The option of enjoying central air conditioning in the home is a relatively young idea. In fact, it was not until the 1970s that central heating and air conditioning systems became a standard construction feature that was included in the majority of new homes. The movement toward enjoying a cool, comfortable home, however, began a few decades earlier, when window air conditioning units first became available and affordable enough for some families to consider.
Today, most homes, regardless of economic status, enjoy the comfort provided by a central air conditioning system. Because of its familiarity, homeowners may even feel comfortable enough to attempt a make a DIY repair or maintenance task on their home's system. Before attempting to do your own AC system repairs, however, it is important that you know which ones you should avoid, including the ones discussed below.
Unlike the oil that lubricates your car engine, which may reduce in level over time, the liquid in your air conditioning system will not need to be refilled unless a causative repair issue has developed.
AC coolant is held within a closed system, where it recirculates over and over. As it passes through the system, the coolant passively collects and transfers heat. In order for the coolant to begin leaking, the coolant system must develop a hole or break that allows it to escape.
Homeowners who notice that their system is less efficient in cooling their home may feel that the coolant level could be the problem and that it may need to be topped off. Additional signs that can signal that the coolant level is too low is when ice builds up on the refrigerant lines or when the air coming from the vents feels warmer than it should.
In situations where coolant levels have dropped, homeowners should be most concerned about the leak or damage that had to occur in order for the coolant level to fall. While homeowners may be able to hear hissing from an active coolant line leak or see visible damage to the line, having a leak test performed by a competent HVAC repair professional is the fastest, safest way to fix the leak and get the system working properly as quickly as possible.
DIYing homeowners should also avoid attempting to make their own repairs for AC coolant leak issues because of the health risks that may occur from the coolant coming into contact with the skin.
Altering air flow
Another mistake that DIYing homeowners may make when trying to increase the cooling power of their home's air conditioning system is to alter vents to try and maximize or direct the flow or amount of cooled air. Common ways that this may be attempted include closing vents in some areas of home or covering them with insulated materials or duct tape.
Home air conditioning systems are sized and configured specifically for each home, including the number and placement of vents. When random changes, such as interfering with the flow of air through duct vents, are made, pressure can build and make it possible for air leaks to form.
Ducts that have begun to leak in this fashion will lose their ability to push the conditioned air throughout the home, and even more serious cooling issues can develop. Signs that vents may be blocked or duct leaks may have formed include the development of areas of the home that feel too cold or too warm and noticing that the system runs for much longer than it should.
If the leaks have been ongoing or are substantial in size, homeowners will also notice that their power bills are creeping up.
Homeowners who are unhappy with the performance of their home's air conditioning system can benefit from contacting a reputable HVAC repair contractor to inspect their system and make necessary repairs or adjustments.
For more information on air conditioning repair, contact an HVAC contractor.