There’s nothing like a warm summer day by the poolside or at the barbeque relaxing and spending time with family. It’s always nice to enjoy some summer heat, and it’s even nicer to step inside a cool and comfortable home afterward. So, when you start feeling as hot indoors as you do outside, you’ll know right away that your air conditioning system is likely in trouble.
DIY A/C Repair for Homeowners in Southwest Florida
For homeowners in Southwest Florida, ignoring a faulty A/C unit simply isn’t in the cards. You need to know how to follow some useful DIY tips to be able to fix your system yourself until you can get some help from a team of experts. There’s good news, though: the DIY tips to fix your air conditioner that we’ve collected in this quick guide are all straight and simple to follow.
With more than 40 years of experience diagnosing and fixing A/C issues on the spot, the Integrity Home Solutions team knows which A/C problems homeowners most commonly encounter as well as the best ways to handle them yourself. To that end, we’ve put together a short list of the 12 best A/C repair tips homeowners in Southwest Florida should follow to lower their indoor temperatures as well as their energy bills.
Common Issues with Air Conditioners and How to Solve Them
Homeowners at some point or another are bound to run into A/C issues of all different kinds. The best A/C repair companies understand how to tackle as wide a range of air conditioning problems as possible; as Southwest Florida’s go-to source for A/C repairs and installations, the Integrity Home Solutions team is here to break down the 12 most common problems you’ll run into you’re A/C system and the best methods you can follow to fix them.
Issues with your air conditioner can stem from your filters and the size of your A/C unit to the way your system was installed or previously repaired. Instead of becoming an A/C repair expert overnight, it makes more sense for you to focus on practical solutions you can quickly apply yourself to common A/C problems that you need to solve.
Let’s break down the top 12 A/C issues that you’re likely to encounter as well as the DIY tips you can follow to solve them until you get professional assistance from A/C repair experts:
1. Adjust Your Thermostat Settings
Central A/C units can start to blast hot air if your thermostat is set to the wrong setting. Check your thermostat to see whether you have it set to the ‘heat’ or ‘cool’ setting. Switch it to the ‘cool’ setting to quickly see whether your problem is solved.
Thermostats sometimes display an incorrect temperature because their reading is off. Thermostats can display a reading that’s wrong if they get too hot for too long. Remove your thermostat from any direct sunlight if you notice that its reading is off to ensure it always displays the correct indoor temperature.
2. Unclog Your A/C Unit
Your outdoor compressor unit needs to circulate air without restriction to function properly. Your central air conditioning also needs adequate space between its outdoor compressor and any structures nearby. So, always keep the top of your outdoor air conditioner at least five feet away from any trees and their branches that are close to your unit.
Clogged A/C units can have trouble consistently blowing out cool air because of issues with their signaling. Dirty condenser and evaporator units can cause your air conditioning to repeatedly switch on and off, so clear your units of any blockages or debris to promote constant and unobstructed airflow.
3. Change Your Air Filter
Air filters that get too dirty can start to restrict the flow of air that passes through them. Even top-of-the-line A/C systems will struggle to circulate air if their air filters become clogged. Switching out your dirty air filter is one of the best A/C repair tips to follow because it hugely improves your A/C efficiency without requiring a lot of effort on your part.
Dirty air filters reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning and negatively impact how well your systems can cool the inside of your home. Always clean the filters in your central A/C units and switch out the filters in your central unit at least every 3 to 6 months. If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing airflow issues, place your hand over the air your unit is blowing out. Warm air typically points to a dirty and clogged air filter that you need to change ASAP.
4. Prevent Refrigerant Leaks
An air conditioner with appropriate refrigerant pressure can move freon freely through its refrigerant lines to keep your home feeling comfortable. When your refrigerant levels start to run low, though, that pressure can begin to drop while your indoor temperatures start to rise.
Leaking freon can cause your refrigerant lines to lose pressure and eventually trigger their low-pressure safety setting. Refrigerant leaks typically require expert assistance because they can potentially cause harm to you and your family’s health. HVAC professionals like those at Integrity Home Solutions can identify leaks on the spot, drain your system of remaining refrigerant, and refill your freon levels to restore your refrigerant pressure.
Refrigerant lines can occasionally become blocked and cause condensation to occur even when you don’t have a freon leak. You can clear your pipes and condensate pump in this case to prevent damage from moisture. Remember to double-check that your condensate pump still has its electrical connection whenever you clean your condensation drainpipes.
5. Refill Your Freon Levels
Low levels of freon can cause your air conditioning unit to stop cooling your air. Low refrigerant levels can also cause your system to stop cooling air properly and sometimes occur due to a refrigerant line leak. Verify that you’re free of any leaks and then refill your freon levels. It’s best to get professional assistance when refilling your refrigerant if you’re not confident, since problems with leaking freon can be hazardous to your health as well as to the environment.
6. Restore Your Heat Pump
Damaged heat pumps on outdoor A/C units can reduce the cooling effect inside your home. Heat pumps can sustain damage from just about any piece of debris they come into contact with outside. Heat pumps will also inevitably degrade with age and develop problems with their compressors and coils. Consider professional assistance to repair or replace your heat pump, depending on the extent of the damage that it’s sustained.
7. Clean Your Ducts
Damaged and dirty ducts are common culprits behind leaking A/C units and reduced A/C system efficiency. Ducts can easily become damaged by things such as improper installation or repair and even pests that find their way inside your house.
Leaky ducts with too much dust and debris need to be cleaned as soon as possible. Clean your ducts regularly to prevent the inefficient distribution of cool, conditioned air throughout the rooms in your home.
8. Thaw Your Evaporator Coil
Your evaporator coil is a key part of your central A/C system. A frozen evaporator coil can prevent your A/C system from cooling your home and will drive up your utility bills. Check your evaporator coil for layers of ice and thaw it out to the best of your abilities. It’s important to thaw your evaporator coil to keep ice from spreading to your central air conditioning unit.
9. Reset or Replace Your A/C Fan
Outdoor air conditioners with fans that don’t turn prevent your A/C from cooling. You can try resetting or overloading your outdoor unit to see if its fan blades begin to spin. If, however, your outdoor unit’s blades spin too freely when your unit is off, it’s likely that you need to replace your fan altogether. Freely spinning fan blades often point to issues with your capacitor, which will need to be replaced by a team of experienced technicians like those at Integrity Home Solutions.
10. Replace Your Compressor
Faulty start capacitors can cause your compressors to go bad and stop running. Other things such as burned wires can also cause your compressors to stop working. You can try manually resetting your start capacitor to get it to run, but otherwise, you’ll want to adjust your refrigerant charge and clean out the inside of your condenser coil. In more extreme cases, your team of HVAC professionals may suggest that you completely replace your start capacitor.
11. Reset Your Circuit Breaker
Air conditioning units that stop turning on often have their breaker tripped. Check your circuit breaker and make sure that it’s not tripped. If it is, you’ll need to reset it to be able to turn your unit back on.
12. Check for Blown Fuses
Blown fuses will prevent your air conditioner from working. Check your circuit breaker for any blown fuses and make sure that your unit is plugged into an electricity source.
Why You Need to Regularly Maintain Your Air Conditioner
A regular schedule of routine A/C maintenance is the best A/C repair cost-killer out there. The better you become at performing routine maintenance on your A/C system, the easier it becomes to maintain inexpensive energy bills and prevent potential repairs. Problems with your air conditioner cause your unit to work twice as hard as normal, but a properly functioning air conditioner keeps utility costs low while running efficiently and effectively.
Extend the lifespan of your A/C system by developing a schedule of routine A/C maintenance that you’re comfortable following. The Integrity Home Solutions team recommends that you incorporate the below steps into your new schedule.
Incorporate these steps into your schedule of routine A/C maintenance:
- Clean or replace your air filters once a month. Air filters quickly get dirty and need to be replaced to prevent restricted airflow.
- Maintain your evaporator coil. Check on your evaporator’s coil fins once or twice a year and straighten them out if they’ve become bent. It’s also wise to clean your coil fins if they’ve gotten particularly dirty over the past few months.
- Clear your drain line. Your A/C drain line can sometimes get backed up with water and clogged by dirt. You should remove any blockages from your A/C drain line whenever you see them with a plumber’s snake or similar tool.
Contact Southwest Florida’s Go-to A/C Repair Pros
Doing A/C repair yourself can be a breeze, and it’s even easier with the help of experienced HVAC experts.
Get efficient, effective A/C repair service from the team that’s been living up to its name since 1980. Schedule your repair or installation estimate today by calling Integrity Home Solutions at (813)-565-1416.