A broken air conditioner can wreak havoc on your home and your comfort. It can also significantly increase your utility bills and cause further damage to other components of the system, such as the compressor. While the average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is 15 years, it can last longer with proper maintenance and care. If your air conditioner is broken or acting up, it is important to understand what factors go into the decision to repair it or replace it.

In general, the more complex your air conditioner¬†Air Conditioner Repair is, the more expensive it will be to repair or replace. Window and portable units are the cheapest to fix, while central air or ductless mini-splits are more expensive. Parts are also more expensive for larger, more complex systems. Brand name parts, like the compressor or evaporator coil, are typically more expensive than generic or OEM replacements. They may also void your manufacturer’s warranty, so it is best to use original equipment replacement parts to ensure that you are getting the most out of your system.

Before calling for an AC repair, you should check the thermostat to make sure it is set to “cool.” You can also try flipping the breaker that supplies power to the outdoor unit to the on position. If this doesn’t work, call for immediate ac service.

If your air conditioner is not cooling, you should check the indoor fan and make sure it is set to “on.” You can also try checking the evaporator coil for dirt and debris or a blocked condensate drain line. You can often clean these yourself with simple tools, but it’s best to contact an HVAC technician if you find any serious problems.

Faulty wiring, dirty evaporator coils or a clogged drain line can cause the compressor to shut off or cycle on and off repeatedly. This can damage the compressor and cause a loss of refrigerant, which must be replaced by a professional.

A frozen evaporator coil can lead to a lack of cool air in your home, especially at night when temperatures are lowest. If this problem persists, a technician should examine the unit and determine whether it is caused by a lack of refrigerant, a faulty compressor or a blown fuse.

A clogged air conditioner can cause humidity issues that lead to mold and mildew, or even discoloration of walls and carpet. Keeping the area around the unit free of debris, trimming foliage back 2 feet (0.6 meters) and occasionally passing a stiff wire through the aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can help prevent this from happening.

If you have a newer air conditioning system, it is generally more cost-effective to repair or replace the entire unit rather than just replacing one broken component. However, many manufacturers offer extended warranties that can reduce the costs of a replacement. Before purchasing a new air conditioner, you should always compare prices and warranties from several different companies.