Air Conditioning Repair and Tune-up Services in New Hampshire and Massachusetts
We Can Fix Your Home’s Broken AC System and Provide Preventive Maintenance
A broken or failing air conditioning system can be extremely frustrating because – if not properly maintained – they tend to break down when the weather is scorching. While most air conditioner repairs require an HVAC professional, homeowners can troubleshoot some common home AC problems; and we’ve provided some information below to help you do just that. If you need professional help, just give us a call and we’ll send one of our expert AC technicians to your home to fix it promptly and at a fair price.
It’s also wise to remember that industry best practices call for annual maintenance (and that, to stay current under warranty, manufacturers require it). Fortunately, we also specialize in air conditioner tune-ups to help ensure that your system keeps you cool all summer long.
Common Air Conditioning Problems
Problem: My Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling Effectively
Potential Causes/Solutions: Possible causes include refrigerant that is low or leaking, thermostat issues, a clogged drain or a dirty filter. You can (and regularly should) change your filter. You can also check to make sure your condensate drain line is not clogged, and check your thermostat to make sure it is set properly and is reading the correct temperature. Issues involving refrigerant are best handled by an HVAC professional.
Problem: My Central AC Isn’t Working at All
Potential Causes/Solutions: First, make sure your thermostat is functioning; the problem could be as simple as a burned-out battery. Also, your outdoor compressor and fan controls could be worn out from turning on and off too frequently. If so, you’ll want to check (or have a professional check) your unit’s electrical connections.
Problem: My Air Conditioner Has Limited Air Flow
Potential Causes/Solutions: Your ducts could be clogged or constricted, or leaking air. Your filter could also be part of the problem, restricting airflow through your system, cutting its efficiency and reducing its ability to cool the air. For central air systems, our technicians check for duct system leakage as part of your periodic maintenance.
Problem: My Energy Bills Are Unusually High
Potential Causes/Solutions: A spike in operating costs most often signals inefficient operation. After a dirty filter, the most likely culprit may be a choked condenser coil. If so, it is probably time for a tune-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the most important thing I can do to help keep my AC system running smoothly?
A: Change the filter regularly. This helps your cooling system operate at peak levels while improving indoor air quality. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that changing your HVAC filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. High-quality 4-inch-thick filters should be changed every 6-9 months, while cheaper 1-inch filters may need to be replaced every 30 days.
Q: What certifications does an HVAC technician need?
A: HVAC technicians handling controlled refrigerant are required to have Environmental Protection Agency Section 608 certification. State licensing requirements vary greatly, so homeowners can gain added peace of mind by choosing a contractor whose technicians receive advanced training and certification from NATE (North American Technician Excellence) — the nation’s largest nonprofit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration professionals.
Q: What are some of the signs that my air conditioner may need repairs?
A: Signs that you may need AC service include: leaking around the outside unit, the air coming into the house isn’t cool enough, the unit is short-cycling or constantly turning on and off, higher-than-normal energy bills or excessive noise during start-up and operation.
Q: How long will my AC system last?
A: It varies, of course, but the average is 15-17 years. In some new construction projects where the emphasis is on keeping costs to a minimum, the less-expensive systems chosen may have a shorter lifespan, averaging 11-13 years.
Q: Do I ever need to have my refrigerant “topped off”?
A: No. HVAC systems do not consume the refrigerant as part of the cooling process. If the refrigerant is low, this indicates either that there is a leak or that it was set up improperly.
Q: How does an air conditioner work?
A: Heat is extracted from the home by passing indoor air across a refrigerant coil. Refrigerant lines carry the heat to the outdoor unit, where it is released into the outside air. A fan blows air across the chilled coils into your home. The cooling cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the thermostat setting. The process is explained in this video from How Stuff Works. And you can find a more detailed explanation (along with more helpful information and tips) in this Energy Saver 101 infographic from the U.S. Department of Energy.