Desert Air: Air Conditioning – Installation, Service and Inspect

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5 repairs that require an air conditioning professional
Many homeowners depend on their air conditioners to survive the summer heat and humidity. However, problems with your central A/C can make relaxing on a 90-degree day a complete nightmare. When you’re in a heat wave, the last thing you want to do is waste time trying to fix a problem that you may not be qualified to handle.

The following repairs are best left to an HVAC specialist if…
The unit isn’t cooling
If your air conditioning unit is not cooling, it may mean that a part, such as the condenser or the evaporator, needs cleaning. Check to see if any weeds are blocking the condenser. Then, try lowering the temperature a few degrees. If none of these solutions work, it may indicate issues with your compressor, or it may signify that you’re low on refrigerant. Both of these problems require the assistance of a licensed professional.

The compressor isn’t running
If your compressor is faulty, you should contact a professional. The installation of a new compressor is not a simple task, and trying to fix the problem yourself may lead to more issues.

Refrigerant leaks
You should leave anything dealing with refrigerant to the pros. Whether it’s leaking or it’s just low, you should leave refilling to a person certified and trained to work with refrigerant.

Motor problems
Just like an automobile, a central air conditioning unit has a motor. And just like an automobile engine, they’re complicated to work with, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Since any number of problems may be plaguing the motor, leave the diagnosis and repair to someone skilled in HVAC repair. Oftentimes, you can replace one part rather than replace the entire motor and save yourself money in the long run.

The problem is unknown
Never try fixing the A/C if you don’t know what’s wrong with it. You can do way more damage than the initial problem. Additionally, you’ll waste time and money on new parts. Make sure you clean the unit, filters and other components and remove anything blocking the unit. These simple fixes help to increase the efficiency of the device and may correct certain issues like the unit not cooling properly.

(Source: Angie’s List. Five repairs that require an air conditioning professional)

When should you replace your air conditioner?
There are many reasons why you might need to replace your air conditioner. Maybe your unit isn’t cooling properly, or maybe it’s old and not worth the price of repair. However, not all problems require replacement, and what you thought was a major problem could be the result of a clogged air filter or broken fan.

The information below should help you decide if it’s time to replace your A/C unit…
Your A/C unit is more than 10 years old
The average lifespan of an A/C system can range between 15 to 20 years. If your unit is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient unit.

Your A/C needs frequent repairs
Consider the condition of your current unit. What is the quality of your equipment? How often does your equipment require maintenance? If you’re constantly replacing parts or are having the same repair issues, then you should consider replacement.

You want to increase your energy savings
As of January 26, 2006, a new standard went into effect that requires residential air conditioners to have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the product. Efficient A/C systems will lower your utility bills and reduce your environmental impact.

Bonus Tips
Consider replacing your heating system at the same time you replace your A/C unit, especially if your furnace is more than 15 years old because connecting an older furnace to an energy-efficient A/C may prevent it from performing at its rated efficiency.

The installation and proper sizing of a new A/C is the key element in deciding efficiency. Too large of a unit will not remove humidity from your home. A unit that’s too small will not be able to provide a comfortable temperature on extremely hot days.

(Source: Angie’s List. When should you replace your air conditioner?)

4 things to consider for air conditioner replacement
If your air conditioning is on its last leg and you’re in the market for a new unit, check out these five things to remember when investing in the installation of new air conditioning equipment.

Get several estimates
You should get at least three estimates for a new air conditioner before making your choice. Depending on the company, the equipment they offer and their labor rates, you could end up spending considerably more or less by choosing one company rather than another. Beyond just the cost, you’ll also want to make sure the company can do the work correctly. Ask for references from previous customers, check the company’s warranty or guarantees, and ask the company about their experience with your specific installation.

Make sure the company and technician are licensed and insured
Although replacing an air-conditioning unit can be expensive, it can be significantly more costly to you if the company or individual doesn’t carry the proper license or insurance. Ask for the company or technician’s license number and make the effort to verify the license is current. Insurance is an important protection should an accident occur in your home, so make sure to check it before allowing any work to take place.

Verify the company’s bond and work guarantees
A bond can help protect your pocketbook if the work is not done correctly. Verify the company’s bond policy is valid and is sufficient to cover the amount of work being performed at your home. Get specific answers to the company’s warranty or guarantees on the installation. What if the air conditioner malfunctions after the installation? How many times will they send someone to fix it before replacing? How long is the warranty good for? Does it cover labor and materials?

Ask how long the system will last
With the right amount of proactive maintenance and service, a new air conditioner can last six to 20 years. This depends on the type of unit you purchase, the manufacturer and its use. Be sure to ask about the AC unit’s average lifespan before getting it installed.

(Source: Angie’s List. 4 things to consider for air conditioner replacement)