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.
1. Common Repairs our A/C Contractors MakeEach year there is a number of air conditioning maintenance issues your local air conditioning companies will need to inspect. Here is the most common repairs.
Refrigerant Leak Detection and Repair
Examining the ac unit yearly is advisable to prevent this issue. If the coolant is leaking into the air conditioner it can cause temperature fluctuations in the home. Here's some signs that your ac unit may have a leak.
a) Your electric bill seems higher than normal
b) There is a hissing noise coming out of your air conditioning unit.
c) Hot air is blowing out of the vent
D) The air conditioner unit is not cooling down correctly.
Clogged or Dirty Filter Repairs
One of the most common reasons ac units fail to work is a dirty or clogged filter. With regular maintenance this problem can be avoided. You will need to check with the manufacturer or your air conditioner unit to see when it needs service. Some of these filters will require cleaning after around three months.
Outside Fan Repairs
The outside fan pushes out the heat from inside your Richmond home to the outside. If the fan stops spinning it may cause damage to the air conditioning compressor as the transfer of heat won't be taking place.
Other Repairs our Richmond Based Air Conditioning Repair Experts Make
- Faulty wiring
- Frozen Coils
- Breakers or Fuses
- Capacitor Repair
- Evaporator Coils
2. Schedule Regular Home A/C Tune-ups in Richmond
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.
Setup & Installation of Different Air Conditioning Units
Sometimes there's no way around it. You'll need a replacement for that old A/C unit. In Richmond VA the humidity often reaches over 80% and it's far too uncomfortable or even dangerous to rely on opening the windows of your home.
Depending on your living situation there is a couple of different options for your air conditioning installation.
Types of A/C Units Available for Install
- Central Air Conditioner
- Window Air Conditioner
- Mini/Split Air Conditioner
- Portable Air Conditioner
We won't get into the window or portable air conditioning units here as those can be installed or replaced with minimal effort. The split or central air conditioning units are the more difficult products to replace or install on your own.
Central Air Conditioning Installation or Replacement
While the previous air conditioning systems were more or less designed to cool one room or a house, if you want the entire home to have an A/C cranking full blast you'll need this whole home solution. A central a/c installation involves three parts:
Air Flow Circulation Install
This part involves doing some duct and vent work and is likely to be beyond anyone besides A/C service professionals
This is the process of the refrigerant converting from a liquid to a gas and then back to a liquid again. This is how air gets cooled.
The thermostat is a device that will fire up the air conditioning unit when it detects that temperatures are getting hot. Which in Richmond, VA happens quite often during summer time.
Consider Joining the Comfort Club with A Local Air Conditioning Company
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
4) Troubleshooting Air Conditioning Issues
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.
5) Air Conditioning Repairs are not for the DIYer in Richmond, VA
Other than replacing filters, checking breakers and thermostat settings,DIYers should not attempt air conditioning repairs. There are several problems you can run into.
- 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.
6) Schedule AC Repairs With a Licensed VA 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 in Richmond, VA 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 can offer you premier HVAC Ashland, VA services, as well as dependable AC repair in Tuckahoe, VA and timely AC installation in Short Pump, VA. 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?