Everything You Need to Know About Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance
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Understanding Common AC Problems
While air conditioning units might seem like mysterious, magical boxes that pump refreshing, cool air into your home, there are only so many problems that can commonly occur. What’s more, proper maintenance can help prevent these problems from even occurring. Some of the most common AC problems include:
Blower not working
Air not as cool as it should be
AC unit not turning on
Air unit not recognizing the temperature
Air unit consistently freezes
Valves not working properly
Too little/too much refrigerant
AC using too much power
AC turns off before it's cool
As you can see, the list of issues that can occur with an air conditioning unit isn’t that long, and a basic understanding of how an AC unit works will ensure that you will be able to rapidly rule out potential causes, arriving at the correct issue. This will let you use our informational guides to determine what the appropriate fix is so that you can figure out if it’s something you can do, or if it requires professional attention. As a result, you’ll be making informed consumer decisions, saving you time and money to use on the things you love, instead of devoting everything to the things you need.
Save Money by Fixing Your Own AC Unit
Many people don’t realize this, but it’s perfectly achievable to fix your own AC unit. With resources like the internet and the ability to order the parts you’ll need, it’s surprisingly easy to diagnose, and then repair most of the common air conditioning issues.
There are some jobs that require professionals, like the installation of a new system or major HVAC work, but many air conditioning unit problems like blower not working, blower working but unit not cooling, condenser freezing, inconsistent performance, and more can be handled on the cheap without requiring contractors or service professionals.
Our handy guides can help you figure out what is causing problems with your air condition, understand what you can do to fix them, and point you in the right direction to ensure you get the right parts to fix the problem the first time. The result can be hundreds of dollars in savings, or even thousands of dollars, depending on the issue. This means you’ll have more money for summer vacations, parties, and picnics while still being able to enjoy that blast of refreshing, cool air when you walk in the door. Many individuals are amazed at how easy it is to figure out what’s wrong with your AC unit and take the right steps to fix it.
If your air conditioning unit has been acting up, or not behaving properly, don’t just go straight to the phone book to hire a contractor, use the resources on this site to see if you can figure out what’s wrong. It could be a problem with your thermostat, or you may just need to replace a single component of the unit to get it running again. There’s no reason to drop several hundred dollars to be told that a belt or simple component needs replaced.
Another benefit to repairing your AC unit yourself is that you can take the time to get the best price on parts. Most AC service professionals have a dedicated parts supplier that they go through, and they’re not paying for the part, you are. Therefore, they don’t have an incentive to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. Fixing your air conditioner yourself means that you can comparison ship different parts supplies, look into used or refurbished parts, and other cost savings techniques. You’ll be shocked at how little it will take to get your home back down to a comfortable temperature with the resources available to you, so don’t delay, find out how to fix your AC unit today!
AC Terms to Know
Before diving in and reading our comprehensive guides, here are some AC terms that might come in handy:
– the gauge pressure of the unit plus the atmospheric pressure outside.
– the tank that stores the coolant after it has been through the evaporator to prevent it from leaving your system
British Thermal Unit (BTU)
– the amount of energy needed to lower or raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. This is a measurement of how powerful the unit is.
– a metering device that uses a small tube to control the AC’s flow.
– the part of the AC unit that transfers heat to the air, shedding excess heat and helping keep you cool.
– one of the most important components of an air conditioning unit. It helps keep refrigerant circulating through your system.
Direct Expansion System
– a system that passes refrigerant through an expansion device before recirculating it, expelling waste heat.
– a refrigerant regulator that determines how much coolant moves through your system at a given time.
– the reading from a pressure gauge that has been adjusted for the atmospheric pressure outside.
– the exchange of thermal energy between two different mediums, like the refrigerant and the air.
– the fluid that is used in the heat transfer system of an air conditioning unit. It absorbs heat and then transfers it away from your unit to provide cool, refreshing air.
– the process of upgrading an existing system to give it more power without adding a new unit.
Thermostatic expansion valves
– a device designed to control heat in the evaporator through regulation of the speed that refrigerant goes through the system.
– a type of air conditioning system that uses water as the refrigerant.
As you can see, air conditioning isn’t that complicated once you understand what the different parts are. You just need to understand that your AC works by taking a refrigerant, lowering the pressure of it to decrease the temperature, passing air over the now chilled refrigerant, and recycling the refrigerant. It’s a closed loop that only has a few parts in it. You don’t even need to fully grasp the science behind air conditioning to understand how the process works, just what each component does to help make the air in your home a refreshing and safe temperature.
Best AC Maintenance Procedures
While the process of maintaining your AC unit might seem complex, we can assure you it’s actually fairly simple and straight forward. Some of the best practices for maintaining an AC unit, no matter what type of unit that is, include:
Shutting down the power
Whenever you’re working with an electronic device, be it an air conditioner, television, or something else, the first thing you should do is cut the power to ensure that you’re not placing yourself at risk of a harmful and potentially tragic electrical shock. This will make it easier and safer to perform all of the other steps.
Many AC units are located in places where random objects from outside can accumulate in them, both inside the unit itself as well as in the vents, fans, and other vital components. Removing this debris will help prevent jams and will ensure your unit continues to function as it’s supposed to.
Clean the Outside
Cleaning the outside of the unit, especially the fins, helps prevent corrosion and also keeps the air being pumped into your house cleaner, with less allergy issues, dust, and other irritants. This also helps the air flow more smoothly, and can help your unit produce more cool air with less energy, cutting down on power bills.
Align the Fins
Because altering the airflow can hamper efficiency, make sure you straighten any bent fins on the outside of the unit. This will keep air moving smoothly through your system and allow your AC unit to achieve its peak performance potential.
Clean the Area Around the Unit
Removing things like pine straw, leaves, branches, and other buildup from nearby your AC unit helps ensure that the cleaning you did won’t go to waste. This keeps your AC running at its best for longer and will help stretch the time between maintenance routines.
Level the Unit
As the ground shifts under your unit it can shift the way the AC unit is standing on the ground. Changing the orientation of the unit can interfere with the pressure inside and lead to early breakdowns. Use rot-resistant shims to ensure the unit is level to keep it functioning properly.
Clean the Coil
Using a can of compressed air, gently blow off any dust or materials that have collected onto the coil, this will help your unit be more efficient, saving money on power bills and keeping your house cooler.
Check and Clean the Drain
Most AC units produce a stream of water that runs off into a drain. If this drain is clogged it can lead to backups that can damage your unit, and can also hurt the unit’s efficiency. Clearing the drain of clogs is a great way to ensure your AC unit functions at its beset.
Change the Filter
The final step before you turn the power back on is to change the filter for the unit. This not only makes the air you break in your house cleaner and fresher, but also ensures that air is moving properly though the system, preventing complications and breakdowns of vital parts.
As you can see, it’s easy to repair and maintain your AC unit if you know what you’re looking for and follow these easy steps. Save time and money by handling your AC yourself today!
Air Conditioner Repair Guides
The Importance of Proper Maintenance for AC Units
When it comes to consumer advice on AC units, the only thing better than saving money on AC repairs is preventing the need for those repairs in the first place. That’s why it’s so important to perform maintenance for your AC unit. Many people avoid AC maintenance because it costs money to have someone come to your house and check your system, and frequently you’ll have to miss work to let the service provider in to do the work that needs done.
There are only a few systems in an air conditioning unit. However, many people don’t realize this because they never open up their system to see how it’s working, and air conditioning processes aren’t exactly standard learning in school.
In general, maintenance involves cleaning the different components of your unit and inspecting the parts to look for obvious problems like cracks and leaks. Performing these procedures will let you know ahead of time if you’re going to have to repair or replace your unit, which lets you get ahead of the game and plan a course of action instead of waking up sweating one morning and facing a potentially huge expense with no notice. Moreover, this will familiarize you with the workings of your air conditioning system so that you can be ready to execute any needed repairs yourself, saving you money on hiring expensive service professionals or in using an expensive service plan that may be inconvenient for your day-to-day life.
Finally, performing regular maintenance on your AC unit is a great way to prevent small problems from becoming big ones. Air conditioning units are closed loop systems, and so when one part of the system isn’t functioning properly it can impede, harm, or prevent other components from working as well. The result is that instead of replacing a small part, you may find yourself needing a whole new system or several major components to get your system running again. Use our helpful guides and the advice on this page to see just how simple it is to maintain your AC unit to ensure it keeps running at optimal levels!