AC repair in Orlando: DIY tips
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When your air conditioner breaks down, the hours spent waiting for an HVAC technician can feel like days. Before scheduling an AC repair in Orlando, try these basic DIY steps for a potentially simple fix.
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AC repair safety
No matter if you’re trying DIY air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace repair, safety always comes first. Before touching the inner components or any hardware, shut off your power at the source. Wait at least an hour for the AC to cool down.
Shutting off the thermostat won’t cut off the power entirely. Disable the power at the circuit breaker to ensure your system has lost power before touching any machinery.
Air conditioner is running nonstop
Orlando summer temperatures hover in the mid to high-90s. Naturally, air conditioners run most often when the weather is warm. Still, a system that’s running nonstop either needs DIY or professional AC repair.
A range of issues can cause an air conditioner to run nonstop. While bigger issues require a pro, here are some troubleshooting tips you can try before ringing a technician.
Check the thermostat
If your thermostat is set to “on,” the air conditioner fan will blow nonstop. Make sure that your thermostat is in the “auto” position. This setting ensures the fan stops when it reaches the desired temperature.
If the thermostat is on “auto,” check the return vents for any blockage or buildups.
Check the air handler/blower motor
The air handler is the indoor component of a central air conditioning system. It usually resembles a locker or a metal box and is typically found in the attic or basement. It houses key components, like the blower motor and air filter.
Check the blower motor and the cage surrounding the motor. If either the blower motor itself or the cage is dirty, clean it with a microfiber rag.
Check the air filter
The air filter is located inside your air handler. You may need a screwdriver or another similar tool to open the air handler.
A dirty or clogged filter can block airflow and prevent the AC from reaching the desired temperature. Remove the filter and check it for any debris. If the filter is washable, you can clean it with soap and water.
If your filter is disposable, it’s time to replace it. Check out our guide to air filter sizes to make sure you’re buying the right size for your air conditioner.
Check your ducts
AC repair in Orlando could extend to your ductwork. Air could be escaping through cracks or gaps in the ductwork.
For small cracks, this $12 duct sealant makes a convenient DIY fix. Sizable holes and ductwork gaps are better suited for a professional.
Pro needed for AC repair in Orlando
If none of the DIY troubleshooting tips worked, your air conditioner may be too small for your home. The thermostat may also be malfunctioning.
A professional HVAC technician can better diagnose the issue and suggest an effective fix.
Book an Orlando HVAC pro for ductwork inspection
Air conditioner is blowing warm air
Though most problems that cause an AC to blow warm air will require professional treatment, some common culprits are easy to fix on your own.
Check the thermostat
Make sure the thermostat is set to “cold.” If you have a heat pump and it’s been switched to “hot” mode, it will blow out warm air.
Also, make sure the fan is set to “auto.” When the AC fan is in “on” mode, it will blow air even after the desired temperature is reached.
Check the air handler
Locate your air handler. It’s usually inside an attic, basement, or closet. Listen out for a buzzing noise, which may point to a refrigerant leak.
A refrigerant leak will need a professional fix. Still, you can open the air handler and try to pinpoint the leak with this detection tool from Amazon.
Check the drain pipe
The drain pipe, or the condensate drain, may be clogged. It’s usually near or attached to the outdoor unit that sits outside your home.
Push through the drain line with a stiff wire brush. The clog may clear on its own, or you can use a 1:10 bleach and water mixture to break up any buildup.
When to call an HVAC technician
A common cause of warm air is low refrigerant charge. When refrigerant, or coolant, gets low, the air conditioner cannot produce cool air.
An HVAC technician will recharge the refrigerant. This can cost anywhere from $100 to $800, depending on the size of your AC and the amount of refrigerant needed.
Refrigerant can also leak out of the coils. An HVAC technician can detect and fix the leak. Depending on the size of the leak, this can cost anywhere from $225 to $1,600.