experiencing another performance issue, shut it off. Don’t continue to operate a malfunctioning air conditioner, as that may worsen the problem at hand. This is one reason we do preventative maintenance checks pre-season – a technician identifies and corrects problems, so you don’t run your system with faulty components, causing more damage.
Shut your air conditioner down when performance issues arise. These include lack of cooling, no airflow, sudden system noises, or even outrageous energy bills. Shutting the system down will prevent further damage. Operating your system with performance issues could exacerbate the problem, even wrecking your system beyond repair.”
Finding Local AC Repair Contractors
A local AC repair contractor is your best bet for quality, timely cooling system repairs. If you don’t already have one you have worked with before and trust, finding a new HVAC technician can be trying. Luckily, a few reliable options exist for recommendations.
HVAC.com Online Contractor Directory
HVAC.com is your one-stop shop for finding local air conditioner repair. Our free online contractor directory is home to HVAC contractor listings from across the U.S. Just type in your ZIP code to find HVAC pros in your area. You can even narrow down search results, which will help you find contractors with specific qualifications or who service certain brands.
HVAC.com is the top heating and air conditioning resource site in the world! As you search for a contractor, check out our Resource Center and the HVAC.com Blog to find answers to any heating, air conditioning, or indoor air quality question. Learn about the types of systems used in homes and businesses, how to vet contractors, and more which will best prepare you for working with the pros you’ll find through our directory.
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
A search for “AC unit repair near me” may lead you to Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). ACCA is the leading trade organization for heating and cooling professionals. ACCA represents HVAC pros throughout the country, providing technical, legal, and marketing resources for small businesses. They also work to develop industry standards that govern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning work throughout the country.
Home and business owners may search ACCA’s member database to discover local air conditioner repair contractors in their area. The ACCA Find a Contractor is free! Use it to identify local HVAC professionals serving specific market segments, performing all types of heating, cooling, indoor air quality, and building performance work.
Aside from the resources above, your friends and family are a great resource. Ask them, “Do you know where I can find AC unit repair near me?” If they’ve used a local professional for HVAC work before, you’ll get a trusted, personal account of the experience – good or bad.
Turning to a source you know and trust is a solution many can rely on. Online review sites can be full of negative or glowing experiences – you don’t know who’s telling the truth on Yelp, you don’t know who they are! Your neighbor, coworker, or family member is someone you’ve built a relationship with. You trust their opinions on many subjects – local air conditioner repair is no different.”
HVAC.com is here to help you with all your AC repair needs. Study our comprehensive online resources to learn all about AC repair, and search our Contractor Directory to locate an AC repair company close to you!