The Perils of Trying to Repair Your AC Unit Yourself


Five Mistakes That Can Happen When Trying to Fix Your Air Conditioning

There are few things that are worse than when your residential air conditioning unit goes out, especially if it’s during the dog days of summer. Some common signs of a faulty A/C unit include blowing hot air, a sudden spike in temperature, and strange noises coming from the unit itself such as clanking or hissing. If you turn down your thermostat, but the temperature holds steady or goes up, you definitely have a problem on your hands. Regardless of the reason your A/C unit goes out, it won’t be long before you start to feel the effects of it in the home.

For some people who are of a “do it yourself” nature, it may be tempting to attempt to fix the air conditioning unit on their own. However, just as there are many reasons why an A/C unit breaks, there are just as many things that can go wrong during the repair if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Peril #1 – Buying the Wrong Filter

Filters that have reached the end of their lifespan are a common problem when it comes to air conditioning units. Although this is a pretty easy thing to swap out, many people make the mistake of buying the incorrect filter for the air conditioning system. To avoid this problem, verify the size and type of filter your specific air conditioner takes before making your purchase.

Peril #2 – Beating on the Unit

If your air conditioning unit is malfunctioning, the last thing that you want to do is to smack the side of it in an attempt to jumpstart it back to life. It won’t work, and it could make the situation worse. Never use brute force to fix an A/C unit.

Peril #3 – Using Duct Tape as a Permanent Fix

Duct tape has plenty of useful applications, but being a permanent fix for an air conditioning unit isn’t one of them. If there is a hole, leak, or other type of puncture in the lines or ducts of the A/C unit, duct tape is not going to serve as anything more than a quick fix. At most, it buys you a little bit of time so that you can implement a real solution.

Peril #4 – Attempting to Replace the Refrigerant Yourself

Refrigerant is one of the key components in your air conditioning unit. Contained within the coil, this liquid agent coils and dehumidifies indoor air. If the unit starts blowing lukewarm air, then that’s usually a sign that you’re low on refrigerant. Don’t be tempted into trying to replace this yourself. Refrigerants are highly dangerous if improperly handled. Your best course of action is to hire a professional to ensure that the job is being done right.

Peril #5 – Taking the Unit Apart

Just because you have a set of tools in your garage does not mean that you should take your air conditioning unit apart and start poking around, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking at. This is a common mistake that people make though. They know their air conditioning unit is broken, and so they start taking things apart in an attempt to discover the problem. Before you know it, there are pieces of air conditioning scattered about and you have no idea how to put them back together.

Keep Calm and Reach Out to the Experts

If your air conditioning unit goes out – stay calm. Your first order of business should be to maintain the temperature of the home by any means necessary. Try to avoid opening any doors or windows as that will release the cool air out of your home. Utilize any fans or portable air conditioning units that you may have and place them strategically throughout the home. Finally, don’t do anything that would create unnecessary heat. For instance, turning on the oven or other heat-generating appliance would be a very bad idea.

Your next step should be getting in touch with a company that specializes in air conditioner repairs. Do not be surprised if there is a long wait time before a technician can make it out to your home. Air conditioner repair may be in high demand in your local area, and service calls spike exponentially during the summer months. Your best course of action is to stay calm, keep your home cool, and be patient. Most importantly, resist the temptation to try and fix the A/C unit yourself.

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