With temperatures rising, so are the numbers of calls flooding HVAC contractors as homeowners bemoan their non-functioning AC systems. Don't let that happen to you!
It’s all too often that we wait until there is a problem, such as no air on a hot, humid day, to call for air conditioning repair in Richmond, VA. While we understand the mindset of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” you should know a little bit about how to care for your cooling system, as well as what to do to prevent emergency air conditioning repairs.
Air Conditioning Repair Tips for Richmond, VA
1. Schedule Regular HVAC Tune-Ups
Most HVAC equipment manufacturers recommend bi-annual inspections and seasonal tune-ups from licensed contractors as part of their maintenance advice, and sometimes this can be a requirement to keep your warranty.
In addition to keeping your system reliable and running efficiently, these documented maintenance visits can help to support your equipment warranty should a malfunction or complete breakdown transpire along the way. The more documentation you have on hand, the quicker and smoother the warranty-covered parts replacement and/or reimbursement can occur.
Manufacturer-recommended tune-ups are typically scheduled in the early-mid spring, and the early-mid fall seasons, when temperatures are more moderate and HVAC technicians have room in their schedule to get you on their calendar in a timely manner.
Virginia’s extremely humid summers and cold winters require specific attention to system function and features that improve whole-home comfort, as well as help save energy.
If you haven't already scheduled a seasonal tune-up, contact your HVAC contractor and get service scheduled before they're bogged down with the first surge of heat wave-related repair calls.
Bi-annual maintenance service includes:
- Keeping your system running efficiently, reducing utility spending
- Extending the lifetime of your HVAC equipment
- Improving whole-house comfort
- Ensuring your air conditioning unit will fire right up when you need it
- Receiving customized recommendations (like zone heating or allergy-reducing features) for your household and its occupants
- Catching red flags before they lead to more expensive repairs, replacement costs, or worse, complete system failures
Are you new to the area or looking to form a relationship with a licensed HVAC contractor? Read, 7 Tips for Getting an HVAC Estimate in Richmond.
2. Consider Joining the Comfort Club
Interested in enjoying regularly scheduled maintenance visits, first-priority emergency service, and discounted repairs?
If so, you're a prime candidate for our Comfort Club membership. For a very reasonable annual fee, members get the above benefits, as well as easy pay monthly billing options and "bonus bucks" that add up year after year and can be used on future equipment. A handful of HVAC contractors in Richmond offer maintenance memberships, but very few of those include a full 32-point inspection.
Learn More About the Howell's Comfort Club
3) Troubleshoot the Obvious Culprits
There's nothing worse than having a technician show up, only to find out that "user error" was the cause of a supposedly malfunctioning AC. In addition to embarrassment and irritation, you're going to have to pay the basic service call charge.
Avoid that scenario entirely by checking a handful of things out on your own:
- Consult your thermostat manual and run through the troubleshooting guide, including the verification that it's set on "cool" rather than "heat" or "fan".
- Replace the thermostat batteries
- Ensure your unit is plugged in and switch the breaker to check that moisture didn’t trip it.
- Verify the outside switch near the air handler is switched "on”.
- Replace dirty, clogged air filters
You'd be amazed at how many "would be emergency repair" calls wind up being fixed by one of the above actions, much to the chagrin of the homeowner.
4) Air Conditioning Repairs are not for the DIYer
Other than replacing filters, checking breakers and thermostat settings,DIYers should not attempt air conditioning repairs. There are several reasons why:
- Many repairs require electrical knowledge (or may involve toxic refrigerant) that create a hazardous situation for DIYers and other occupants if they're not done correctly.
- Most HVAC systems require specialized tools you won't have on hand and trying to make standard tools "work" is a recipe for disaster.
- You're financially responsible for any damage, and that could mean paying out-of-pocket for a replacement HVAC system that is no longer warrantied as a result of your efforts.
- You could unknowingly break one thing, while fixing another, leading to more costly repair bills.
5) Schedule Repairs With a Licensed HVAC Technician
Last but not least is to only hire a licensed HVAC technician for air conditioning repairs in Richmond, VA.
For all the reasons listed in the previous two tips, your AC shouldn't be repaired by just any handyman. Your air conditioner should only be repaired by a licensed HVAC technician, preferably one employed by a reputable HVAC contractor and who has NATE certification.
Licensed heating and cooling technicians use the latest industry practices and software required to make knowledgeable equipment replacement recommendations. They can also suggest system features to improve whole-house comfort and efficiency, including:
- UV lights
- air filtration
- humidity control
- correctly sized systems
- duct redesign and cleaning
Choosing the Best Air Conditioning Repair in Richmond, VA
Howell’s Heating & Air has provided honest and professional HVAC service and repair to Greater Richmond, Virginia homeowners since 1969. We look forward to showing you the difference high-quality AC service makes for your home, and your wallet.
Is your home is ready for a seasonal tune-up or in need of AC repair?