How To Repair Your AC Unit

by Team HomeServe Top Tips and Lists  
Guy repairing AC unit

A HVAC unit is a big-ticket home system, so it is a definite investment. If the unit still has some years left, you'll likely want to repair it as opposed to replacing it. The following AC repair how-to guide places a focus on central air repair. If several ductless AC units are installed in your home, some of these tips may apply as well.

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Tools for AC Unit Repair

Some tools that you are encouraged to keep handy as you troubleshoot and repair the AC unit are:

  1. Adjustable wrench
  2. Drill or driver
  3. Insulated screwdriver
  4. Multimeter
  5. Needle-nose pliers
  6. Nut driver
  7. Socket or ratchet set
  8. Voltage tester

As you troubleshoot the issues with your air conditioning system, you may also need the following materials:

  1. Capacitor
  2. Compressed air
  3. Condenser fan motor
  4. Contactor
  5. Fuses

It's best to determine whether you need to purchase a new condenser fan motor - as it can be a bigger expense. Additionally, when it comes to replacing cooling system parts, you are encouraged to bring in an HVAC repair handyman for the job. This is simply because a professional has the expertise to complete the task correctly. If you feel skilled and would like to give it a try yourself, there are AC repair materials online that you can refer to.

AC Unit Does Not Turn On

To fix an AC unit, it is important to take logical steps. For example, if the unit does not turn on at all, the first step is to check the main electrical panel. It is possible that a circuit breaker was tripped, or a fuse was blown.

Double-check that the HVAC unit is set to cool. Then, ensure that the thermostat is set below the room's temperature. All the switches for the system should be turned on.

There are times when a cooling system shuts itself off. If the condensation tray is full, overflowing or clogged, that could be the issue. When the inside of the unit is dirty, the interior parts cannot operate so they overheat. This means the system will not operate.

AC Unit Produces Poor Airflow

A common reason why an AC unit will not operate as expected is because the air filter or the vents are dirty. A dirty air filter is a simple repair; just replace it or clean it. Some air filters need to be cleaned or changed once a month.

When the vents are the issue, the ductwork must be inspected. This can get tricky, so you are encouraged to hire the services of an expert AC repair handyman. Ducts become blocked for a number of reasons. One is age. Another is damage. In order to prevent further damage, it is best for a professional to take a more in-depth look.

AC Unit Produces Too Much or Too Little Humidity

One of the jobs of a cooling system is to help control the humidity level of a home. A unit that runs short cycles, for example, does not have the opportunity to dehumidify a home. HVAC systems that are not able to remove indoor humidity are often too large. In this case, you are advised to re-think your current cooling system or air conditioner. This is not too bad if the unit is older. It gives you the opportunity to invest in a new model that is going to be properly sized for your home and demand. Newer units are also far more energy efficient.

If there is too much humidity and the AC system is the right size, leaks may be present in the unit or your home. The issue could be a combination of the evaporator coil and condensate drainage. This is a good time to let an AC repair handyman inspect the situation.

AC Unit Does Not Produce Enough Cold Air

The point of an AC unit is to produce cool air. When a unit doesn’t work, your home can become hot and uncomfortable to live in. This could be due to a malfunctioning thermostat. If the thermostat is older, you can repair it, or you can install a new one. Smart thermostats, for example, have a lower temperature error rate. Plus, they are energy efficient because the smart thermostat can be automated.

If the refrigerant level is too low, this could be the culprit. To refill the refrigerant, specialized tools are necessary. This is a repair for an expert AC repair handyman.

For the split-system air conditioning unit, a frozen evaporator coil is not uncommon. Since it sits outside, it is susceptible to the outdoor elements. The evaporator coil is not easily accessible, so you are encouraged to hire an HVAC technician for the task.

Faulty Fan Motor

If the fan motor is the problem, it cannot be repaired. Instead, it must be replaced. The same goes for the AC contactor and capacitor. These are swaps that you could do as a DIY project. However, safety comes first. You would need to turn off all the power. Then you could remove the old part, and replace it with the new one. This can be a task that’s best suited to a professional, so you may want to call in an expert AC repair handyman for the job.

When you're prepared with an HVAC plan from HomeServe, it can help you avoid pricey home repairs. Plus, it can help you avoid the associated stress and worry. Simply call the 24/7 repair hotline. A local and licensed HVAC technician will be dispatched to handle the job.

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