Air Conditioning Repair – Know When to Leave It to the Pros

A properly installed and maintained air conditioner lasts 20 or more years. But like any other home system, it’s not immune to age and wear.

HVAC Services

Air conditioning repair can be expensive. But it’s often less costly than replacing the entire unit. Learn about these five common AC repairs before they cause you to call a technician at

If your AC system constantly runs but doesn’t keep your home cool enough, it could be low on refrigerant. This essential fluid cycles through the compressor and evaporator coils, converting lukewarm air into colder air to blow out through your vents. When there’s insufficient refrigerant, this cycle is interrupted and you’ll notice that your home is warm instead of cool.

Low refrigerant typically happens due to a leak in the compressor or along the lines that run from the condenser to the evaporator. This causes the temperature of the Freon to drop, which then attracts moisture that freezes up and forms ice. Once the ice forms, it drips, which is why you might hear hissing noises from the system.

When your refrigerant levels drop, the air conditioner will work harder to make up for this deficit, and you’ll notice a rise in your energy bills. The high energy consumption and low cooling performance can also damage the compressor, leading to a costly replacement.

If you suspect that your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, you should call an HVAC professional for immediate service. They’ll inspect the system to locate and seal any leaks, then replace the refrigerant with a proper blend. They’ll take care not to overcharge the system, as this can lead to further problems with your unit. It’s important to trust a trained professional because they’ll be working with ozone-depleting chemicals that require special procedures and safety precautions to handle. This includes wearing the appropriate mask and gloves during the repair. If you try to do it yourself, you could release the refrigerant into the atmosphere, which is illegal and a hazard for the environment as well as your family and pets.

A dirty evaporator coil is one of the biggest problems homeowners run into when it comes to their AC. This is because the evaporator coil cools the air that flows through it, so if it gets dirty, your system won’t be able to perform as well. That’s why it’s important to do routine air conditioning maintenance so that you can prevent this from happening in the first place.

The easiest way to tell if your evaporator coil is dirty is when your air conditioner has to run for longer cycles to get the temperature in your home down to your target. This is because it needs to produce more air to bring the temperature down, which in turn causes the evaporator coil to work harder to cool the air.

Another sign that your evaporator coil is dirty is if you notice condensation on it when the AC is running. This happens because the dirt on the coil allows moisture to form, which then freezes during the cooling process. This stops the heat transfer and can cause your system to stop working altogether.

If you have a dirty evaporator, the best thing to do is call a professional to clean it for you. This is because the evaporator is located inside your system and can be difficult to access. However, it’s worth the effort as a dirty evaporator will cause your system to work harder and can lead to other issues in the long run. So, don’t hesitate to contact a reputed HVAC company in your area and have your evaporator coil cleaned. They’ll also take care of other AC maintenance to help you save money in the long run.

Your AC system does more than cool your home; it also controls humidity by condensing moisture in the air and shutting it outdoors through a drain line tube. But a clogged air conditioning drain line can cause moisture to back up into your unit and your house, potentially causing significant water damage and requiring an expensive AC repair.

The drain line tube connects the evaporator coil in your indoor air handler to the AC drain pan beneath it. As the evaporator coil removes heating from your air, it creates condensation that drips down into the drain pan and then out through the drain line into a sewer or rain gutter. Over time, mold, mildew, sludge, debris, and even bugs can grow inside the drain line, creating a clog that causes water to overflow into your indoor evaporator pan and possibly your house.

During routine HVAC maintenance, a professional will clean your AC drain line to prevent clogging. But you can help yourself by regularly flushing the drain line with water, using a wet-dry vacuum to remove clogs, and applying cleaning solution like vinegar or bleach to keep algae from growing in the pipe.

The first thing a technician will do to unclog an air conditioner drain line is physically remove any visible debris from the access hole in the drain pipe. They will then use a vacuum, wet vac, or garden hose to suction or push the clog out. If successful, they should pull out a dark mass that resembles gunk. Next, they’ll rinse the drain line with a water hose and test to see if it’s clear by pouring water through the access hole and watching to see if it flows freely.

The evaporator coils in your air conditioner are where the refrigerant absorbs heat before moving on to the rest of the system. If these coils freeze, your AC will stop producing cool air. Frozen coils usually indicate a problem with your air conditioner that only a professional can fix.

Whenever you notice ice on your air conditioning coils, turn off the cooling system first. Doing this prevents any further damage and allows you to see if the frozen coil defrosts on its own. You can also try turning on the fan setting (only) in your air conditioner, which forces warm air over the frozen coils and speeds up the defrosting process.

If this doesn’t work, you can try using a hair dryer on a low heat setting to thaw the coils without damaging them. However, it’s important to note that you should never chip at a frozen coil, which can crack the fins that surround them and limit their surface area for heat transfer.

Another common cause of frozen coils is a clogged air filter that restricts the flow of warm air. Changing your air filter regularly will help keep it clean and reduce the amount of debris that can clog it.

During an AC inspection, your technician will look at the evaporator coils and check for signs of ice. They’ll then determine whether they need to be cleaned or if a repair is required. If they need to be cleaned, your technician will drain any condensate that has formed and remove the ice. He’ll then scrub the coils gently with a brush or soft-bristled broom. He’ll always follow manufacturer’s directions when cleaning coils to avoid any damage.

Modern AC units are complicated and contain electrical parts, like capacitors, that need to be properly maintained. The key is to know when you can safely try to fix the problem yourself and when you need to call in the professionals.

One of the first things you should check is that the unit is actually plugged in and switched on. If this is the case, your problem is likely a blown fuse or a circuit breaker that needs to be reset. If it’s not, your system may need a new capacitor or blower belt.

Many different electrical wires carry current to the various parts of your air conditioning unit, and a simple problem with one can disrupt power flow. The best way to avoid this is to have your wiring routinely checked by a professional.

Most AC wiring problems are caused by a faulty capacitor or a damaged circuit board. If you notice that your AC has been turning on and off frequently or making a clicking noise, it’s likely time to replace the capacitor.

Capacitors are important in AC systems as they provide the initial push that the motors need to start running. However, these components can overheat due to power fluctuations and frequent changes in thermostat settings. If you see signs of a faulty capacitor, you should contact your local technician for an inspection and replacement.

Circuit breakers have built-in safety mechanisms to protect you and your home from faulty electrical work. If your breaker constantly flips on or off, it’s probably time to call a licensed electrician to take a look at your HVAC wiring and system. Trying to fix electrical problems without proper training is extremely dangerous and can result in expensive repairs or even damage your home’s electrical system.