For most people, central air conditioning is a matter of comfort during hot, humid summer months. For others, especially the elderly, it can be a health issue. Some studies have linked high heat and humidity with increased risk of heart attacks*, for example. Regardless of why you enjoy them, air conditioners are great when they are running smoothly. But when the temperatures outside are rising and the temperature and humidity are rising inside it can cause stress and even become a potential safety concern. That’s why air conditioner services are an essential expenditure.
Keep in mind that not every air conditioning system breakdown will fall under the label of emergency service. Sometimes it’s an easy fix that can be handled with a system adjustment, cleaning or minor repair. It’s never a good day when your air conditioning system stops working and you need to call a service technician for HVAC unit repair services… but the sooner you call, the sooner you’ll be back to enjoying cool comfort.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A HOME AC UNIT BE SERVICED?
It’s recommended that your home AC unit be serviced by a properly trained technician at least once a year. An air conditioner’s coils, and filter require regular maintenance to ensure that it’s running at efficiently. Regularly scheduling preventative maintenance air conditioner services can also help extend the life of your air conditioning system.
REPAIR AIR CONDITIONERS
Central air conditioning units are often part of a complete cooling and heating system. If you have an all-electric system, your air conditioning might actually be supplied by a heat pump. Either way, there are a number of components involved and a number of ways the system can malfunction that may indicate it is time for an AC repair service.
WHEN IS IT TIME FOR AIR CONDITIONER REPAIR?
Some common HVAC system malfunctions that may require air conditioning repairs include:
- Running constantly / Not keeping up with cooling needs: Every AC system will work a little harder on hotter, more humid days. But if your system seems to run constantly with less than adequate cooling, you may have a problem lurking. An undersized unit will struggle when demand is high. Low refrigerant levels can cause longer and less effective cooling cycles. A dirty air filter, dirty inside evaporator coil or dirty outdoor condensing coil can reduce efficiency and effectiveness as well. Try cleaning or replacing the air filter or before contacting a professional for air conditioner repair service.
- Repeatedly starting then stopping (short cycling): If your system seems to start and then shut off over and over or won’t turn on all together, you may have a system that was oversized during HVAC installation. Low refrigerant levels or a refrigerant leak can also be hard on AC systems, causing them to run erratically. A clogged or excessively dirty air filter and a frozen or dirty evaporator coil can have the same effect. Cleaning or replacing the air filter may help, but cleaning an evaporator coil requires an air conditioner service call.
- Weak or no airflow: Two-stage or multi-stage cooling systems often run for longer periods of time on a lower fan setting. If your indoor temperature matches the temperature you set on the thermostat, your system is operating normally. However, if you have weak or no airflow, and the temperature continues to rise inside or hot air is coming out when the temperature is set to cool, you may have an issue. This could signal a dirty air filter or an issue with the indoor unit’s blower or fan motor. Try changing or replacing the air filter before contacting a professional.
- Not running at all: Before calling a Carrier dealer for in-home services or repair, check your thermostat to make sure the system hasn’t been turned off. Then, check your electrical panel to be sure a blown fuse isn’t the culprit or the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Also check your air filter for excessive dirt or clogging. If everything checks out, it’s time to call a professional. Most air conditioners include some built-in sensors that can shut down operation under abnormal conditions to help prevent damage to vital (and expensive!) components like the compressor, evaporator coil and condenser coil.
- Unusually high energy bills: During the heat of the summer your system will work harder and more often, so you may see higher electric bills. If your utility bill seems unusually high compared to the previous month’s (or previous year’s bill for the same month), it might be time to investigate. To ensure that your AC unit is energy efficient, check the air filter and outdoor condenser coil for excessive dirt and clogging. If everything checks out, or if you see buildup of ice on the outdoor coil or the copper refrigerant tubing, call an HVAC technician for professional air conditioner repair service.
FINDING AN AIR CONDITIONER REPAIR, SERVICE OR REPLACEMENT
When your air conditioner stops running, don’t always assume the worst. Before you jump to the “repair or replace” conversation in your head, do a little investigating on your own. You might be surprised that the issue is something you can resolve yourself. But don’t wait too long before calling a Carrier HVAC Dealer for an air conditioner repair service. Even a minor problem can lead to an emergency service if it’s not addressed – and replacing costs or installation costs can be easily avoided by regular maintenance.. More importantly, the longer you wait, the longer it will be before you can enjoy the cool comfort of your home. You may also want to check out our mini split ac repair and troubleshooting guide.
Finding an air conditioning repair service in the United States is relatively easy, given the wide availability of such services. You can start by searching online or using various directories and platforms to locate a reputable service provider in your area. Here’s a general process to find an air conditioning repair service:
- Online Search: Use search engines like Google to look for “air conditioning repair services” or “AC repair services” followed by the name of your city or area. This should provide you with a list of local service providers.
- Review Websites: Check review websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, or Better Business Bureau to read reviews and ratings of different AC repair companies. This can help you identify reputable and reliable options.
- Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have had their AC systems serviced or repaired. Personal recommendations can be valuable.
- Check Company Websites: Visit the websites of potential service providers to learn more about their services, expertise, and customer reviews. Look for details on the types of AC systems they specialize in, such as central air conditioning, ductless systems, or window units.
- Licensing and Certification: Ensure that the repair service is properly licensed and certified. AC repair technicians should be licensed, bonded, and insured. You can verify this information on their websites or by contacting them directly.
- Request Quotes: Contact multiple AC repair companies and request cost estimates for the repair or service you need. Be sure to provide details about your AC system and the issue you’re facing. This will help you compare prices and services.
- Ask Questions: When speaking with potential service providers, ask questions about their experience, warranties on parts and labor, response times, and any preventive maintenance plans they offer.
- Check for Emergency Services: If you have an urgent issue with your air conditioning system, inquire about their emergency services. Many companies offer 24/7 emergency repair services.
- Contract and Warranty: Before hiring a service provider, review the contract carefully. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, as well as the warranty provided for the repair work.
- Schedule Service: Once you’ve chosen a suitable air conditioning repair service, schedule an appointment for them to inspect and repair your AC system.
Remember that regular maintenance of your air conditioning system can help prevent major breakdowns and extend its lifespan. Consider signing up for maintenance plans if the repair service offers them. Additionally, keep their contact information handy in case of emergencies or future maintenance needs.
The price you can expect to pay for air conditioning repair services in America can vary widely based on several factors, including the type of repair needed, the region you’re in, the service provider, and the specific brand and model of your air conditioning system. Here are some general cost considerations:
- Type of Repair:
- Minor Repairs (e.g., thermostat replacement, capacitor replacement, filter replacement): These repairs can cost between $50 to $400, depending on the specific issue.
- Major Repairs (e.g., compressor replacement, refrigerant leak repair, coil replacement): These repairs can range from $500 to $2,000 or more.
- Labor Costs:
- Labor costs for AC repair typically range from $70 to $150 per hour. The more complex the repair, the more labor hours are required.
- Parts and Materials:
- The cost of parts and materials can vary depending on the components that need replacement. Common AC parts, such as capacitors, fans, and motors, have varying price ranges.
- Service Fees:
- Some companies charge a diagnostic or service fee for sending a technician to assess the problem. This fee can range from $50 to $150.
- Emergency Services:
- If you require emergency AC repair outside of regular business hours, you may incur additional fees, often at a higher rate.
- Geographic Location:
- The cost of AC repair services can differ significantly depending on the region or city you are in. Larger cities and areas with a higher cost of living typically have higher service costs.
- Brand and Model:
- Repairs on high-end or specialized air conditioning systems may be more expensive due to the cost of replacement parts.
- If your AC system is still under warranty, some or all of the repair costs may be covered, depending on the terms of the warranty.
- Preventive Maintenance Plans:
- Some HVAC companies offer preventive maintenance plans that include regular inspections and maintenance. The cost of these plans can range from $150 to $500 or more annually.
It’s important to obtain quotes from multiple AC repair companies in your area to get a clear understanding of the cost for your specific repair needs. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the estimate, including labor, parts, and any additional fees. Be wary of unusually low-cost estimates, as they may indicate subpar service or a lack of experience.
Keep in mind that regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the lifespan of your air conditioning system and prevent more costly breakdowns in the future.