If you live here in Gainesville, you should already know how essential air conditioning is to get through the summers here. With several months that see average high temperatures in the 80s and above, a lack of air conditioning can be problematic. However, air conditioners, like all other machines, do break down. Some of the problems they develop have simple fixes. Others don’t. Therefore, it’s a good idea to be familiar with some of the common repairs that air conditioners often require during their lifetimes. Here are the five most common AC repairs, according to our expert technicians.
1. A Capacitor Replacement
Air conditioners use quite a bit of electricity as they work. Their compressors and the fan inside their outdoor units are especially electricity hungry. When those parts of your AC system turn on, they may draw more voltage than your home’s electricity supply can provide. That’s why every AC system contains one or more capacitors in it. A capacitor’s job is to store electricity and release it when components like the compressor and fan turn on, so they may get up to speed without overtaxing your home’s wiring.
Capacitors are also one of the most common failure points of modern air conditioners. They go through quite a bit of punishment as they work and often blow out, rendering them useless. When this happens, your AC’s compressor and its outdoor fan may not start when the system asks them to. Fortunately, this is a simple problem to repair. The technician just has to cut the power to your AC, drain and disconnect the blown capacitor, replace it, and turn the system back on. Most of the time, they’ll get the job done in under an hour, and you’ll be back to staying cool.
2. Replacing a Failed Contactor
Capacitors aren’t the only parts of the average AC’s electrical system prone to failure. There’s another component that works in concert with the aforementioned capacitors that also might wear out over time. It’s a part called a contactor, and it’s a type of switch that’s responsible for turning various parts of your AC system on and off. When a contactor in your AC system fails, one or more of the system’s components may not turn on.
All it takes for the technician to replace a failed contactor is to open the access panel that covers it. Then, they’ll turn off the power to the AC system, drain its capacitors, and replace the contactor. It’s another repair that typically takes no more than an hour and shouldn’t leave you stranded without air conditioning for very long.
3. A Refrigerant Recharge
No matter what type of air conditioner your home has, it relies on refrigerant to function. The refrigerant’s job is to carry the heat from inside your home outdoors, where the outdoor unit removes it. In the process, the refrigerant gets cold and returns inside your home, where it helps produce cold air. Needless to say, if your AC doesn’t have enough refrigerant or if it runs out completely, it won’t be capable of cooling your home.
The good news is that, in most cases, adding more refrigerant to an AC system isn’t hard. The technician will begin by figuring out which refrigerant your system requires and how much pressure the system should have. Then they will determine if you have a leak somewhere in the system that caused the need to recharge the refrigerant. If there is a leak somewhere in the system, they will repair it before moving on to the next step. Then, they’ll measure the operating temperatures of your system to determine exactly how much more refrigerant your system needs.
4. Unclogging the Condensate Drain Line
Although you may not know it, your AC extracts humidity from the air inside your home as it works. It’s a side effect of the cooling process that also helps you to feel more comfortable. However, the extracted humidity turns back into water and can’t stay inside your indoor AC unit. That’s why every AC system has a condensate drain line. It’s typically a PVC pipe running from your indoor unit to somewhere outside your home. Sometimes, the drain line can clog, which will then cause the evaporator coil in your indoor unit to freeze up.
Fortunately, clearing up the clog and defrosting the evaporator coil is all it takes to rectify the situation in most cases. To do it, an HVAC technician might use a shop vac to dislodge whatever’s causing the clog. For more stubborn clogs, they may turn to a garden hose or a plumbing snake to get at the source of the problem and fix it. When that’s done, the technician will defrost the system’s evaporator coil, which should return it to normal operating condition.
5. Blower and Fan Replacements
The final common AC repair that the expert technicians here at Gee Heating & Air perform regularly are replacements of blowers and fans. These are the components that move air around inside your home and help to vent heat outside of your home. When they fail, your air conditioner cannot function.
The amount of time a repair takes, in this case, depends on which fan or blower fails. If the fan inside your AC’s outdoor unit fails, the repair isn’t a complicated one. Since the fan there sits at the top of the outdoor unit, it’s easy to reach, remove, and replace. All the technician must do is turn off the power to your HVAC system, remove a few screws, replace the fan, and reassemble everything. In some cases, they’ll take the opportunity to replace the fan’s capacitor if they believe it’s necessary. Altogether, it’s a repair that should take no more than two hours.
When the blower motor in your AC’s indoor unit fails, the repair will be a little more complex. That’s because the blower motor is a bit harder to reach and may be harder to disconnect, too. For that reason, it may take up to three hours to perform the repair and reassemble everything the right way.
Trust the HVAC Repair Experts
Now that you know what the most common AC repairs are, there’s one more thing you’ll want to consider. It’s whom you plan to trust to carry out these repairs if your home’s AC system ever requires them. We’re confident that you won’t find a more qualified choice than Gee Heating & Air. We’ve served the Gainesville area since 1969, repeatedly expanding over the years as our business has grown and thrived. We offer complete HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services, in addition to tune-up services and indoor air quality services. There’s no HVAC problem we haven’t seen and solved, and we’ve got the reputation to prove it!
So, if your Gainesville home’s AC has a problem, don’t delay. Call the experts here at Gee Heating & Air today, and we’ll get your AC back up and running in no time!