Air conditioning repair is a challenging job especially if you’re not inclined technically. But with the rising cost of mechanical repairs and spare parts, you have to think deeper. Either learn how to do it yourself for simple jobs, or rely on reputable HVAC professional.
If you have a central air conditioning system, there are some failures that you can handle. The most common problems of AC units are dysfunctional capacitor, contactor relay and the fan motor. Learn how to replace them safely, and you can save money in repair. You need a multi-meter, ordinary hand tools, and an insulated needle-nose pliers to start working.
Air conditioning repair – do it yourself
- Check the furnace – Turn the thermostat to AC mode with lower temperature setting to test if the furnace will kick. Once the furnace fan doesn’t run, reset the circuit breaker. If the fan still doesn’t kick, it’s time to call a professional technician.
- Inspect the condensing unit outside – You should see the compressor and fan running. Once it fails, take out the access cover of the condenser unit, and look for the contactor relay (it has about 6 wires on it). Clean the critters with compressed air, but if the dirt and debris can’t be removed, change the contactor with a new one.
- Replace the old capacitor – Once your capacitor is not functional, the compressor and fan will not start. Make a resistor pack having four 5.6k-ohm, resistors with ½ watt capacity in series. Then, you can discharge the capacitor. Next step in air conditioning repair is to transfer each wire lead connected to the old capacitor into the new one.
- Connect the new fan motor – Take out the whole cover assembly on the condenser unit. Remove the fan assembly, and put a mark below the blade to make sure that you’re replacing it in the correct direction. After reconnecting the condenser cover or fan guard, adjust the thermostat temperature to higher level. After turning it “On” and the system doesn’t work, call a professional HVAC technician that offers a flat rate on materials and labor.
Doing an air conditioning repair may be difficult for first timers. You may even encounter more problems and waste of money if you adopt the trial-and-error method. The best way is to gather all relevant information about DIY techniques, and consult an expert of HVAC before you do it yourself.