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Keep Your Cool When Dealing with Air Condition Repairs

By: Mike Thomas

The temperatures are rising and the air conditioner isn't working properly. A professional service to make air condition repairs will be expensive, and you're wrestling with having your family suffer through the heat wave or putting your home maintenance budget over the planned limit. Before you make a final decision, try to identify the problem. It's possible that you will be able to make the needed repairs yourself.

There are two components to the central air conditioner system. The condenser is the unit that is usually set on a concrete slab outside of the house. The evaporator coil can be found above the furnace at the main duct junction.

The condenser and the evaporator are both sealed, so it's best to call in a professional if the problem lies in either of these units. It's a good idea to schedule an annual routine cleaning and adjustment before the weather turns warm. This will allow the unit to work at top efficiency, and regular maintenance can help you avoid expensive air condition repairs.

The same duct work, motor, and blower are used to distribute both hot and cool air throughout the home. If the air conditioner is working but not cooling the house, it's probably a problem in the distribution system, and it should be balanced.

Troubleshooting the Condenser

There are several reasons that a condenser won't run. If you can identify the cause, you may be able to fix it yourself.

No power

  • A fuse may be blown or a circuit breaker may have tripped.
  • Check breakers at the main entrance panel
  • Check breakers at the separate entrance panels to the condenser
  • Restore the circuit
  • Attempt to start the unit again

Temperature Setting

If the thermostat is set too high, the condenser may not start. Lower the thermostat.

If the condenser still won't run, the problem could be a faulty motor or compressor. In this case, a professional should be called in to do the air condition repair.

Setting the thermostat too high can also cause inadequate cooling. The unit may be too small to handle the demand put on it. In this case, simply lower the thermostat until the unit evenly cools the area.

Debris, tall grass, and weeds can block the condenser unit so that the home doesn't cool. The lack of air can even cause the unit to kick off and on repeatedly. Check to make sure that there is a good air flow around the outside component.

If the steps you've taken haven't shown results, it's time to call professional to make the needed air condition repairs. You will be confident that your troubleshooting will have eliminated the expensive and humbling experience of paying a high fee for a simple fix.

  

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†Average repair and replacement costs as reported in a nationwide survey: A Study of Homeowners Appliance and Home System Service Experiences Decision Analyst (2011) and reprinted with their written permission.

Home protection plans are subject to exclusions and limitations including repairs or replacements of covered home system components and appliances. See contract for details.