Periods of hot weather put HVAC technicians in high demand. As temperatures rise, many people increasingly rely on their central air conditioning system on a regular basis. Sometimes, those systems break down, and you will need to look for AC Repair in High Point to help you out and keep you at a comfortable temperature.
Air conditioners are complicated, so unless you happen to be a trained HVAC technician, opening your unit and trying to repair it yourself is a risky proposition that is likely to just make things worse. However, there are some straightforward troubleshooting steps you can use to identify the problem with your HVAC unit and get a head start on fixing it.
What Are the Most Common HVAC Problems?
One of the most useful things you can do with a broken AC unit is to wrap your head around understanding some of the most common reasons why your HVAC is not fully functional. Here is an introduction to some of the most common issues that may arise with your air conditioner, preventing it from keeping your home cool.
AC refrigerant is the chemical that keeps your home cool. This chemical absorbs heat from its surroundings and transmits that heat to an outdoor unit, exchanging it for cool air that flows back into your house. If there is no refrigerant in your system, such as if it starts to leak out, then it will not be able to cool your home down properly.
There are several clear signs of an AC refrigerant leak. If your energy costs suddenly spike, this might be because, without the normal amount of refrigerant, the unit is working harder and longer to try to cool down your home. You may also notice that the air that comes from your vents is not cool. This is because the mechanisms are still working, blowing air around the system, but there is nothing actually cooling it down. Alternatively, you can check the outside part of the unit. If it is making a hissing sound, that suggests that there is a leak of some sort at play.
Refrigerant leaks are difficult to repair, and fixing this is likely to include repairing or replacing the pipe where the leak is and recharging the unit. Recharging is a major process involving refilling the refrigerant and, if necessary, pressurizing it to ensure proper function. The Environmental Protection Agency has strict regulations governing recharging home HVAC units, mandating that this can only be performed by a trained technician. So, if you need this carried out, search for an air conditioner repair Dothan AL (or wherever you live).
HVAC Drainage Problems
When an AC unit cools the air down, the process produces condensation, which flows away from the unit. However, if a blockage occurs in the condensate drain lines or the drip pan, that condensation may back up into your air conditioner and cause problems.
This can increase indoor humidity levels, hindering the AC unit’s ability to function properly. It can also damage parts of the AC unit. There are three common drain problems that you should keep an eye out for when trying to diagnose a problem.
Water leakage is one of the most common problems. When the pipe or trap gets blocked up by algae, mold, or other types of debris, the condensate pan will start to fill up with water and overflow.
A smell of mildew or dampness may indicate that you have mold growing in the drain tube. This can block the tube easily, and the best solution is to regularly clean out all of the tubes.
A U-shaped trap is connected to the condensate drain, allowing water to flow out of the system. This trap can easily become clogged. Removing the trap and cleaning it out can clear it, preventing water and mold from backing up into the rest of the system.
Broken Compressors and Fans
The outside unit of your HVAC contains the compressor, fan, and condenser coils. These all work together to release heat into the air, transferring the heat from your home to the outside in order to cool your home down. If the outdoor fan stops working, the heat transfer process will be interrupted. This can lead to overheating of the system and complete shutdown as a result.
There are a few common symptoms of a broken AC compressor unit. Most prominently, a lack of hot air being expelled from the outdoor unit. The compressor is designed to compress refrigerant gas to a high pressure and low temperature. Hot gas passes through the coils of the outdoor unit and is then cooled by the fan. It is this process that creates the feeling of hot air blowing out of the outdoor unit. If you find that the fan in your outdoor unit is instead blasting out cool air, that suggests that the compressor might need replacing.
Strange noises are also a common sign of compressor issues. If banging or clicking sounds come from the outdoor unit during times when the air conditioning is turned on, that often indicates that there are electrical problems with the compressor mechanism. If the compressor starts to fail, it will pull more and more power from your system. If this happens, it will usually overheat and trip the circuit breaker, shutting off your power.
These are the most common signs of problems with your external compressor unit, although many other issues may also arise. If you detect any of these issues, we recommend contacting AC Repair in High Point to fix your compressor.
Evaporator Coils Freezing Over
The evaporator coil is an essential part of your AC unit, and poor airflow through your cooling system can cause ice to build up on the outside of this component. There are several different problems that can reduce airflow to this point, but all of them lead to the same result: ice deposits preventing your AC unit from functioning properly.
In most cases, a frozen evaporator coil will need repair from a trained professional, but there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try in order to attempt to defrost the coils.
Turn the AC unit off completely or to “fan only” mode if your AC has that option. This will allow the coil to thaw, letting the ice deposit melt. This can take a while, however; often around 24 hours for the whole thing to thaw properly. You can also check the filter. If this is dirty, air will be unable to pass through properly, so you should change it and wait for the coils to fully thaw before turning the system on again. If the coils then freeze again, you should call a technician in to help repair the system fully.
How Much Does Air Conditioner Repair Usually Cost?
The costs of repairing your AC unit can vary enormously, depending on a number of factors, including the problem in question, the make and model of HVAC you are using, and your location. AC repair can be a sudden and unexpected expense, but it is always worth the cost in order to get your home back to a cool and comfortable temperature as soon as possible.
On average, air conditioner repair generally costs somewhere around $300 for the most common issues. There are also call-out fees involved in calling an engineer to diagnose your problems, and these are often in the rough vicinity of $100.
Here is a breakdown of the average costs of some of the most common problems found with AC units in home settings.
- Replacing condensate drain tube – $20
- Flushing drain lines – $75 to $250
- Replacing breakers, fuses, or relays – $75 to $290
- Replacing condensate drain pump – $240 to $450
- Replacing drain pans – $250 to $575
- Repairing outdoor fan motor – $200 to $650
- Recharging refrigerant – $250 to $750
- Repairing refrigerant leaks – $200 to $1,500
- Replacing compressor – $1,900
- Replacing condenser coil – $1,900 to $2,900
Air conditioning units are large, complex pieces of machinery, and repairs and replacement can be a costly and time-consuming process. Unless you are very confident in your engineering skills, it is almost always worth the money to hire the services of professional AC Repair in High Point to help you out, as amateur AC repair can cause further problems, leading to even more expensive repairs down the line. There are many reliable, trustworthy air conditioning repair specialists in the area, and you can rely on them to help you get everything fixed quickly and safely. Soon enough, you’ll get everything operational again, restoring your home to a safe, comfortable, cool temperature.