According to Maryland Energy Administration, heating and cooling account for between 50-70% of the energy used in the average American home. Our HVAC units are undoubtedly an appliance we rely on for comfort.
Living in Maryland with an AC unit that is faulty or needs replacing can mean inconvenience, discomfort, and wasted money. You don’t want to suffer through the heated summer months or the frigid winters without a functioning HVAC unit to keep you comfortable.
If you find yourself in need of air conditioning repair, it helps to know what to expect from the process.
It’s important to be well informed of when to call for air conditioning repair, what to expect during the process, and your options for a new installation or maintenance. Read on to understand what you can expect from your air conditioning repair project in Baltimore.
Signs Your AC May Need Repair
First, consider when you know it’s time for a repair. Your unit may be exhibiting some troublesome symptoms. Watch for the warning signs that mean your unit is ready for repair.
Some common issues that indicate a problem with your HVAC system:
- Blank thermostat
- Warm air coming out of vents
- No air coming out of vents
- Won’t maintain set temperature
- Air handler is leaking water
- Evaporator coil is iced up
- Longer run times
- Uneven heating or cooling
Don’t let the discomfort and inconvenience of a broken air conditioner affect your daily life. If your unit displays any of these behaviors, that means it’s time to call a heating and air conditioning repair specialist.
Places There May Be a Problem
Your air conditioner consists of several major parts. Any one of them may be responsible for the breakdown or failure of your unit. Read about the major components of your system and what they do.
Often hanging in your garage, in the attic, or in a dedicated closet, the air handler connects to the ductwork in your home, and its components are responsible for delivering the temperature-controlled air into your home.
Housed inside the air handler, the AC blower motor turns the blower wheel that pushes air through the ducts.
Another major component of the air handler, the evaporator coil, converts liquid refrigerant to gas. The evaporator coil allows the refrigerant to absorb heat and create cold air.
The thermostat relays power to the unit and signals it to engage in and when to stop a cooling cycle. It’s the central control of the unit.
The condenser is the part of the unit located outside of your home. Its components work to remove heat from the refrigerant and push the refrigerant through the system.
This part of the condenser compresses the refrigerant and moves it so that it can continue through the refrigeration cycle.
The compressed refrigerant travels through the condenser coil at a high temperature. As it circulates through the coil, it is cooled by a fan.
The condenser fan cools the condenser coil and keeps it from overheating and pressures getting too high.
Within these components is an intricate system of wiring, mechanical parts, motors, and piping that work together to carry out the refrigeration cycle. An expert HVAC technician will be familiar with each major component and all of its inner elements. If any of those parts require repair, it’s a job for a professional AC service company.
If Your Air Conditioner Needs Repair
There’s no doubt you’ll want to make the best decision when choosing a company to be responsible for your comfort. In Baltimore and the surrounding areas, you’ve got access to experienced companies that offer exemplary customer service and twenty-four-hour emergency care.
Here are some things to consider and what to look for when searching for a Maryland air conditioning contractor:
- What type of service do you need
- Reliability and reputation
- Experience and specialization
- Customer support technology
- Ease of access and communication
- Pricing and financing options are available
Contact the company using their available options. You may be able to submit an email or fill out an online service request. If you prefer, simply call and speak to one of their customer service representatives.
When you’re on that call, expect to:
- Describe the symptoms your unit is displaying
- Give the duration of the symptoms
- Discuss any interventions or troubleshooting you’ve tried
- Make an appointment for a date and time that a service technician will visit
Once you’ve made an appointment, a technician is dispatched to your home.
Meeting With Your Tech
When the technician arrives at your home, expect to review and discuss the symptoms your unit has been displaying. Try to account in as much detail and clarity as you can to help them pinpoint the issue.
The technician will possibly need access to the air handler and the thermostat to perform a diagnosis. Since these elements are inside the home, it helps to know they will need to enter. The technician then carries out a variety of tests that will give them the information they need to diagnose what is causing the problem.
The best air conditioner repair service in Maryland will offer a free estimate after thoroughly inspecting and diagnosing the issue.
It’s possible a technician can carry out the repair that day if they have the necessary parts on their vehicle. This is the case for many service calls. At times, a part needs ordering, and a follow-up appointment for its installation is set.
Asking questions is an important part of the process, and while the technician is at your home is a great time. Your knowledgeable technician will give you answers that guide your understanding of the issues in your unit and how they will be addressed.
Repair or Replace
If your system is over ten years old, it’s time for you to think about preparing for its replacement. As your unit ages, it can increasingly require expensive repairs and may begin running less efficiently, causing it to consume more energy.
Living with an AC unit that is faulty or needs replacing can mean inconvenience, discomfort, and wasted money. An air conditioner replacement for a unit that has reached the end of its lifespan means ensuring reliable comfort, not to mention the potential of considerable savings on your electric bill.
If repairs are becoming routine, it’s time to ask if your home is ready for an HVAC replacement.
Replacing: The Installation Process
If you decide that replacing your existing unit is best, here’s what to expect from a new installation project.
The first step in the installation process will be to meet with an expert consultant or a technician from your AC service company. They will present you with your options and guide you in selecting the right equipment for your home.
Before selecting a suitable unit, they will ask about your preferences and priorities. Some common elements that are important considerations include:
- Level of desired technology
- Efficiency rating
- Available warranty
Your preferences on these features may be the determining factor in which unit is suggested for your home.
Another part of this consultation will include your payment options. Often companies offer the convenience of financing a new installation project.
If you accept the proposal, the company will arrange a date and time for the installation team to arrive and install your new unit.
On the day of installation, the team will verify the job to be done and review your proposal to ensure it meets your expectations. Then, their first step is to remove all of the old equipment.
Removing the air handler means gaining access and setting up a workspace near that part of the unit. Expect the technician to enter and work in the garage, attic, or closet that houses your air handler.
The condenser, which is located on the outside of your house, gets removed by disconnecting the electrical and refrigerant lines in accordance with EPA guidelines.
The new installation process includes your AC company removing and disposing of all old parts and equipment. They’ll be responsible for taking the used materials from your property.
To ensure compatibility and that everything is up to code, technicians may need to make minor changes to the system’s existing infrastructure.
Technicians may modify or replace:
- Low and high voltage wiring
- Refrigerant piping
- Electrical breakers
- Outdoor condenser pad
These changes are not needed in all cases, but they should be checked and addressed before the installation can begin.
The installers set the new air handler and new condenser into place, and then ductwork gets mechanically attached. They will braze all refrigerant lines, connect the drain lines, and wire the electricity.
Installing the thermostat will require a technician to enter that area of your home. They’ll wire it in and program it to communicate with the new unit.
After the installation steps, it’s time to power up the unit. Your technician runs the unit and conducts a system operations assessment. While it’s running, technicians make judgments about efficiency and performance.
This means technicians will check the significant operation points of the unit in both modes of heating and cooling.
Assessed points are:
- Refrigerant levels
- Supply air temperature
- Drain function
During this assessment, technicians can make adjustments as needed to ensure all parts are working correctly. The goal is to leave you with a 100% well-functioning unit.
Cleanup Walkthrough Payment
The installation team will clean their work area to remove any debris or tools. The last steps before leaving include a presentation and overview of your new AC unit.
The technician will brief you on how to use your thermostat and ensure you feel comfortable with the new equipment. This is a great time to ask any questions you might have.
Finally, confirm the terms of your financing agreement. If you’re not financing the unit, expect to make payment once the job is complete.
Make a Decision About Maintenance
Whether you decide to stick with your old unit or move forward with a new installation, you’ll be asked about participating in a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan can prove to be a major money-saving move in the life of your unit. You’ll be guaranteeing that a skilled technician cares for, cleans, and replaces any components of your unit before they reach failure.
Here are some significant benefits of enrolling in a routine AC maintenance plan:
- Increased unit efficiency
- Lower energy costs
- Fewer repairs
- Prevention of major issues
- Preserve the warranty on your unit
Discuss preventative maintenance with your technician. They can explain the details of the many benefits along with what’s included during each maintenance visit. It’s an excellent option for extending the life of your unit.
Upgrades or Add-Ons
There may be new AC technology that interests you. During your repair, the technician may suggest possible upgrades or add-ons to your unit that could improve its performance or offer other benefits to your health and convenience.
For example, a wi-fi or programmable thermostat can offer the flexibility of controlling your unit even when you’re not at home. This proves to be a cost-saving measure because you can ensure your unit isn’t running when you don’t need cooling or heating.
UV lights are known to kill certain bacteria, and it’s possible to place a UV light in the air handler of your unit. As air passes by the light, it rids the air of mold and mildew. Many homeowners experience improved air quality and fewer allergy symptoms with a UV light installation.
Be Prepared for Air Conditioning Repair
Don’t let the unknowns of the air conditioning repair process delay your comfort and exacerbate an existing problem. Consider what you’ll experience and know that you’ll have a competent company and expert technician to help guide you through all the steps.
Does your Maryland HVAC system need repair? If you’ve noticed the signs of a potential problem or have an aging unit that might need replacing, contact us today to schedule a service appointment or get a free estimate on your air conditioner repair project.