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AC Repair: Is It All Right to Opt for a DIY Method?

Home » Air Conditioning » AC Repair: Is It All Right to Opt for a DIY Method?

Imagine a hot July noon. You’re hiding indoors, seeking respite from the heat with cold air from your trusty air conditioner when suddenly it stops working. Gradually, you will begin to feel the heat from the outside entering your house. Before long, you’re sweating buckets as you’re trying to get a hold of your repair person, but they tell you it might be a couple of hours of wait. 

You ask yourself, “Can I fix this?” You desperately search for do-it-yourself videos online in hopes of diagnosing the problem and putting an end to this sweaty misery. Although it is possible, be advised of some of the risks.

Attempting to fix your air conditioner all by yourself can pose certain risks that you might not anticipate. When done incorrectly, you may run the risk of damaging the unit further, incurring additional costs. You should also be considering safety risks, as dealing with electrical connections, gas connections, and a variety of chemicals that may require proper disposal. If you do not have the proper equipment and training, it may be best to wait for your professional repair person. 

If you are comfortable with the task, here are four basic troubleshooting steps that you can do while waiting for professional help: 

  1. Check the system’s circuit breakers first to ensure that it is receiving power. If the circuit breaker has tripped and is restricting the current, you should try to reset it once. If it trips again, then do not try to reset the breaker. This could mean that there is a problem with the HVAC system’s wiring and is best left to professionals. 
  2. If the AC is running, but airflow is weak or not cool enough, make sure that all of the vents in the house are open all the way and are unobstructed. Also, check any air conditioner filters and clean or change them if necessary. The reduced airflow from clogged, filters or closed vents can result in an iced-up evaporator coil. 
  3. If the evaporator coil has frosted, this can stop all airflow and cold air delivery. Check the condenser coils on the outside portion of the unit to make sure they are clean and unobstructed. Clogged or dirty condenser coils can further lead to overheating compressors and even intermittent shutdowns. 
  4. If your AC is still not working, you may want to wait for 10 to 30 minutes before turning it on again. This is because many AC units have a startup delay that kicks in whenever the unit is powered off completely and then restarted. If the unit is still not working after 30 minutes or more, it may be best to wait for a professional deal with it. 

Conclusion

It can be rewarding (in some cases, practical) to do home improvements and repairs all by yourself. However, when it comes to HVAC systems, you must exercise extra caution as you are dealing with a combination of electrical, mechanical, and chemical components. Make sure that you are contracting reliable and proven and tested professionals in your area to help you. 

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