How Can I Troubleshoot My HVAC?

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As central air conditioning breaks down during a heatwave, you can have to wait days for an HVAC repair specialist or an ac contractor to arrive, and the repair would almost certainly cost you several hundred dollars. 

However, if you’re comfortable dealing with energy and are willing to spend about $50 on components, you can potentially fix the air conditioning service yourself in about two hours and save about $225 in parts and labor.

Here are tips to follow if you ever plan to troubleshoot your HVAC.

First, let’s look at the materials and tools you’ll be needing to troubleshoot your HVAC.

  • Tools you’ll be needing: adjustable wrench, cordless drill, insulated screwdriver, multimeter, needle-nose pliers, nut driver, socket/ratchet set, and voltage tester
  • Materials: capacitor, compressed air, condenser fan motor, contactor, and fuses

Learn about the anatomy of a central air conditioner in your home.

  • A condensing device that sits outside your house and an evaporator coil (also known as an A-coil) that sits in the plenum of your furnace or air handler are the two main components of a central home air conditioner service device.
  • The heat from your home is transferred to the outside condensing device by the refrigerant in the A-coil. To extract heat, the condensing unit fan blasts outside air through the condensing coil.
  • The AC contactor, the start/run capacitor(s), and the condenser fan motor are all replaceable parts of the condensing device. The compressor is still housed in the condensing unit, so only a professional can replace it. 

Whatever you do, make sure the power has been turned off. 

  • Take the disconnect block straight out of the electrical box next to the condensing device. Use a voltage sniffer to make sure the power is really off inside the case.

Condenser Coils Should Be Cleaned 

  • To clear the crud accumulation under the lid, aim your garden nozzle upward into the top of the condenser coil. Work your way around the coil almost. Then point the nozzle down and flush the debris down the coil fins with the nozzle.
  • To filter out any remaining waste, adjust the nozzle to a gentler stream and fire water directly into the coils.

Fuses should be checked. 

  • Two cartridge fuses are used in several reconnect blocks. Before you start working on the fixes, double-check them. An exploded fuse indicates that a component within the condensing device is failing.
  • So don’t just replace it and assume the problem is solved. Adjust the bits, replace the fuses, and turn on the machine. If it explodes again, call a pro and you’re dealing with a more serious problem.

Examine the interior of the access panel.

  • The access panel can be found by following the electrical conduit from the house. Remove and store the access-panel retaining screws and the panel while the power is turned off.
  • Check for rat dens or signs of chewing on wires and electrical connections before replacing any pieces.
  • If you can easily handle electrical maintenance and discover bent wires or chewed insulation, discharge the capacitor first. Fix the wires and vacuum out the nest after that. Otherwise, hire a professional.

Replace the Start/Run Capacitor with a new one.

  • Capacitors can degrade over time, resulting in less startup capacity. They could even collapse in a moment. Gradual capacitor failure will go unnoticed for a long time, putting a strain on the compressor and condenser fan motor windings and causing them to fail prematurely.
  • Since capacitors are inexpensive, it’s a good idea to upgrade them every five years.

The AC contractor should be replaced.

  • AC contactors can wear out and are one of the most frequent causes of an air conditioning failure. And if the air conditioning contractor is in good working order, it’s a good idea to upgrade it every five years or so. Before cutting the wires, unscrew the old AC contactor. After that, relocate the wires to the new device.

Examine The Repairs

  • When air conditioners and thermostats are turned off and on, they have built-in delay functions. The delay will last up to ten minutes. It can take much longer to reset an energy-saving system if you’ve signed up for one from the local power company.
  • If the device doesn’t fire up after 30 minutes after you’ve mounted the parts shown and reinstalled the disconnect block, repowered the circuit breaker, switched on the switch at the furnace, transferred the thermostat to AC mode, and lowered the temperature below the indoor temperature, it’s time to call a pro.

Have You Been Searching for an HVAC Repair Service You Can Trust?

Congratulations, you’ve found it! Superior Mechanical Services, Inc. began in 1948 as a family-owned business with a vision to provide value-minded service with a down-to-earth approach to customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As the premier Commercial and Residential HVAC repair company for Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, Superior Mechanical can do it all, from heating and air conditioning services to boiler services, to plumbing services. Our AC repair technicians are certified professionals who will ensure every part of your project is done right using a careful checklist to guide and test each step. At the end of your appointment, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your system and give you tips on maintenance so it lasts for years to come. Contact us today for amazing service tomorrow!

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