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How to Tell If Your Air Conditioner Needs Repair or Replacement

Getting the most out of your home air conditioning system means ensuring regular maintenance. If you neglect your AC system, it will eventually break down and require a repair or replacement. A newer, more energy efficient cooling system can save you money in the long run and help you avoid future breakdowns.

The age of your current unit may also factor into the decision to repair or replace it. But a well-maintained system that’s been properly sized for your home can last decades.

If you’re not sure how to proceed, a licensed technician Air Conditioner Repair can advise and help you decide what the best solution is for your home. They will inspect and service the system to restore it to proper working condition.

Unusually high electric bills: Your system will have to work harder in the summer to keep you cool, and that can lead to higher than normal utility bills. This could also indicate low refrigerant levels.

Your AC system uses a liquid called Freon (also known as R-410A) to cool your home. Low refrigerant levels can be caused by damaged or leaking lines, which need to be repaired or replaced by a professional.

The compressor and evaporator coils can get dirty with excessive dirt or dust, which affects performance. This problem usually requires professional cleaning or a coil flush.

If your outdoor condenser is constantly turning on and off, it may be a sign that the fan motor is worn out or has stopped operating altogether. This can be expensive to fix, so check the fan belt and motor, and consider calling an HVAC contractor to replace them.

Experiencing frequent electrical issues: The contactor relay and start/run capacitor are the most common AC parts to fail, and they’re relatively inexpensive to replace. However, if you’re experiencing other electrical problems with your unit such as blown fuses, a faulty thermostat, or tripped circuit breakers, it’s time to call an HVAC technician.

Inconsistent cooling: Your air conditioner’s compressor and evaporator coils can become dirty with dust or algae buildup, which decreases efficiency and effectiveness. If you suspect this is the case, clean the outside condenser coil with a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush or shop vac.

Airflow obstructions: Airflow restrictions are common culprits for inconsistent cooling. Check the indoor and outdoor unit filters, as well as the evaporator and condensate drain lines to make sure they’re clear of obstructions.

A licensed technician will test the system and determine what the cause of the issue is, then recommend a repair or replacement. They’ll also give you advice on how to avoid future problems and get the most out of your unit in the years to come. They’ll recommend annual routine maintenance, such as replacing the air filter and performing a tune-up. Depending on the type of repair needed, you may want to purchase a warranty to protect against costly repairs in the future. It’s important to know which parts are covered by your home warranty, as well as the terms and conditions of any HVAC service contracts you have.