Why You Shouldn’t Try to Do Your Own AC Repair
Attempting an AC repair yourself can be dangerous and costly. Professional technicians typically charge a basic service fee to travel and diagnose an AC problem, then tack on the cost of parts and labor. For professional help, call AC Repair Encino now!
A burning smell, a broken blower motor, and elevated energy bills are all signs that it’s time to call an HVAC technician. A faulty thermostat clogged air filters, or frozen evaporator coils can also increase a utility bill.
Your thermostat is one of the most important parts of your home’s cooling and heating system. It controls how much energy your air conditioner uses, and it also helps you set your desired temperature. When the thermostat isn’t functioning properly, your AC can’t operate as it should. Fortunately, you can often identify signs of a malfunctioning thermostat and get it fixed before your system is damaged.
The first sign of a problem is when your thermostat’s screen is dark. If you can’t see the current temperature of your room on the display or you can’t program the system as usual, there’s a good chance that the batteries are dead. Changing the batteries should fix this issue.
Another common thermostat problem is when it can’t maintain the correct temperature settings. This can happen if the thermostat is old and has reached the end of its life or it’s not programmed correctly. If your house feels warmer or cooler than the temperature set on the thermostat, you should replace the unit.
If your thermostat keeps running, even after the AC reaches the desired temperature, this is another clear indicator of a malfunctioning device. In this case, the fan may be running constantly, which will not only drive up your electric bill but it can also damage the compressor. If you notice this problem, call a professional for a thermostat inspection and repair.
Other common thermostat problems include loose wires and a dirty sensor. If the sensor is covered in dust or sand, it will not read your preferred temperatures accurately and may cause your system to cycle on and off excessively. To clean it, you should remove the cover and gently rub it with a soft cloth or brush. If you’re worried about touching sensitive wiring, hire a professional to open the thermostat and inspect it for loose connections.
A disconnected thermostat is also very common and can occur when the thermostat is installed incorrectly or it gets jostled. In most cases, this is an easy problem to fix and doesn’t result in any other issues with the cooling system.
The compressor is a critical component of your air conditioning system. It compresses the refrigerant that travels between the condenser coil, evaporator coil, and filters in order to cool your home. As such, a faulty compressor can lead to some serious problems with your air conditioner. Fortunately, there are usually several warning signs that indicate your compressor is starting to go bad.
A faulty compressor may start to produce an unusual sound when operating. One of the most common is a chattering or ticking sound. This can often be caused by a relay switch that is either broken or worn out. If you notice this, it is important to call an AC professional right away. Otherwise, the problem will likely get worse and could end up damaging other components of your air conditioner.
Another sign that your compressor is about to fail is if you notice a low level of cooling power coming out of the vents. This can be a result of several issues, including a failing compressor or a refrigerant leak. In either case, it is best to consult with a professional as soon as possible to prevent a costly AC repair bill.
Other common warning signs include a high-pitched squeal coming from the compressor. This can often be caused by a compressor bearing that has gone bad, which can cause metal-on-metal contact and squealing. Typically, a new bearing will fix the issue; however, if your compressor is already seized, it might be better to replace it.
Most AC compressors have an expected lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. If they malfunction or break down before this, it is usually due to an underlying problem that was stressing the compressor until it finally failed. This means that many AC compressor failures are actually preventable by having your system properly maintained.
Getting your air conditioning system checked on a regular basis by an experienced MSCA or NATE certified technician is the best way to ensure that your AC compressor is working as it should. Your technician will be able to spot small problems that might otherwise be overlooked, preventing them from developing into major AC repairs down the road.
Faulty Condensation Drain
The evaporator coil stays wet as it wrings moisture from incoming air, and this moisture must be drained away from the indoor unit to prevent water damage. Typically, this happens in a drain line that diverts excess water into the household plumbing system. However, this wet environment can breed algae and mold which can then clog the drain line and/or drip pan. If you notice standing water or a flooded drain pan, shut down the system and contact a technician immediately. A certified HVAC tech can blow out the drain line, disinfect the drip pan and place time-release biocide tablets in the pan to inhibit algae and mold growth for the rest of the season.
A clogged condensation drain can also affect your air conditioner in other ways. For example, if the airflow is limited by the drainage problem, it can cause your unit to work harder and less efficiently. Additionally, if the condensation isn’t properly removed from the system, it can build up on other parts of the machine and cause corrosion which will lead to short circuits and other costly issues.
Another possible sign of a clogged drainage line is excessive humidity levels. When the humidity gets too high, it can result in toxic mold growth which can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues. If you have trouble with high humidity, check your drainage line first since it is often easier to fix than a failing pump.
Heavy rain can cause mud, sludge and other debris to make its way into your AC unit, and this can cause a clog in the drainage line. This is why it’s important to keep a close eye on your AC units after storms.
Your air ducts distribute cooled or heated air throughout your home. This process can be impacted by leaks, cracks, or damage. This can cause your system to work harder and wear down more quickly, not to mention costing you extra money on your energy bill. It’s important to have any issues with your ductwork repaired before it worsens.
Leaky ducts are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to AC repair. When there is a hole in your ductwork, it can result in 20-30% of the conditioned air ending up in the attic or basement instead of the rooms that need it. This not only wastes energy but also causes your HVAC system to work overtime trying to cool your home.
One of the first signs that your ductwork is leaking is higher than usual energy bills. Your ducts are supposed to be tightly sealed from end to end but sometimes they can develop loose connections or holes over time. The good news is that this can be easily fixed by a licensed technician. They can use a heat-approved tape such as aluminum foil tape or mastic sealant to fix the problem.
Another sign that your ductwork is damaged is cold or warm spots in your house. This can be caused by a few things. One of the most common is that your ducts have not been properly installed. They may be sized incorrectly or there could be a lack of return air vents. The other issue is that your ducts might be damaged which can lead to low air flow.
You should also look for strange noises coming from your ductwork. These could include whistling, flapping, or rattling sounds. These noises come from the vibrations of the air passing through the ducts and are a telltale sign that your ductwork is damaged. It’s best to call a professional right away so they can diagnose the problem and provide you with an estimate for repairing it. Also, don’t ignore any odors that are coming from your vents. These can be a sign that there is mold or mildew inside the ducts which can cause respiratory and other health problems for your family.