We've all been there: You notice that it's really started to warm up inside your home, so you check the thermostat. It looks like it's working fine, but you adjust it anyway, turning it down, then up, then back down again to see if that will do the trick. It doesn't. The air coming out of your vents is warm. Uh-oh.
This situation — especially in the summer — is not at all uncommon. Air conditioners are major appliances and, unfortunately, things can go wrong with them. Perhaps in your case, the air isn't necessarily blowing warm, but it's barely blowing or not blowing at all. Whatever the particular issue is, it's common to worry about air conditioning repair and services. Can it be fixed? Does it need to be replaced? How do you know the difference? If you do need a whole new A/C, how long will that take?
Repair vs. Replace
Even if you think the issue may be minor, the first thing you should do when you encounter an A/C problem is call a professional air conditioning repair and services company. An experienced technician can do an inspection and troubleshoot it to determine whether the problem can be repaired or if the air-conditioning unit needs to be replaced entirely. If you want to look into it yourself you can take our HVAC repair or replace quiz.
Some things, such as changing the air filter, are simple enough to do on your own, but many A/C issues require professional service. Diagnosing the problem to begin with can be near impossible if you don't know what you're looking for, so this is something best left to appropriately-trained professionals.
Many times, the A/C repair company will be able to come out for an inspection the same day, usually within a few hours.
During the inspection, the technician will be both visually and physically checking your HVAC system, watching components as they move (or don't), and looking for red flags. Our techs have a very long and thorough checklist, but here's an overview of what you can expect:
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, electrical problems are frequently to blame for air-conditioning malfunction. Because of this, one of the first things checked during your A/C inspection will be the electrical components. Wires or connectors can easily come loose or become corroded, especially when a combination of chemicals and moisture is involved.
With so many constantly-moving parts, dust and dirt accumulation can wreak major havoc on an HVAC system. The technician will check several components to be sure they aren't simply dirty. You may be surprised at how often this is to blame!
Checking the refrigerant level, or charge, is an important part of an air-conditioning inspection. Too little refrigerant could indicate a leak in the system, which can cause the compressor to fail.
Worst-Case Scenario: Replacing Your AC
The A/C inspection may find that your air-conditioning unit needs to be replaced rather than repaired. While that is certainly not the best news, it's not the worst thing in the world, either.
First, your new air conditioner can likely be installed in just one day, with the vast majority of installations taking 4-8 hours. Don't worry, you're not going to be left to fend for yourself in the sweltering heat of your own living room for long.
There are some complications that can create a setback in AC installation, including electrical issues, needing to add or repair ductwork, or having to perform the installation in a tight space, such as an attic. Even facing extremely challenging circumstances, however, it shouldn't take longer than two days to complete any AC installation.
If you think your AC unit may need to be replaced, or if it's simply having issues, contact Ultimate Heating & Cooling today. We've served the entire Denver Metro area for more than 20 years, and we'd be honored to take care of all your HVAC needs, starting with a routine inspection.