9 Things You Should Know About Air Conditioner Repair

Before we discuss air conditioner repair, let’s review the air conditioner’s history and introduce some terminology that should prove useful. Essentially, an air conditioner uses energy to transfer heat from your home’s interior to the relatively warmer outside environment. Prior to the invention of air conditioning, homes were cooled with large blocks of ice. When these cooling machines gained popularity, their capacity was measured in terms of the amount of ice melted per day. This resulted in the term “ton,” which is still commonly used in air conditioning terminology. A ton is equivalent to 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) of cooling per hour. A window air conditioner typically weighs less than one ton, while a large central air conditioner weighs five tons. Air conditioners are sized to a home’s ‘load’ and contain a specific amount of refrigerant (charge). Additionally, there is a certain amount of airflow across the coils. All of these components work in harmony to provide you with a cool, dehumidified home.

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1. Fire Hazards

Air conditioner maintenance poses a fire hazard
It is essential to consider the repercussions of ignoring a required air conditioner repair. According to the National Fire Protection Association, air conditioners, fans, and related equipment were responsible for 7,400 home structure fires in 2010. In that year, air conditioner fires caused 29 civilian deaths, 249 civilian injuries, and $207 million in direct property damage. These fires are caused by mechanical or electrical failures without specific failure mode information. One-third of all fires were caused by the ignition of wire or cable insulation. June, July, and August are the peak months for these accidents, so early Spring is the best time to invest in air conditioner repair or replacement. The NFPA provided the following suggestions for preventing air conditioner accidents:

Utilization of Air Conditioning

Choose and install cooling equipment with safety and efficiency in mind.
Utilize electrically powered equipment safely, per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Regularly inspect and maintain electric equipment for safety.
Ensure that your equipment bears a label indicating that it has been approved by a recognized testing laboratory.

2. Health Issues

In addition to fires, health problems are a factor in air conditioner repair. The Huffington Post published an article on how to prevent your air conditioner from negatively impacting your health with a few simple steps. Outdated or poorly maintained air conditioning units correlate with poor health conditions and the spread of certain diseases.
If you observe mold growth or dust accumulation, you should have your air ducts cleaned. During the summer, when the indoor portion of an air conditioning unit produces condensation (due to its constant operation), this is typically the optimal time for mold growth. If left dormant during the winter, mold can spread to the point where it impairs your ability to breathe. If you detect an odor resembling dirty socks in your home, the situation has reached that point. Dust is also attracted to blower wheels and motors, so keep an eye out for this.
If you have recently renovated your home (especially to remove asbestos or lead-based paint), it is essential that you monitor the condition of your air conditioner. Debris can become lodged in your ductwork; therefore, perform routine maintenance, such as replacing the filter, to ensure maximum airflow. A dirty air filter allows allergens, pesticides, and other irritants from the outside to enter the home. Ensure that window air conditioners are properly sealed to prevent warm air from entering the home. A professional HVAC technician must perform annual maintenance checks on your air conditioner to ensure the safety of your home.

air conditioner repair leaky ducts
If you notice that your air conditioner is not operating at full capacity, duct leakage may be to blame. It can consume up to 40 percent of an air conditioner’s energy, resulting in high cooling costs. Exterior ducts should be adequately insulated with mastic, a glue-like substance that can be painted on the ducts. By repairing the leaks, you could gain an additional half-ton of air conditioner capacity.

4. Wash the Coil

These thin metal pieces cannot be cleaned by hand, but there is a cleaning spray available for purchase. You must ensure that the coils do not become clogged with dust, as they aid in condensation production for cooling.

5. Acquiring a Brand-New Unit

If air conditioner repair hasn’t worked and you’re purchasing a new air conditioner, you should consider your home’s climate. If you live in a hot, dry climate, you should examine the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) to determine how well the system performs in your environment. You may even require a dehumidifying system. Higher airflow is preferable to lower airflow for the indoor evaporator coil, so drier climates must pay close attention to this component. In humid regions, increased airflow is not always advantageous. Increased airflow reduces dehumidification, so your home will remain as humid as the outdoors. However, insufficient airflow may cause the evaporator coil to freeze, reducing performance and possibly causing damage to the compressor. It is recommended that you purchase equipment with a SEER rating of 13.

6. Increased Productivity

air conditioning repair roofing schematic
You can reduce the pressure on your air conditioner by reducing the loads that it must deal with that are generated internally. In addition to making adjustments to your home, you can help your air conditioning system. First, you can increase the home’s insulation. The shading of the windows. When installing new roofing, choose ‘cool’ roofing, which can save a half ton of cooling and energy. Utilize local exhaust fans to remove heat and humidity from kitchens and bathrooms, and invest in Energy Star-certified appliances to prevent energy waste. Closing interior doors can cause central air conditioning systems to malfunction, reducing airflow throughout the home. Keeping doors slightly ajar will assist in preventing this.

7. Ventilation

One of the primary functions of an air conditioner is ventilation. Ventilation ensures that contaminants generated within the home are eliminated. The level of ventilation should be such that the air inside the home is replaced every four hours. Older homes with leakier walls and ducts require less ventilation on average. Since new homes lack these air leaks, they require mechanical ventilation to reach the same standard.

8. Condensers

air conditioner repair condenser
Condensers (the items located outside your home) should have a clearance of one foot on all sides. That means no invasive shrubs that could impede air intake. Additionally, you should install condensers or window units on the east or north side of the home to shield it from direct sunlight. It has been determined that direct sunlight on your condenser can reduce air conditioner efficiency by up to 10 percent. If you must place your condenser on the south or west side, you should consider purchasing a sunshade.

9. Timers

Installing a timer is an excellent way to avoid wasting energy by cooling an empty home. A central unit requires only a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures when you’re away (e.g., warmer when you’re away and cooler when you’re home). If you have a newer window air conditioner, you probably already have a built-in timer and a programmable thermostat. If not, you can purchase one at a home improvement store for $10 to $20. Unless you are going on vacation, do not turn off the system completely. When you haven’t used your air compressor for a while, it requires a lot of energy to cool your home.  gree split ac