Air conditioning troubleshooting is not always simple, but when it is, fixing your own HVAC problems can save you money. Any decent home handyperson can use the following A/C repair tips.
Handling Basic Problems That Cause a Shortage of Cold Inside Air
When the outside is steaming and the inside lacks sufficient cold air to make a difference, most homeowners tend to get a bit excited. So let’s look at some of the common reasons that air conditioning equipment fails.
1) The Power Supply
Air conditioning troubleshooting begins by ensuring that the system is powered up and running. This doesn’t involve confirming that every component is functional, but you do need to confirm that air is flowing through the vent system and that the outside unit is actually connected to a working power supply. So if you get no airflow, no clicks, no hums, and no other sign of power, check the breaker box nearest your A/C equipment and the primary house mains. Don’t forget that your inside unit may also have an independent breaker box. If breakers are tripped, hold off on resetting until you poke around for any obvious fire hazards. Then, if all seems well, try resetting the breakers.
2) Clogged Filter
If the system is functional but airflow is sluggish, check the central return air filter. A simple cleaning may remedy your problem. Although clogged air filters are common in-home cooling problems, most homeowners neglect simple filter maintenance. Yet a clogged HVAC filter system can result in complete system failure due to frozen condenser fins. If this happens to you, clean or replace the filter, but remember that you must also disconnect the unit power supply long enough for the ice to melt from the unit. Remember: air conditioning equipment does not cool your home; rather it displaces hot air with cool air.
TIP! The best HVAC contractors provide a number for emergency services that are available to call 24 hours of the day. Don’t get caught without help during a weekend heatwave.
3) Clogged Condenser Fins Clogged filters eventually lead to clogged condenser fins. However, cleaning your inside condenser fins is a bit more risky than cleaning your air filter. Rather than trying to use a toothbrush of some other makeshift tool, spend a dime and buy a “fin” brush. Also, if the unit is in a crawlspace, blow it clean with a moderate, portable air pressure pump.
4) Low Coolant Air conditioning units should not leak coolant. If this is your problem, call for an EPA licensed Air Conditioning Technician. Also, if your HVAC technician is providing yearly freon top-offs, tell him or her that this is an unacceptable solution. Air Conditioning troubleshooting means finding and fixing A/C problems. Right repairs may cost $120 to $400 and above, but right repairs endure whereas topping off the system merely delays the costs. It only takes a few years of yearly freon cap-offs to exceed the price of a permanent repair.
TIP! If you are buying a new HVAC unit, make sure that the one you choose fits your home. A careful installation team will inspect your home and your duct work before they install a new unit.
5) Condenser Fan Motor If all else is set correctly, including the inside thermostat, yet the inside unit fails to come on, check the condenser fan motor. Some problems are as simple as loose wires. But even if the wire connections are burned, the average home handyman can handle the repair.
Home air conditioning troubleshooting won’t resolve every HVAC problem. But knowing how to track some of the simple complications can at least help you better prepare for a service call. So make your time count. Take care of the basics before you scream for a professional A/C response team.