Beginner's Guide to Air Conditioning Repair

A Beginner’s Guide to Air Conditioning Repair – What You Need to Know

The air conditioning system has a variety of parts that all must function correctly. Knowing how these systems function at a base level will help homeowners understand what happens when their home air conditioner goes down.

Having routine annual maintenance will help prevent issues from getting worse. This is especially important because maintenance can prevent a warranty from becoming void.


You can try a few basic troubleshooting techniques at home before calling an AC professional. For example, if your system doesn’t turn on at all, check the fuse box to see if a power surge or other problem has tripped it.

You may only need to reset the circuit breaker and replace a blown fuse.

Other problems, like a dirty air filter restricting airflow, are easy to fix. Lastly, check the outside unit for any obstructions or damage, including rodent nests and chewed wires.

It’s also important to keep the area around the unit clear of shrubbery and other debris that can interfere with its function.

This helps with energy efficiency and prevents costly repairs. Musty or musty odors are signs of mold in the ductwork and should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid serious health problems.


Compressors transform regular atmospheric air into pressurized compressed air. They are said to be the ‘fourth utility’ along with electricity, water, and gas.

They work by squeezing air from one cylinder to another, compressing it, and pumping it back out. They use a rotor to control pistons to do this, using the energy created by the movement of the pistons to increase the pressure of the air.

A bad compressor can cause your AC to overheat and trip the circuit breaker. If this happens, call a technician to check for damage and find the right solution.

Most home air conditioning repair specialists recommend replacing rather than repairing the compressor. However, this is only sometimes necessary.


Thermostats work by regulating the flow of coolant. They open when the engine reaches an optimum temperature and close when it gets too hot.

The temperature is detected by a small cylinder of wax that begins to melt at a specific temperature, which pushes or pulls a rod connected to the thermostat to open or close it.

When a thermostat fails, it will not allow the coolant to pass through the radiator and will cause the engine to overheat. This can lead to costly repair bills and shorten the life of your vehicle’s engine.

It is important to locate a thermostat in a centrally located area, away from sunlight and heat sources such as windows, doors, and heater vents.

Putting the thermostat near these areas can cause it to malfunction and give inaccurate readings.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is the air conditioning component responsible for pulling heat from indoor air and releasing it into your home.

This coil is comprised of copper tubing that carries exceedingly cold refrigerant. Warm indoor air blows over this coil, and the cool refrigerant pulls heat to lower your home’s humidity.

If the evaporator coil becomes dirty or develops ice, the refrigerant can’t move through it, which reduces your system’s ability to cool and causes your energy bills to rise.

An HVAC technician can use cleaning techniques to repair the coil rather than replacing it entirely.

However, replacing the entire unit may be more cost-effective if the evaporator coil is beyond repair or your air conditioner is over eight years old.


Your ductwork and vents are the pathways that air is pushed through to reach your living spaces. They often have louvers that allow you to direct airflow.

It would help if you never blocked the supply or return vents. Doing so throws off the system’s balance.

You can check your system’s balance by measuring the average temperature of three supply vent temperatures and subtracting that from the average of the return vents.

This will give you the Delta T (decrease in airflow), which can help determine if the system is working properly.

Don’t forget to clean the tray that carries condensation away from the evaporator coil. Pouring a tablespoon of household bleach into the pan every other day prevents fungus and helps it function well.

The same goes for the drain line that carries moisture from the evaporator.

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