Even though I’m in the business, I understand the desire to want to fix things yourself. The last thing you want to do is call out an AC technician for something that takes them five minutes to do. However, the amount of time it takes for a professional to do something can end up costing you a lot more in time and parts.
Knowing what you can do and what needs to be handled by a trained technician can help you save your sanity and your Saturday. Here’s when you know it’s time to call a professional in air conditioning repair:
You’ve Checked the Shut-off Switch
A lot of newer AC units have a safety feature that when the condensate pan or pipe fills up, it shuts the unit off. If your unit seemed to be cooling fine and then suddenly shuts off, check your pan/pipe. If it’s collecting water, dump it and see if the unit goes back on immediately. If it doesn’t, call someone.
Your Energy Bills Are Skyrocketing
Assuming temps have remained pretty constant, if your electric bill goes up a lot suddenly, your system may not be running very effectively. You could also have problems in your ducts. This is an early warning sign but the longer you put off getting it checked out, the more you’ll pay each month to the electric company. Efficiency problems don’t go away on their own and ducts don’t repair themselves.
The Unit Comes on and Off Frequently
On and off cycling can be something as small as a problem with your thermostat. Check that first and make sure no one has changed the temperature or settings on you. If those are the same, have someone come out and take a look.
You Smell Something Burning
If you smell something burning near your AC, even without smoke, call an AC technician right away. Your system could be overheating. The longer you run it this way the more likely it is to sustain extensive damage.
Your AC Doesn’t Sound Right
Air conditioners make a consistent humming sound when they’re running properly. If you hear anything other than that, look for the cause such as a branch or caught leaves. If you don’t see something obvious, call for assistance. If something is causing the unit to drag, it’s putting excess work on it, and it could cause it to burn out.
Things You Can Do on Your Own
While we are always happy to come out and service your AC unit, there are some things you can do that will help extend the life of your air conditioner.
- Keep your unit clear of debris and foliage. Never use it as a table to stack something on top of it, even if only temporarily. It needs to breathe.
- An older unit may make your home cooler quicker if you provide the unit with some shade. But don’t block the unit by throwing a tarp over it.
- Clean or replace your AC filter according to manufacturer’s suggestions.
We know saving money is important but failing to recognize a big problem with your AC could cost you more in the long run. Know what to look for. When in doubt, give us a call at 813-COLD-AIR (265-3247). We can help you with any repairs you need.