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AC Running But Not Cooling the House?

Why Isn’t My AC Working?

When Your AC Stops Working: A Guide to Air Conditioning Repair

The blazing hot summer sun is beating down and you rush indoors to bask in the cool air of your home’s air conditioning. But as soon as you turn the AC on…nothing happens. Uh oh. Now what?

Having your air conditioner unexpectedly stop working can be a stressful and frustrating situation. But there are steps you can take to get your AC running again. This guide will walk you through the possible reasons your air conditioner isn’t working and provide advice on whether DIY repairs or professional air conditioning service is the best solution.

Why Isn’t My AC Working? Common Causes

When an air conditioning unit fails to turn on, there are a few key components that could be the culprit. Here are some of the most common causes of an AC not blowing cold air:

  • Power issues – If the AC unit doesn’t have power, it can’t run. Check your home’s electrical panel for a tripped breaker or blown fuse.
  • Thermostat problems – The thermostat controls the AC unit. Make sure it’s set properly and isn’t malfunctioning. Try adjusting the temperature or testing with a different thermostat.
  • Refrigerant issues – Low refrigerant levels prevent the AC from cooling properly. Refrigerant leaks are common and require repair by an HVAC technician.
  • Capacitor failure – The capacitor provides the jolt of electricity needed to start the compressor and fan. If it’s broken, the AC won’t turn on.
  • Compressor problems – The compressor pumps refrigerant through the AC system. If it’s not working, the AC won’t blow cold air.
  • Frozen evaporator coil – If the coil freezes over due to low refrigerant, airflow problems or dirty filters, the AC will shut off to prevent damage.
  • Clogged condenser – A blocked outdoor condenser coil prevents proper airflow. Cleaning may resolve the issue.
  • Blown motor/fan – If the blower motor or fan inside the furnace fails, the AC won’t run.

Pinpointing the exact cause of the AC failure determines whether it’s a DIY fix or requires a professional.

DIY Troubleshooting for Air Conditioner Repair

Some AC problems are simple enough that homeowners can troubleshoot and fix them without calling an HVAC technician. Here are a few do-it-yourself troubleshooting tips:

Check the power – Turn off the AC unit at the thermostat then check your home’s electrical panel for a tripped breaker or blown fuse. Reset the breaker or replace the fuse. Then try to turn on the AC again.

Replace the thermostat batteries – If you have a battery-powered thermostat, depleted batteries could prevent the AC from turning on. Replace the batteries and check if that restores power.

Clean the condensing unit – Use a garden hose on a low setting to gently rinse dust and debris off the outdoor AC condenser coils. Clogged coils can block airflow.

Change the air filter – A dirty, clogged air filter restricts airflow to the evaporator coil inside the furnace. Swap in a new filter at least every 90 days.

Add refrigerant – If the refrigerant level is slightly low, adding some refrigerant may get the AC running again for a short time. But do not attempt this yourself – only certified HVAC technicians should handle refrigerant.

Reset the emergency switch – Locate the emergency shutoff switch on the furnace and flip it back on after an unexpected shut down.

If none of these basic troubleshooting tips get your air conditioner blowing cold air again, then it’s time to bring in a professional for repairs.

Professional Air Conditioning Repairs

For major AC repairs involving refrigerant leaks, compressor issues, motor failures and more, rely on a trusted, certified HVAC technician. An experienced professional has the skills, knowledge and tools to accurately diagnose and fix all types of air conditioning problems.

Here are some of the common air conditioner repairs performed by HVAC repair technicians:

  • Refrigerant recharge – Adding more refrigerant can get the AC running again after leaks. EPA certification is legally required to handle refrigerant.
  • Compressor replacement – If the compressor is broken beyond repair, the technician will remove and replace this vital AC component.
  • Capacitor replacement – A failed capacitor that won’t hold a charge will be swapped out with a matching replacement.
  • Coil cleaning – Professional cleaning of the condenser and evaporator coils improves airflow.
  • Blower motor repair – Technicians can test a motor to see if it’s salvageable or requires replacement.
  • Drain line clearing – Clogged condensate drain lines prevent water drainage and are cleared out.
  • Electrical repairs – Faulty contactors, circuits, switches and wiring issues are addressed.

Reputable air conditioning companies should thoroughly inspect your entire system to find all existing faults and damage. Be wary of quick band-aid fixes that only solve surface issues and lead to repeated breakdowns. Instead, invest in comprehensive repairs for lasting reliability.

Questions to Ask Your AC Repair Technician

When hiring an air conditioning repair company, ask plenty of questions upfront to gauge their knowledge and transparency. High quality HVAC technicians will have no problem answering:

  • Are you licensed in this state/county to perform AC repairs?
  • Do you have liability insurance and workers compensation?
  • What training and certifications do you and your technicians have?
  • What is your diagnostic process for identifying the AC issue?
  • What is the full scope of recommended repairs and why?
  • What types of warranty or guarantees do you offer on parts and labor?
  • Do you provide full, written estimates detailing costs for parts and labor?
  • What are your rates and payment options? Are financing plans available?
  • When can you schedule the AC repairs and how long will they take?

Avoid any company that gives vague answers or tries too hard to sell you services before diagnosing the real problem. Quality companies focus on transparency and offering proper, long-term solutions – not quick patches.

Costs of Common Air Conditioning Repairs

Air conditioning repair costs vary widely based on the specific issue, needed parts and local labor rates. Here are average price ranges for some common fixes:

  • Refrigerant recharge – $150-$400
  • Capacitor replacement – $150-$300
  • Contactor replacement – $200-$500
  • Compressor replacement- $500-$2000
  • Blower motor replacement – $600-$1000
  • Coil replacement – $1000-$2000
  • Full system replacement – $3000-$8000

Keep in mind these prices can fluctuate based on your AC unit’s brand, size and configuration. Diagnostic fees and other factors also impact the final bill. Reputable companies provide written estimates after assessing your system, so you know the exact cost before approving repairs.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

When an aging air conditioner experiences frequent problems and breakdowns, a difficult choice arises – sink more money into repairing it again or invest in a brand new AC system? Here are key factors to consider:

Age of the AC unit – Today’s AC units last 10-15 years. Beyond that, repairs tend to be short-term. If your AC is over 15 years old, replacement may be the wiser route.

Cost of repairs – At a certain point, continually paying for AC repairs exceeds the cost of replacement. If repair bills keep mounting, replacement is likely the better value.

Availability of parts – For obsolete models, replacement parts can be scarce making repairs nearly impossible. Lack of availability is a clue it’s time to replace.

Energy efficiency – Newer AC units are far more energy efficient, saving you money on utilities. Upgrading an old, inefficient AC ultimately pays for itself.

Home upgrades – If you’re planning other major home upgrades like new windows or insulation, it’s an optimal time to replace an old AC and make additional efficiency improvements.

While repairs can temporarily get an aging AC running again, there comes a time when replacement provides the greatest return on investment. Consult with experienced HVAC professionals to explore when replacement is smarter than sinking money into repairs. They can ensure you get the most value from your air conditioning.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Beyond evaluating age and cost factors, here are some clear signs from your existing AC unit that replacement is the right move:

  • Frequent breakdowns and costly annual repairs
  • Parts fail repeatedly shortly after being fixed or replaced
  • Refrigerant leaks are increasingly occurring
  • You’ve had to recharge the refrigerant more than once in a year
  • Energy bills skyrocket during summer months
  • Some rooms are uncomfortably hot while others stay cool
  • The AC constantly runs but has more trouble maintaining the set temperature
  • Unusual noises, rattling or vibrating coming from the AC
  • Water damage occurs inside ducts and walls due to condensate leaks

If you’ve noticed multiple issues like these in your current system, investing in a new air conditioner can restore cooling reliability.

New Air Conditioner Cost and Installation

Installing a brand new, properly sized air conditioner system for your home comes at a significant yet worthwhile cost. Here are average price ranges you can expect:

  • Window unit – $150-$1000
  • Portable unit – $300-$1000
  • Basic central AC unit – $3000-$5000
  • High-efficiency central AC – $5000-$10,000

The total cost varies based on the unit’s size, any special features, brand and efficiency rating. Labor, permits, ductwork modifications and other installation requirements also impact the final expense.

Upgrading electrical service for your home or special zoning needs can incur additional costs. Get quotes from several HVAC companies, ask what is included and look for available rebates on energy efficient systems before deciding. A quality AC investment should last you 15-20 trouble-free years.

Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

Whatever route you take – repairs, replacement or upgrading your air conditioner – don’t neglect regular maintenance. Preventative AC maintenance improves efficiency and lifespan. Here are pro tips:

Change filters monthly – Clogged, dirty filters reduce airflow. Swap disposable filters at least every 30 days.

Clean the coils – Outdoor condenser coils prone to dirt buildup should be professionally cleaned once a year.

Clear debris and vegetation – Leaf litter, grass clippings and plants growing too close to the outdoor AC unit should be removed.

Check refrigerant – Leak checks and recharging the refrigerant once a year maintains optimal levels.

Tune-ups and inspections – Annual check-ups by HVAC technicians spot small issues before they become big repairs.

Monitor air flow – If certain rooms feel hotter, have your ductwork inspected for blockages hampering airflow.

Upgrade filters – Pleated filters trap more allergens, dust and pet hair than basic filters.

Minor preventative care goes a long way to extend the life, efficiency and performance of your air conditioner. Don’t wait until major issues arise – be proactive.

Turbo AC Repair Can Get Your System Running Again

Has your air conditioner stopped blowing cold air? Are you debating between repairs or replacement? The expert technicians at Turbo AC Repair have the experience, training and tools to quickly diagnose any AC problem.

For over 10 years, we have provided quality heating and cooling services to homeowners in Houston and the surrounding communities. Our technicians are NATE-certified and specially trained on all makes and models.

Turbo AC Repair provides:

  • Honest inspection and evaluations
  • Comprehensive repairs for all types of AC units
  • New AC system selection and installation
  • Preventative maintenance programs
  • Available financing options

We treat every customer like family and stand behind our work. Call (281) 717-6418</a> Turbo AC Repair or visit us online at www.Turboplumbing.net to schedule service. Beat the Texas heat and let us get your air conditioner running like new again!

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