When your air conditioner breaks down, it can be a stressful experience. But with a little bit of knowledge, you can be prepared to handle the situation and save yourself time and money.
A few things you can do to help keep your air conditioning unit in good working condition are changing out filters, keeping the ductwork clean and checking the thermostat to make sure it is set to the right temperature. If you can do these things between maintenance visits, you will be able to catch issues before they get out of hand.
Change out the filter: Replace filters monthly to remove dirt and debris from the system. This will also help prevent your unit from clogging and causing problems.
Ensure your AC is in the correct settings: The thermostat may be set to cool instead of heat when it needs to. This is a common mistake that people make. Try decreasing the setting a few degrees and see if that helps.
Check your AC capacitor: Capacitors are the key to starting and running the compressor and other components of your air conditioner. If the capacitor is degraded or frayed, it will be unable to supply enough energy to turn on the compressor and other parts of the system.
Replacing a capacitor is an expensive process. It can cost between $150 and $400 to repair the part.
The type of system you have is another important factor in determining the cost of your repair. Newer systems are easier to access and have fewer parts, which means a technician can complete repairs faster and less expensively.
Consider your unit’s age: Older AC units can be more difficult to work on because they are often buried underground or have multiple layers of wiring that a professional must navigate.
You should expect to pay more for repairing an older system than for a brand-new one because it was likely not maintained properly in the past and is now deteriorating.
Besides the cost of the part, there are also labor costs involved with AC repairs. Technicians will charge a basic service fee for their travel time to diagnose the problem and then will add on a portion of the cost of the part.
It is a good idea to get several repair cost quotes before making a decision on whether or not to repair your air conditioner. This will allow you to compare prices and find a contractor that offers the best price while still providing a quality product.
If you are looking to purchase a new AC system, consider getting a home warranty. It will help protect you against unexpected expenses and allow you to avoid paying high interest rates on credit cards when buying a new system.
AC units are an essential part of a comfortable home, so it is a smart idea to get routine maintenance done to prevent breakdowns from occurring. This will ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently to keep you and your family comfortable throughout the summer.