When your air conditioner isn’t working, it’s common to go straight to a repair technician without any consultation. Here at FixMyAC, we have a small charge for repair consultations, but we take the time to truly figure out where the problem with your system lies, and how to go about fixing it. AC Repair, and HVAC Repair, in general, can be pricey through a big company, but FixMyAC has put together some tools to help you figure out the cause of your problem yourself, to save some money down the line! And if you ever need help, please call us for our AC repair consultation.

How AC Units Work

This is a breakdown of how in general, split unit air conditioners work. 

When you turn your air conditioner on, the hot air of the house blows over the evaporator coil. This coil causes the refrigerant on the inside to evaporate, eventually causing that warm air to cool. The compressor pulls the refrigerant and the air to the condensing unit where it condenses the refrigerant back to a liquid. When the refrigerant is compressed back to a liquid, it releases the warm air outside where it doesn’t matter. Air conditioners don’t magically make air cold, but rather removes the heat in the air through the compression of refrigerant.

Central Air Conditioners vs. Window Units

Central AC is generally more energy efficient than window units. Windows units tend to use large amounts of electricity because they are sometimes made with cheap parts, and rarely see maintenance. 110 wall units are the least efficient when compared to the larger 220 units.

How To Repair Your AC in the Desert

Living in the desert can put some strain on our air conditioning systems. Dust storms, heat flashes, and monsoons can all be a troubling part of your cool air system. Here are some tips to help keep your air conditioner is in working order, even in hot weather!

Changing Your Air Filter Every 30 Days

This is especially key when the temperature is over 95 degrees daily. Having a dirty air filter decreases the amount of air being exposed to your evaporator coils. This forces your air conditioner to work harder, increasing your electric bill and potentially pushing your A/C too hard which could damage parts.

Low Air Conditioner Thermostat Batteries

Newer generation thermostats will have warnings when your battery is low. Some look like  “Low battery”, Low Batt., or simply a battery symbol. On some Air conditioners, if the thermostat has low batteries, the unit will stop working. The batteries are usually behind an electrical panel on the back of the thermostat, where you can usually get a firm grip on it and wiggle it back in forth in place and it should pop off. The batteries are usually two AA.

Then check the condensate, that’s where the water will build up for the evaporator coil, it sweats just like a cold glass of water. A lot of units have a sensor that monitors if that drain gets clogged, and the unit will stop working. It will blow warm air or not blow at all in that case.

Common Air Conditioner Problems

If you are having issues with your AC, first change your air filter, change your thermostat battery, and then check the condensation drain as described above. Furthermore, these are great ways to fix basic problems you may be having with your unit, but be sure to contact us for air conditioning service!

  1. If your AC blows warm air for an hour to two hours until it starts blowing cold air, this could be a sign that your condenser fan motor is overheating.

Seasonal Air Conditioner Maintenance

Especially in the desert, keeping a close eye on your cooling system during seasonal transitions is important. Luckily, during the winter, there is not much you can do to get it ready for non-use time, but the summer is a bit different. There are lots of precautionary steps you can take to ensure your heating and cooling systems are ready for the hot summer months. When we come out to provide AC repair services to our clients, we love seeing them be proactive for the coming seasonal changes.

Going Into The Summer Season (Prep For Heavy Use)

Cleaning Your Condenser Coil

If you have a hose that reaches the condenser (the outside unit, where the fan is) you will need to turn off power to it or pull the fuses in the disconnect box. Once power is off for several minutes, you can take a garden hose and rise the condenser coil from the top to the bottom until the water coming off it is no longer brown. The coil is kind of like the radiator in your car. When it gets dirty or dusty, air is restricted from passing over it to cool, requiring more power to cool the same volume of air.

Checking Your Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor can break or overheat because it is over-used or rusted. Check if the motor still has paint on it or if it is rusty.

When the condenser fan motor and the compressor are not working, the unit will blow warm air until the motors start again. When the motor starts again it is being overworked, but will blow cold air into the system. When the condenser fan motor overheats, it burns off the paint. When it burns off the paint, its susceptible to rust.

The fan has a sensor inside of it that can tell when it’s starting to overheat. As it reaches between 160 – 170 degrees, the sensor will trigger and the unit will turn off completely. The compressor relies on this fan for cooling, so it overheats and shuts off as well.

Into the Winter for no usage

Many modern air conditioning units have an anti-freezing system in the winter times. Many people will experience water dripping off their roof and think something is broken. This is often times because it was cold at night and the AC is removing the ice that built up. Most people will call out a technician and have this type of information given to them at an hourly rate.

Ac’s are fine, worry about carbon monoxide. Use ones that plug into the outlet so you don’t have to worry about batteries. Also, carbon monoxide is heavier than air, making smoke and carbon monoxide combination devices not usable.

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