The First-Time Homeowner’s Guide to AC Issues and Repairs
Suppose you just bought your first home, and you find that the air conditioner isn’t working as you’d expected. What should you do now? Take a look at what you need to know about first-time HVAC service.
When Should You Call an Air Conditioning Contractor?
As a new homeowner, you may not have any experience with air conditioning-related problems. This makes it tricky to decide what’s normal noise or smell and what signals an AC issue. Contact a qualified HVAC contractor if:
- The air conditioner won’t turn on. Before you call the repair technician, make sure the power to your home, circuit, and air conditioner itself are all on. Provided the power is on and you don’t see tripped breaker or blown fuse, call a contractor.
- Warm air comes from the air conditioner. Is the system on heat mode? If not, your AC unit needs expert-level help.
- The system turns on and off and on again. Short bursts or cycles of AC use isn’t normal. Not only can this reduce the cooling capacity of the unit, but it can cause premature wear and tear, increase energy bills, or result in damage.
- You have any concerns. An air conditioner in disrepair won’t fix itself. Instead, the problem could worsen and result in a major system failure. If you have any AC-related concerns, call a professional.
Along with these issues, new, loud, or strange sounds warrant the attention of a repair technician. Likewise, odd or smoky odors also require a professional evaluation.
Do You Need to Prepare for the Service Appointment?
If you decide that your AC needs professional attention and you’ve called the HVAC technician, what should you do? While most problems require very little preparation, you can save time and increase efficiency if you:
- Verify the time. Make sure you’re home when the technician arrives — even if the contractor says they’ll call. If you’re at the grocery store and the technician calls to say they’re only 10 minutes away, you may miss your appointment.
- Move boxes and clutter from the area. Remove moving boxes and other for-storage items from the area around the air conditioner.
- Clear the outdoor area. The technician may need to inspect or repair the condenser, the outdoor part of your air conditioner. Remove plants, patio furniture, or anything else that may obstruct the service contractor’s path to the AC system.
If the previous owner provided you with past service records, gather these for the technician to review. While you might not know if the records are relevant, the documents may help the contractor to better understand the AC system’s current issue.
What Should You Expect from the AC Appointment?
What happens at each appointment depends on several factors, such as the specific system, the problem, and the contractor. In general, you should expect:
- A conversation. Give the technician as many clues as possible and help them solve the mystery of your AC system. Explain the reason for your call, the symptoms (sounds, sights, smells) you’ve noticed, and anything else that could assist an assessment.
- An assessment. The technician will inspect and assess your AC system.
- A repair plan. The technician will explain their findings and recommend necessary repairs. If the technician feels the system requires a full replacement, they’ll explain this option to you as well.
- An estimate. HVAC customers should always receive a written estimate for repairs or replacement before the technician fixes anything. Make sure the estimate includes the parts and the labor costs.
After you accept the estimate the technician will begin the repairs. If the contractor needs additional parts or your system requires a replacement, you may need to schedule a second appointment. Does your AC system need service? Contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar for more information