Homeowners should always check to see if their unit has a manufacturer’s or home warranty. Having a policy in place can help offset AC Repair Van Nuys costs.
Some factors such as unit type and location can increase or decrease an AC repair cost. However, there are also a few things that all homeowners can do to lower the likelihood of needing an emergency repair.
1. Cooling Issues
It’s always great to be able to fix things around the house – whether it’s a leaky faucet or a latch that won’t close on a window. However, certain problems are best left to the professionals. And this is definitely true of AC repair.
One of the most common reasons homeowners need AC repair is that the system isn’t cooling properly. This can be caused by a few different things, including a thermostat that is accidentally set to “Fan” instead of cool or a dirty air filter that prevents the system from drawing in enough outside air to create adequate cooling.
Sometimes, the problem may simply be a dirty blower motor. This can occur when the blower fan gets clogged with debris, usually dust or animal fur, and it doesn’t move the air as efficiently. Often, this can be solved by cleaning or replacing the air filters.
Other times, the issue is more serious and requires professional AC repair. It might be a refrigerant leak, which is typically a sign that the air conditioner is getting old or was improperly maintained before being put into service. Leaking refrigerant can also lead to overheating and the unit shutting down completely.
If you’ve tried all of the above tips and your unit is still leaking refrigerant or not producing cold air, it’s time to call in the pros. These issues can only be fixed by a licensed technician with the right equipment. In addition, a leaky compressor could require a new compressor unit, which is typically more expensive than a simple repair. This is why it’s important to have a reliable AC maintenance company. They can help you save money with regular inspections and maintenance.
While some AC odors are normal and nothing to worry about, others are an indication of AC repair needed. If you notice any of the following smells coming from your air conditioner, turn off your system and call an HVAC expert immediately.
If you notice a burning or gunpowder-like smell, it means that your system is emitting dangerous fumes. These can be signs of a burned out circuit board, fried fan motor, or other electrical issues. If the odor is particularly strong, you should evacuate your home and call the fire department for immediate emergency assistance. If the odor is less intense but still noticeable, it could be caused by a clogged drain line or an overheated compressor.
A musty or moldy smell usually indicates that water has accumulated in the drain pan or drip lines. This can lead to mildew or fungus growth, which can contaminate your house’s air. To avoid these problems, regularly clean and replace your AC filter and ensure that the drain line is clear.
Vehicle exhaust odors can also indicate a problem with your air conditioning. A faulty engine can release toxic chemicals into the air, and breathing these fumes can cause serious health problems. To keep these from entering your home, install a high-efficiency part in your AC unit, and always run a kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan while showering to help the chemicals escape into the outdoors.
Open chemical containers stored near your AC can also leak into the system and be forced out into the ductwork. This can cause a strange and unpleasant odor, so it is best to keep these chemicals in a garage or shed away from the AC unit.
3. Loud Noises
Although it is normal for most machines to make some noise as they operate, when your AC starts making unusual sounds, this may be a sign of trouble. Whether it is a high-pitched whistling sound that sounds like screaming or a metal-on-metal rattling, any new or increased sounds coming from your air conditioning system may need a professional to investigate.
A screeching sound is often a sign that the fan motor needs to be lubricated. This is something that our technicians do as part of a regular tune-up service. It also helps to prevent future sounds from occurring.
Other common AC noises that need to be addressed include a contactor relay switch problem. This is a part that is controlled by the thermostat to send power to the compressor. If it malfunctions or wears down, your unit will turn on but it won’t start blowing cold air because it won’t get the power to do so.
Clicking and rattling noises are often the result of outdoor debris, such as leaves or branches that get caught inside the compressor. This can cause clogs, which are hard to fix without a professional. It is also possible for loose parts to rattle around in the compressor and hit other internal components. This can lead to further damage if left unaddressed.
One of the most important things to do if you hear banging sounds is to shut off your system and call us. This could be a sign that the compressor has been damaged by excessive pressure or another issue that needs to be looked at immediately. An experienced technician will be able to diagnose the problem and find the right solution.
4. Insufficient Cooling
One of the most frustrating issues with your AC is when it runs, but doesn’t cool your home. Several different things can cause this, ranging from an easy fix to a more serious problem that will require professional help.
A common issue is a capacitor failure. Capacitors work like batteries, storing electrons to provide that extra jolt of energy needed to start an AC unit’s motor. If the capacitor fails, the outdoor fan and compressor motor won’t turn on and your air conditioner will fail to cool. A clicking noise from the compressor may indicate a capacitor issue.
Another potential AC repair issue is a refrigerant leak. If your AC is running, but you aren’t getting cold air, a refrigerant leak may be the culprit. A trained AC technician can diagnose the issue and find any refrigerant leaks, and re-charge your system with the proper amount of refrigerant.
An overly dirty air filter can also restrict your airflow, making it harder for your AC to function. In this case, you can easily remedy the problem by replacing or cleaning your air filter, as directed.
Insufficient cooling could also be a sign that your system is sized incorrectly. An HVAC expert can recommend adding ductless AC units to address hot spots in your home, or replacing your current system with a newer, properly sized one. The best way to avoid these types of AC problems is to schedule regular maintenance with your qualified, local specialists. This will help to ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible, and prevent the need for AC repairs in the future. Contact us to schedule your service today!
5. Unusual Noises
The low whooshing sound your air conditioner makes while it works is a normal noise that shouldn’t be ignored. However, it is important to listen for any other sounds that may be coming from your system, as they could signal a serious problem. Some of these problems could be as minor as a simple AC tune-up, while others might require more expensive repair or even a unit replacement. The sooner you take care of these issues, the better for your air conditioning system and your budget.
Squealing and screeching noises, like nails on a chalkboard or a fork hitting porcelain, indicate that your motor bearings need replacing or that your compressor is going bad. These are both expensive repairs, but if they’re ignored, the problem can get worse until the system crashes. Taking care of these issues with routine maintenance will prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Banging noises can also be a big indicator of an issue. These sounds indicate that something has come loose in your air conditioning system, and the best thing to do is to shut off the system and contact an emergency AC repair professional.
A clanking sound is another common sign that the blower wheel on your air conditioner needs to be replaced. A misaligned blower wheel can cause the fan blades to rub against each other and damage components. Having this issue fixed can help your AC run more efficiently, which can lower your cooling bills. This service can usually be performed in your home by an AC repair technician. They’ll reposition the blower wheel to help it stay in place. This will also help keep it balanced, so you’re not using too much electrical power in each cycle.