Calgary Heating: Air Conditioning Issues that Make Our Phone Ring
Nothing is more frustrating than surprise repair bills, and the last thing that you want when the temperature is soaring is for your air conditioning system to break down. Even though all mechanical systems will be subject to require repairs occasionally, the truth of the matter is that many instances that require service can be prevented in the first place by having your system checked before the summer heat set in each year. The following money-traps represent that the top ten most common reasons for air conditioning service calls and how you can save big by avoiding them during spring maintenance of your unit.
Ironically, many service calls where an individual complains that their air conditioning is not working takes just a flick of a switch to resolve – a tripped breaker. Be sure to reset your breaker before calling for service, and hopefully that will take care of the problem. If the breaker repeatedly kicks, however, you will want to find out what is causing it to trip. Sometimes it is a loose wire, a bad capacitor, or a bad breaker – and a repair person will need to make that determination.
Filter Needs Replacement
Many air conditioning units require a one-inch disposable filter that should be replaced once each month. Because the filter is “out of sight and out of mind”, it is very easy to forget this monthly maintenance task. Nonetheless, millions of service calls each year are due to restricted air flow that results from a dirty filter. Changing your filter once each month also improves the quality of your indoor air, makes your home feel more comfortable, and staves off frozen indoor coils that can end up costing you hundreds of dollars.
Leaks in Refrigerant
Your air conditioning system is what is known as a “sealed” system, and it should not leak refrigerant. A refrigerant leak can cause your air conditioner to operate less efficiently and your energy bills to soar. Leaks also cause the coils in the unit to freeze, your air conditioner to not cool properly, and the expensive compressor on the unit to become damaged. Refrigerants are greenhouse gases. Many times the problem is a simple one: a weakened connection between the refrigerant tubing and a fitting, or a bad Schrader valve.
Switch Turned Off
Many air conditioning repair men will scratch their heads and pat their wallets when called out to a home where the air conditioning unit won’t come on – only to find out that a safety or convenience switch has been inadvertently turned off. This switch is located at the indoor unit and looks much like a light switch. If your unit has this switch, be sure to check that it is flipped on before calling out the repair guy.
Problems with the Thermostat
Another frequent service call for air conditioning units that professionals see is simple thermostat problems. Oftentimes the switch that takes the air from heating to cooling may be in the incorrect position or may become broken, and when this happens, the air conditioner simply will not start up. The best thermostats are those that are digital, so if you must have one replaced, go for a high quality digital model.
Clogged Drain Lines
Air conditioners work by pulling moisture out of the air outside and lowering the temperature; this moisture is drained from the unit through your plumbing system. But like with any type of moisture, algae can grow in the drain lines. Clearing the drain during spring maintenance is essential.
The electromechanical switch in your unit known as a contactor may become damaged. This will be evident if you experience continuous running of your unit, despite the thermostat setting. The common pesky ant that ruins your outdoor picnics may be to blame; he is attracted to electricity and often becomes smashed between two contactors, keeping them from closing properly. Spring maintenance checks should include a check of your contactors for impending trouble.
Condenser Coil is Dirty
The condenser coil is also vital to the proper performance of your air conditioner. A dirt condenser coil can make the unit operate inefficiently and use more electricity while cooling at a less than optimal level. A spring maintenance schedule for your air conditioning unit should include a washing, cleaning, and combining of this coil.
The job of your unit’s ducts is to deliver air to different areas of your home. If these ducts have a space leak, you’re actually paying to cool the outdoors. A check for leaking ducts should be performed once each spring, and any time that the air conditioner is mysteriously under-performing its capacity.
Simple maintenance to your air conditioning unit can go a long way towards keeping you cool and comfortable while keeping your energy bills more affordable.
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