Air conditioning and heating represents the largest single investment in the average Orlando area home. I understand how frustrating it can be when your central air conditioner isn’t reliable.
I also understand that for most homeowners, choosing repair over replacement isn’t really a choice. Comparatively few people out there could casually buy a new central air conditioner or heat pump when repair is an option.
If your system keeps breaking down regularly, you probably want to know why, and more importantly, whether there’s anything you can do besides replace it. We’ll go over some of the potential culprits together in this article, and I’ll try to steer you in the most cost effective direction.
As always, don’t be afraid to call Orlando AC Repair for a free estimate. Our contractors are experienced and ready to help. Having great AC repair near me comes with the territory, of course – but we’re your neighbors, too.
What Causes Constant Breakdowns?
When you’re on your 19th AC Breakdown, obscure rock and roll puns just aren’t going to cut it.
Here are 4 items that could be at fault:
Poor installation – This is – unfortunately – the problem I see most in this business. An air conditioning installation is extremely complex, and at the installation stage, it’s tempting for homeowners to choose the company with the lowest bid.
Unfortunately, there are some fly-by-night operations down here in Orlando, and they’re giving the rest of us a bad name. I’ve seen significantly cut corners on more installations than I can count.
From the initial home audit and load calculation to the final tweaks and tests, any missed steps or shortcuts are going to cause problems down the line. That’s why it’s extremely important to choose the right installation contractor.
Improperly sized unit – Another common mistake made at the installation stage involves the sizing process. Sizing involves taking a lot of measurements to determine precisely the correct size air conditioner is necessary for your house.
This isn’t like car engines – more power isn’t always better. It’s a Goldilocks thing – it needs to be just right. If the air conditioner installed in your home is too large, then it will turn on and off too frequently – what we call short cycling – which, in addition to raising your energy bills, overtaxes the system and shortens the lifespan.
Oversized systems also fail to properly dehumidify the home, which can lead to poor comfort. On the other hand, if your air conditioner is too small, then it will run almost constantly trying to meet the cooling demands of your home.
This will also add additional stress and wear-and-tear to the system, and it is extremely unlikely that an underpowered system will live a full and mechanically sound life.
Clogged or dirty air filters – You’ll notice that this is a running bullet point in a lot of our articles. That’s because it’s usually the start of a snowballing chain of events that lead to bigger problems.
Airflow is critical to proper system performance, and a clogged air filter chokes circulation down to a crawl. This will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your air conditioning system, and may cause breakdowns, particularly if your evaporator coil or condenser suffers as a result of restricted airflow.
Your air conditioner came with a manual that tells you how often to clean or replace your air filters – we suggest following that closely. If you’ve got pets, you may even want to err on the side of overdoing it. Air filters, literally, can never be too clean.
Poor maintenance habits – Problems are an inevitable part of any system. Entropy is a fact of the universe, and HVAC systems aren’t immortal. The best thing you can do to avoid major issues is to be vigilant in attending to small ones.
That means following our advice and changing your air filters regularly. It also means getting on a schedule with your Orlando AC repair technicians and having your system tuned-up or serviced at least once or twice a year.
Typically, it’s considered prudent to have the system gone over by contractors at the beginning and end of the cooling system to ensure that it’s clean, in fine operating order, and ready for another year.
The best way to ensure you don’t have to buy a new air conditioner too soon is to take care of the one you’ve already got.
Repair or replace? How do you know when it’s time to give up on a cooling system?
That isn’t an easy decision to make – and it’s one you should make with the help of trusted professionals. The key determinant factor is life expectancy. The economy is on the rebound sure, but no one is spending unnecessary money.
I get that, and we wouldn’t advise you to replace if there was a valid repair option on the table. Every scenario is different, and every individual system has to be evaluated separately. However, there are a few guidelines by which we abide.
Drop us a line today, and let our Orlando AC repair experts lay out your options. Call us at 407-499-8942 and save $25 with any paid repair today!
Michael Haines is a veteran A/C contractor and founder of the largest and oldest e-commerce site in the heating and air conditioning industry. His HVAC websites have served 10's of thousands of customers.