Repair or Replace: What to Do When Your AC Unit Stops Working
If your air conditioner suddenly stops working, especially during a sweltering Texas summer, it can cause a lot of stress. You may be wondering, “How will I figure out what’s wrong?” or, “Is it fixable?” You may even ask yourself, “If it’s completely broken, can I even afford to replace it?” Don’t panic — air conditioners break all the time, and in most cases, they’re fixable. Even if your AC isn’t fixable, the right HVAC company will help you with financing options. Keep reading to find out whether you need to repair or replace your air conditioner, as well as tips for selecting a new AC system. At Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling & Heating, we know how uncomfortable it is to be without air conditioning. That’s why we provide the best AC service Grand Prairie, TX, has to offer. If you need emergency services, call 469-518-2809 today.
Why Isn’t Your AC Working?A big part of air conditioning repair is diagnostics. In the same way that your car might pull to the side when it needs an alignment or might shift hard when its transmission is going, air conditioners will also let you know when something’s wrong. So before jumping to any conclusions, investigate the problem. Although you can call a Grand Prairie HVAC technician to do this for you, there’s a lot you figure out on your own. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will the air conditioner turn on?
- Is the air conditioner blowing air at all? If so, is it cool or warm?
- Is the air conditioner leaking?
- Does the AC fan appear to be working?
- Is the AC making any strange noises?
Issues That Need AC RepairThe air conditioning experts at Dial One see a lot of air conditioners in various states and know what issues can and can’t be repaired. These are some of the most common repairable AC issues:
- Dirty air filter. When your air filter is old or excessively dirty, your AC system has to work harder to circulate air. Replace your air filter and see if the problem persists.
- Low or leaking refrigerant. Without sufficient levels of refrigerant, your AC isn’t going to blow cool air. A leak in the refrigerant line can cause your AC to freeze up and stop working. A technician can either refill the refrigerant or repair the leak.
- Dead capacitor. The capacitor is what starts the AC, so if your AC isn’t turning on, this could be your issue. Luckily, capacitors can be recharged or replaced.
- Blocked condensate line. If the condensate drain that collects runoff liquid from your AC becomes clogged, your AC will turn off so it doesn’t short circuit. Once unclogged, your AC should start functioning normally again.
- Blown thermostat fuse. If this fuse blows, your thermostat can’t communicate with your AC. The fuse just needs to be replaced.
- Other electrical issues. A power surge, short circuit or other unforeseen damages can cause air conditioners to quit working abruptly. You’ll need an electrical technician to repair these issues safely.
Signs You Need to Replace Your ACAlthough replacing your AC can be expensive, it’s more expensive to make repair after repair, only to end up replacing your system anyway. You won’t know for sure whether your AC needs replaced until you speak with an air conditioning specialist, but the following signs are pretty good indicators that it’s on its last legs:
- Your AC uses R-22 refrigerant. Some old air conditioners use R-22 refrigerant. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently banned the production of R-22 because its emissions contribute to ozone depletion. Although the EPA still permits older ACs to use R-22, it’s more expensive than other refrigerants, and it won’t always be available.
- Your AC is 15 years or older. Air conditioners don’t last forever, especially if they haven’t been properly maintained. Chances are good that if your AC is this old, it’s wasting significant energy and should be replaced.
- Your AC requires frequent repairs. If you’re spending money every few months on AC repairs, you’re wasting money that could have gone toward a new system. Frequent repairs also indicate a larger, systemic issue.
Questions to Ask Before Selecting a New AC SystemSelecting a new air conditioner is exciting, especially if you’ve been without cool air for a while. However, it’s also a big decision that requires a lot of thought, not only about your current needs, but about your future needs as well. Before selecting a new AC system, answer these questions:
- How long do I plan to live in this home?
- Can I afford this AC / Is it a good investment?
- How energy efficient is this AC?
- How is this AC rated online?
- Is this AC the best choice for Texas’ climate?
- Will this AC system work with a smart thermostat?