Many homeowners wonder why their air conditioning repair costs are so high. Fortunately, you can save some money by performing some routine maintenance tasks yourself.
Before calling in an AC technician, check your circuit breaker to ensure it hasn’t been tripped. Also, make sure your unit is easy to access. Hard-to-reach units take more time to repair and may incur additional fees for the technician.
Dirty Evaporator Coils
A dirty evaporator coil can cause your air conditioner to work harder in order to cool your home, and it can also lead to higher energy bills. The coil is the part of your AC that absorbs heat from the air in your home and it is critical for proper cooling and humidity control. The evaporator coil should be cleaned on a regular basis to keep it from getting too dirty.
Dirty evaporator coils reduce airflow through the coil, which can result in it becoming clogged with debris and preventing heat from being absorbed. This can eventually cause the air conditioner to overheat, leading to expensive repair costs.
The evaporator coil can be difficult to reach, and it is important to use caution when trying to clean it. If you are not familiar with the process, it is best to hire a professional AC technician to clean your coil. The evaporator coil is usually located inside the indoor plenum box, and it can be accessed by removing the foil-wrapped insulation from the front of the plenum box. Once the evaporator coil is exposed, it can be cleaned with a nylon brush and foam coil cleaner.
If the evaporator coil becomes too dirty, it can prevent heat from being absorbed by the refrigerant and will freeze during operation. This can damage the coil and cause it to stop working completely. If you notice frost or ice on the coil during operation, turn off your air conditioner and contact AIRTEAM immediately.
You can minimize the likelihood of your evaporator coil becoming too dirty by cleaning the area around it regularly and trimming foliage that might interfere with it. It is also a good idea to change your air filter on a regular basis.
Dirty Compressor Coils
A dirty compressor coil makes it harder for your air conditioning system to absorb and dump heat. When this happens, your AC needs to run longer and harder in order to maintain a temperature set-point. This strains your system components, increases the potential for damage and shortens the lifespan of the equipment.
Dirty evaporator and compressor coils also cause your AC to lose its energy efficiency rating. This can be a big deal because some homeowners and businesses receive tax breaks or incentives based on their home or business’s energy efficiency rating. A low energy efficiency rating can also hurt your ability to sell a property or qualify for financing.
The good news is that you can often take care of a dirty compressor coil on your own with a garden hose and noncaustic cleaner. Just double-check that the power to the outdoor unit is disabled at the electrical breaker before you start. Remove any protective panels or covers that cover the compressor and use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding them in place. Be sure to set the screws and panels aside in a safe place so you can reinstall them after your clean-up.
Begin by removing any large debris, like twigs or leaves, from the evaporator coils. Then, use your hose to gently spray the coils and wipe off any dirt or grime that’s easily removable. Be careful not to over-spray, which can damage the delicate fins on the coils. Then, apply a noncaustic coil cleaner and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Wash off the coils with your hose again, using the opposite direction of airflow to push the dirt out of the fins.
Low Coolant Levels
Coolant is a crucial part of your vehicle’s cooling system. It helps to keep your engine from overheating, which can damage certain components of the vehicle. A low coolant level is a sign that you may have a leak somewhere in the cooling system, which should be addressed by an automotive professional as soon as possible.
One of the most common signs of low coolant is seeing that your car’s temperature gauge is rising toward the ‘H’ symbol (or the red zone). When this happens, it usually means that your vehicle is overheating because the engine hasn’t been properly cooled by the engine coolant. This can be dangerous for you and other drivers on the road, so pull over in a safe place and check the engine coolant levels before driving again.
You may also notice that your heater isn’t working as well as it normally does, since the heater uses coolant to work. You can check your car’s coolant level by looking at the reservoir tank, which should have a cap with minimum and maximum marks on it.
If you have checked the coolant reservoir, but have found no sign of a leak and your car’s coolant level is still low, then it could be due to a faulty warning sensor or a blocked radiator. It is also possible that your coolant has been evaporating, which can happen over time.
If you find that your coolant is low and the coolant warning light is on, it’s best to let an auto technician take a look at your car’s cooling system. They can diagnose the problem and provide the appropriate repair service to prevent your engine from overheating and causing costly damage.
When you think about it, your thermostat is one of the most-touched surfaces in your home. That’s one reason it should be cleaned regularly. Dirty thermostats can raise your energy bills by up to 7 percent. A dirty sensor will also prevent your system from working properly.
The most common cause of a dirty thermostat is a dust build-up on the bimetal coil or in the thermostat’s case. This will cause the sensor to not read correctly and may even lead to a tripped circuit breaker. To fix this, remove the cover from your thermostat and clean the inside with a soft paintbrush or compressed air. You should also be sure to replace the batteries in your thermostat.
If you don’t have a lot of experience testing or working around electrical components, it’s a good idea to call an Air Conditioning Repair in Chicago IL to ensure your thermostat is properly wired. It’s also possible that the wires in your thermostat are corroded or loose. This can be hard to diagnose because it could mean that the thermostat is not receiving power at all.
Another possible problem with your thermostat is that it is not properly leveled. This can happen over time due to the settling of your foundation and shifting of the thermostat. This can cause the device to work harder than it should to keep up with your air conditioning needs and can also lead to a lower temperature reading on the display screen.
The best way to check the level of your thermostat is with a thermometer. Place the thermometer on the wall next to your thermostat and see if it is showing a different temperature than the thermostat is set at. This will help you to determine if the sensor or display is the culprit and will require professional service to repair.
Clogged Air Filter
With busy careers, bustling families, and engrossing hobbies, changing an air filter probably falls far down the to-do list of most homeowners. Nevertheless, this simple maintenance task can make a big difference in the comfort and efficiency of your Deltona, Lake Mary, or Sanford home.
Your forced-air system uses a heat exchange to warm or cool incoming air, which is then blown into rooms through metal or flexible ductwork. In order to maintain optimal temperature control, the blower fan must work double-time to circulate the warmed or cooled air. However, if the filters are clogged with dirt, this limits airflow and results in uneven heating or cooling in rooms throughout your home.
Dirty air filters can also cause your HVAC system to shut down. This happens because the blocked airflow triggers an automatic safety switch that stops all operations until the problem is resolved. However, this can be a very inconvenient experience and could result in an expensive repair bill, especially if the filter was only recently replaced.
Keeping your air filters clean can save you money by minimizing wear and tear on your system. According to the US Department of Energy, a dirty filter forces your system to work harder in order to deliver the same amount of heat or coolness. This strain increases your energy usage and, consequently, your monthly utility bills.
Aside from replacing the filter, you can clean a dirty air filter by rinsing it in running water or mild detergent solution. Rinse the filter and let it dry completely before placing it back in your HVAC system. It’s best to use a replacement filter specifically designed for your unit, and remember that the proper filter size is vital for maximum performance.