Summers in the Charleston area are extremely hot and humid, so any failure or malfunction of an air conditioner can be quite concerning. With the right parts and an experienced, professional technician, many common air conditioner problems can be repaired at an affordable price. Sometimes, however, repairs may not be possible or cost-effective. This guide will help you determine whether repair or replacement is the best choice for your air conditioning system.
Is your air conditioner acting up? Call Preferred Home Services today at (843) 405-3601 or schedule an appointment online for air conditioner repairs or replacement anywhere in Charleston, West Ashley, Summerville, or Mount Pleasant!
Signs That You Have an Air Conditioning Problem
Sometimes, air conditioning problems will be obvious, such as a system that is blowing warm air or fails to run at all. Other signs of a malfunction will be far less obvious. By catching the problem early, you may be able to limit further system damage and keep repair costs to a minimum. Call a professional HVAC contractor right away when you notice any of the following signs of AC problems:
- Warm air or reduced airflow
- Frequent on and off cycling
- Constant operation
- Shutting down before set temperature is reached
- Frozen evaporator or refrigerant lines
- Water or refrigerant leaks
- Screeching or grinding noises
- Unusual sounds or vibrations
- Musty or sour odors
- Tripped breakers
- Thermostat or control board failures
As long as your air conditioner is less than 15 years old and has no major failures, most common problems can be repaired easily with the help of a skilled HVAC technician.
When to Consider Air Conditioner Repairs
Most air conditioners have a service life of 12 to 15 years, though some models will last about 20 years with excellent maintenance practices. When a system is less than 15 years old, has a good maintenance history, and has no major failures, repair is often the best option. A qualified technician should be able to handle most common air conditioning repair services in the field, including:
- Air filter replacement
- Thermostat replacement
- Low-voltage transformer replacement
- Control board repair and replacement
- Coil cleaning and leak detection
- Refrigerant line repairs
- Expansion valve replacement
- Dryer and filter replacements
- Start capacitor, run capacitor, and start relay replacement
- Condenser fan and motor replacement
- Contactor replacement
Even when a manufacturer discontinues parts for a particular AC model, generic replacements are often available to complete common repairs.
When Air Conditioner Replacement Is Recommended
Sometimes, repair is simply not possible, or it may be too costly to justify when factoring in the age, performance, or condition of the system. An air conditioner replacement should be considered if any of the following is true:
- The air conditioner is over 12 years old – A system that is nearing the end of its service life should be replaced soon, especially if it is starting to have reliability problems.
- Major parts have failed – If the air conditioner has serious problems, such as a faulty compressor, a damaged blower motor, or a leaking condenser, replacement may be the most cost-effective option.
- It needs frequent repairs – If you are constantly repairing your air conditioner, a replacement may offer significantly higher reliability, along with lower repair costs.
- Parts are hard to find – When replacement parts are difficult to find, or cost-prohibitive, it may be best to install a new air conditioning system.
- It is costly to repair – If your air conditioner uses older, hard-to-find parts or a phased-out refrigerant, it may be quite costly to repair and maintain.
- It uses a phased-out refrigerant – If your air conditioner uses an older refrigerant that is being phased out, such as R-22, upgrading to a newer model may make future repairs and maintenance easier and much less costly.
- It is inefficient – Today’s air conditioners use far less energy that models made even a decade ago. Many older air conditioners offer 13 SEER or below, while today’s most efficient models are well above 20 SEER.
- It has poor performance – If you air conditioner cannot keep your home cool and the humidity under control, it is time for a replacement.
Upgrading to a new air conditioner can offer improved comfort, efficiency, and performance, as well as great new features like Wi-Fi thermostats, quiet variable-speed motors, and two-stage cooling. Plus, with significantly reduced energy usage, your utility bills will be lower every month.
Air Conditioner Repair & Replacement in Charleston, SC
When you are having a problem with your air conditioner, turn to Preferred Home Services. Our NATE-certified technicians will offer an accurate diagnosis, plus honest, realistic advice about your repair and replacement options.