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Should I Repair or Replace My A/C?

“Close the door! We’re not cooling down the whole neighborhood!” If you’ve ever heard this, you probably have a mom or dad. It’s been said for generations and for good reason. One of the most common air conditioning problems is a result of not using them properly. For example, leaving doors and windows open while the air conditioner is on (sorry mom!). But how do you know when you should repair or replace your A/C? Let’s review some common A/C problems.

Poor Maintenance

Routinely replacing or cleaning your air conditioning filter is the best way to ensure your system is running efficiently. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. A general rule of thumb is to replace your filter every one to two months.

Sensor Issues

Your sensor’s main function is to maintain the temperature set on your thermostat by activating the compressor. When the sensor isn’t working correctly, your home may feel too hot or too cold. You may notice erratic cycles where the system cycles on and off randomly. Make sure your sensor is the correct position. It should be near the coil but not touching it. You can adjust its position by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

Electric Control Failure

An air conditioner unit’s compressor is the heart of the entire system. Your system will not function without this key component. Electrical issues can result in a buildup of acids which can damage its wiring and cause a complete system burnout. Routine system maintenance by an air conditioning service technician is the best way to identify minor electrical problems.

Refrigerant Leaks

If your air conditioner no longer cools when you turn it on, you may have a refrigerant leak. Low refrigerant levels are the result of your air conditioner being undercharged at installation or a leak. Leaks inside your home can cause mild symptoms such as dizziness and shortness of breath, but these will generally show up only if you’re near the leak for an extended period. This is not a DIY repair and should be handled by a trained technician.

Bottom line: If your AC unit is more than ten years old, runs continuously, doesn’t cool your home properly, and causes your energy bills to be higher than normal, you should consider replacing it. Always consult with a trusted HVAC technician to determine whether your A/C unit can be repaired or if it should be replaced. Depending on the issue, the technician may be able to fix it and save you from having to install a new unit. Contact Valor Mechanical for preventative maintenance and to help select the right air conditioner for your home.