Finding the Source of the Problem
There’s a reason why homeowners bring in the professionals when air conditioning breaks down. Yes, time and discomfort are certainly driving factors behind the decision. Diagnosing the problem also takes some insider knowledge. Unlike residential roofing, air conditioning problems can have several underlying causes. “What are the reasons for AC not cooling?” “Why do I only feel hot air coming from the fan?” These questions can have many answers.
Today, we’re going to delve into some of the secrets behind AC repair, including how to diagnose a couple of the most common breakdowns. By the end, you will have valuable insight into why your refreshing air has stopped coming. Let’s get started!
What Could Be Wrong With My AC?
Rather than charging in and ripping out parts to see what’s broken, we need to first thoroughly analyze the symptoms of your air conditioning malfunction. Does the unit only produce hot air, or does it emit cold in irregular bursts? Maybe it doesn’t blow at all. Answering these questions actually narrows down our list of potential suspects during inspection.
Why is My AC Not Blowing Cold?
If your air conditioning unit only puts out hot air, there’s a high chance of a shortage in coolant. What many homeowners don’t realize is that low coolant is always a byproduct of another problem. Refrigerant (or what people call “freon”) is designed to be used indefinitely. That means if the coolant levels are running low, there’s a leak somewhere in the AC unit. If your HVAC tech rushes in to recharge the coolant without fixing the leak first, that’s a huge red flag regarding their experience.
Some other reasons your AC isn’t cooling may include:
- Leaky AC ductwork
- Excessive air leaks in your home
- Clogged air filter
- Insufficient unit size
- Clogged condenser coil
A couple of these problems basically mean your AC unit is working but leaks or blockages prevent the cool air from reaching it. This leads to significant energy spikes in your monthly bills. Insufficient unit size is even more problematic, and can only be resolved by adding additional cooling capacity (via a second unit or larger replacement unit).
Why Would AC Stop Working?
A complete shutdown means there are larger problems going on inside your system. Thermostat malfunctions often cause sensors to misread the temperature, so that the AC never even turns on. Homeowners can test this possibility by turning down the temp settings and seeing if the unit responds.
A malfunctioning compressor can also cause this shutdown. The part is responsible for forcing gasified refrigerant into the condenser where it transforms back into a fluid state. A busted compressor leads to weak pressure and little to zero cooling power for your AC. Many AC units will shut down if they detect the loss of pressure. Can you repair AC compressor parts? Yes and no, but we’ll get into that in a little while.
Other Potential Causes
- Blower fan motor burnout
- Electrical malfunctions
- Tripped circuit breakers
- Severely depleted refrigerant
- Control board breakdown
AC Repair for Home
So what should homeowners do once they find out the underlying problem behind their AC unit malfunction? Consulting with an experienced HVAC technician is typically the way to go, but you may also take the time to do a little price comparison. Of course, you should examine your budget and see which options fit.
Repair or Replace?
AC Repair vs Replace
It’s a question as old as time: “Should I repair or replace?” Ultimately, the age and condition of your air conditioning unit will likely be the deciding factor. The cost of fixing the damaged part(s) in question will also weigh in on the decision.
When should you repair your AC unit? (vs replacement)
- The AC unit has more than a few years left on its estimated lifetime.
- The cost of the new parts is far less than complete replacement.
- The AC unit is still under warranty.
- Replacement parts are readily available.
AC Repair Prices
How much does AC repair cost? That’s the question everyone really wants to know! According to Improvenet.com, the average repair range for AC unit repairs is $193 to $311. However, the price for certain part replacements goes well beyond that range. Compressor replacement, for instance, may cost you as much as $2,300. That’s more than many homeowners are willing to pay for repairs, especially if the AC unit is near the end of its expected lifespan.
Try to estimate the value of the remaining years of use your family could potentially enjoy, then compare it with the cost of the repairs. If repair costs trump the value of a couple more years of use, it’s time for replacement!
Get Your Estimate on Home AC Repair!
At Temperature Control Maintenance, our technicians understand what if feels like to go without air conditioning for extended periods of time. That’s why we work so hard to provide prompt, affordable, and lasting AC repair in Roselle and Schaumburg, IL. Our services include invaluable emergency repairs, so you can find relief any time and day of the week. Our seasoned HVAC techs support all of the major brands, including Rheem, Williams, and American Standard air conditioner systems. Why don’t you give us a ring and schedule service for your home? Call (630) 333-9306 to arrange your convenient appointment!