When the air conditioner is not cooling the house like it should or breaks down, it is tempting to try to repair it yourself and save money. But, AC units are complicated and require a knowledgeable person to diagnose what is wrong and correctly repair any issues. Some maintenance and basic troubleshooting jobs are fine for the homeowner to do. AC Tips: Other repairs are best left to experts
Calling an Expert AC Repair Company
When the AC is not working as it should, most homeowners would do well to call an expert or go online to blairsair.com to check on their closest location. This company serves the Tampa Bay, FL, area. Florida is a state that has the heat and humidity to require AC units in homes to maintain comfort and health. In addition, AC repair service companies must be prepared to work in a safe way during this time of pandemic worries.
When hiring an HVAC repair company, take a few steps to make sure the best choice is made. Ask for the contractor’s proof of licensing, bonding, and insurance. Licensing has requirements for training and knowledge about HVAC systems, such as the workings of electrical wiring, combustion systems, refrigerant, and the airflow through ducts. This knowledge is important for safety as well as comfort. Get references, and ask for a binding cost estimate before work begins.
Does the company have experience working with the home’s brand of air conditioner and do they carry that brand of parts? Ask about a service contract with the company. Check what the contract covers and what the cost is to see if the needed repairs will be cost-effective.
What Can You Check Before Calling the Experts?
If the AC unit is not working at all, take these five steps before calling a repair expert:
1. Check to make sure the unit is getting power and the switch is turned on. Check the electrical panel to see if a breaker is tripped.
2. Try resetting the unit’s switches or overloads.
3. Make sure the thermostat settings are correct and the thermostat is working.
4. Try checking the condensate overflow. This may be a job for the expert.
5. Check the contactor and capacitor in the compressor. This may also be a job for the expert.
If the Air conditioner is running but not cooling the house, try these steps:
1. Turn off the power.
2. Change or clean the filter.
3. Try checking the coils to see if ice has formed on them. If there is ice, turn off the power until the ice has melted and try restarting the air conditioner.
4. Clear the condensate drain of debris.
5. Go outside and check the outside unit for obvious issues. Clean the area around the compressor, then remove the cover and clean the coils.
Three Things to Leave to the Experts
Once you have checked the basic things for the AC unit and it still is not working, it may be time to call the AC repair service. It may be tempting to save money by repairing the broken unit yourself. However, there are at least three things to leave to the licensed experts with training, experience, and insurance.
There are tutorials online for AC repair. But, these DIY projects are only for homeowners with the skill level and confidence in their abilities to take on more technical and difficult home repair jobs.
The average homeowner should leave these three jobs to the professionals:
1. Change broken components
Trying to Replace broken or worn components on the inside of an air conditioning unit or system are not for beginners. This includes cleaning, lubricating, and adjusting the exterior unit.
2. Patching refrigerant leaks
Patching refrigerant leaks can be a dangerous proposition. If the air conditioner is making hissing or bubbling noises, there may be a leak of the refrigerant. This refrigerant is dangerous to breathe and can hurt your eyes, mouth, nose, and skin. But, leaks must be repaired for safety and the health of the air conditioning unit. Call an expert and follow this ac tips.
3. Opening up the air conditioning unit
Opening up the air conditioning unit to do work yourself can void its warranty and cause further damage. The inside parts of AC units require specialized tools and knowledge that most homeowners do not have. Do not attempt to clean the interior section of your system, including the ductwork.
In the process of cleaning, you can damage delicate parts. Also, do not try calibrating your thermostat for optimal energy efficiency. This is best left to experts.
When a family moves to a new home, they should have all the home’s electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems inspected by experts for safety and maintenance needs. This is the best time to choose a company to maintain the HVAC system. Many companies have service contracts to sign up for where they come to switch the home from heating to air conditioning in the spring and from air conditioning to heating in the fall. At those times, they complete maintenance and repairs as needed.
This service will avoid heating and air conditioning breakdowns and emergencies. Another consideration these experts can help with is when it is time to update the air conditioning system. An older system might be using too much energy and wasting the homeowner’s money. A new system might pay for itself in a few years with energy savings. New units take less space, are quieter, and will be more dependable.
The keys to the best air conditioning for the home are to purchase the correct size unit for the size of the home and maintain it properly. The homeowner can take some steps to help the air conditioner work efficiently. Those steps include keeping sufficient clear space around the unit and duct openings. Change the filters regularly. Make sure to set the air conditioner at a reasonable temperature. Every degree colder costs money in additional energy use and causes the air conditioner to work harder and wear out sooner.
Final Thoughts AC Tips
Finally, if the homeowner and family members change a few bad habits, they can cut the cooling costs. Close blinds or curtains during the hot part of the day so direct sunlight is not coming into the house to raise the interior temperature. Don’t leave doors or windows open when the temperatures are hot and the air conditioning is on. Avoid a lot of cooking and baking on hot days. The stove and oven drive temperatures up, making the air conditioner work harder.