Do-it-yourself AC repairs are affordable and appealing to homeowners. However, although hiring a contractor can be costly, it guarantees better unit efficiency and improved performance. DIY repairs leave some issues unresolved, especially if you don't understand the inner workings of your air conditioner. Therefore, before you attempt repairs, beware of these four issues that you won't be able to tackle without professional help.
Airflow and Zoning Issues
Is your air conditioner not blowing air how it used to? Is the airflow inadequate in some rooms? Airflow and zoning issues can occur due to various issues. These include:
- Clogged air filter or fan
- Damaged compressor or blower motor
- Faulty thermostat
- Leaky ducts
- Blocked vents and registers
Replacing or cleaning your filters alone may not resolve airflow issues in your home. If there are deeper underlying problems, such as motor damage or leaking ducts, your air conditioner may fail to blow cool air entirely. A professional can troubleshoot the system and pinpoint the cause of low airflow in your home.
Repair of System Controls
Air conditioners have system controls that send and execute commands. These include the sensors, control board, and thermostats. These controls have electrical components that should be handled with care to prevent damage. Dismantling the parts to repair them can worsen the problem and cause the components to fail. For example, some AC sensors are located near the evaporator coils. Attempting to repair them can damage the indoor air handler and cause airflow issues.
Do you have an inefficient air conditioner? Is the unit cycling on and off at unusual intervals? Are your cooling bills skyrocketing? If so, a simple DIY fix may not resolve the problem. If your unit isn't old, check for the following issues that cause cooling inefficiencies:
- Incorrect zoning of the AC
- Increased cooling demand
- Duct leaks
- Refrigerant leaks
DIY repairs may not be enough to fix the above issues. For example, if your AC is poorly zoned, you will want to redesign the zones to optimize cooling and realize energy savings. Also, if you have constructed a structural addition, your contractor may advise you to install a mini-split to reduce the load on the unit.
Refrigerant leaks can stress your air conditioner and cause premature failure. You can easily locate a leak by listening for hissing sounds from your unit. However, you shouldn't attempt to recharge the unit or patch up the leaking refrigerant line. A DIY fix increases the risk of future refrigerant leaks, which can cause cooling inefficiencies and lead to costly damage to the unit.
Do-it-yourself AC repairs may be affordable now, but they aren't effective in the long run. Contact an AC repair contractor for a proper diagnosis and unit repair.