Air Conditioner Repairs & Service
By Ryan Mayes
For most people, central air conditioning is a matter of comfort during hot, humid summer months. For others, especially the elderly, it can be a health issue. Some studies have linked high heat and humidity with increased risk of heart attacks*, for example. Regardless of why you enjoy them, air conditioners are great when they are running smoothly. But when the temperatures outside are rising and the temperature and humidity are rising inside it can cause stress and even become a potential safety concern. That’s why air conditioner services are an essential expenditure.
Keep in mind that not every air conditioning system breakdown will fall under the label of emergency service. Sometimes it’s an easy fix that can be handled with a system adjustment, cleaning or minor repair. It’s never a good day when your air conditioning system stops working and you need to call a service technician for HVAC unit repair services... but the sooner you call, the sooner you’ll be back to enjoying cool comfort.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A HOME AC UNIT BE SERVICED?
It’s recommended that your home AC unit be serviced by a properly trained technician at least once a year. An air conditioner’s coils, and filter require regular maintenance to ensure that it’s running at efficiently. Regularly scheduling preventative maintenance air conditioner services can also help extend the life of your air conditioning system.
Central air conditioning units are often part of a complete heating and cooling system. If you have an all-electric system, your air conditioning might actually be supplied by a heat pump. Either way, there are a number of components involved and a number of ways the system can malfunction that may indicate it is time for an AC repair service.
WHEN IS IT TIME FOR AIR CONDITIONER REPAIR?
Some common HVAC system malfunctions that may require air conditioning repairs include:
- Running constantly / Not keeping up with cooling needs: Every AC system will work a little harder on hotter, more humid days. But if your system seems to run constantly with less than adequate cooling, you may have a problem lurking. An undersized unit will struggle when demand is high. Low refrigerant levels can cause longer and less effective cooling cycles. A dirty air filter, dirty inside evaporator coil or dirty outdoor condensing coil can reduce efficiency and effectiveness as well. Try cleaning or replacing the air filter or before contacting a professional for air conditioner repair service.
- Repeatedly starting then stopping (short cycling): If your system seems to start and then shut off over and over or won’t turn on all together, you may have a system that was oversized during HVAC installation. Low refrigerant levels or a refrigerant leak can also be hard on AC systems, causing them to run erratically. A clogged or excessively dirty air filter and a frozen or dirty evaporator coil can have the same effect. Cleaning or replacing the air filter may help, but cleaning an evaporator coil requires an air conditioner service call.
- Weak or no airflow: Two-stage or multi-stage cooling systems often run for longer periods of time on a lower fan setting. If your indoor temperature matches the temperature you set on the thermostat, your system is operating normally. However, if you have weak or no airflow, and the temperature continues to rise inside or hot air is coming out when the temperature is set to cool, you may have an issue. This could signal a dirty air filter or an issue with the indoor unit’s blower or fan motor. Try changing or replacing the air filter before contacting a professional.
- Not running at all: Before calling a Carrier dealer for in-home services or repair, check your thermostat to make sure the system hasn’t been turned off. Then, check your electrical panel to be sure a blown fuse isn’t the culprit or the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Also check your air filter for excessive dirt or clogging. If everything checks out, it’s time to call a professional. Most air conditioners include some built-in sensors that can shut down operation under abnormal conditions to help prevent damage to vital (and expensive!) components like the compressor, evaporator coil and condenser coil.
- Unusually high energy bills: During the heat of the summer your system will work harder and more often, so you may see higher electric bills. If your utility bill seems unusually high compared to the previous month’s (or previous year’s bill for the same month), it might be time to investigate. To ensure that your AC unit is energy efficient, check the air filter and outdoor condenser coil for excessive dirt and clogging. If everything checks out, or if you see buildup of ice on the outdoor coil or the copper refrigerant tubing, call an HVAC technician for professional air conditioner repair service.
FINDING AN AIR CONDITIONER REPAIRMAN, SERVICE OR REPLACEMENT
When your air conditioner stops running, don’t always assume the worst. Before you jump to the “repair or replace” conversation in your head, do a little investigating on your own. You might be surprised that the issue is something you can resolve yourself. But don’t wait too long before calling a Carrier HVAC Dealer for an air conditioner repair service. Even a minor problem can lead to an emergency HVAC service if it’s not addressed - and replacing costs or installation costs can be easily avoided by regular maintenance.. More importantly, the longer you wait, the longer it will be before you can enjoy the cool comfort of your home. You may also want to check out our mini split ac repair and troubleshooting guide.