As a homeowner, you may be in the similar predicament: The temperature outside is rising rapidly and your home is starting to resemble a sauna, but when you turned on your air conditioning unit, nothing happened. The sweet escape of frigid air that you have come to expect never occurred. And even after you checked all of the connections and fumbled with the switches a bit, you still couldn’t get it to go on.


While the frustration of having a broken unit is only adding to the uncomfortableness of the humidity and heat, the best thing you can do in this type of situation is contact your local HVAC company as soon as possible. When we arrive at a client’s home for a maintenance call, we always perform a 24-point inspection, which essentially checks for any signs of a Freon leak, a faulty capacitor, and an array of other important systems and parts within the unit.


Freon Leak

Freon is a compound that is used as a refrigerant. Essentially, Freon will last in your AC unit indefinitely unless there is a leak. Otherwise, it should never have to be replaced or refilled. Whenever we are first called to a home where a broken AC unit has been reported, the first step is to check for any loss of Freon. Since this is a common cause for problem with AC units, our team at AAA Airwaves Air Conditioning and Heating has developed a series of inspections that are done to establish where a possible leak is coming from.


If it turns out that a leak is indeed the problem, then as a homeowner, you have two choices. First, if you have never had this problem before, then the HVAC technician who comes to your home can fix the source of the leak and replace any lost Freon so that your unit is in working condition again. However, if you have had Freon added to the unit once before, then you cannot do so again. Legally, the Environmental Protection Agency only allows for Freon to be replaced in an AC unit one time. If the problem resurfaces, then you must make all of the appropriate repairs or replace the entire system.


Faulty Capacitor

Another common cause for AC issues is a blown capacitor, which stores energy and allows currents to pass so that your system can turn on and function as desired. While the part itself may be small, its job is significant, and without a properly functioning capacitor, your entire unit will not turn on.


In my experience, the common denominator when your HVAC system fails to work in the middle of summer or on the coldest winter night is that you didn’t follow the industry guidelines that encourage you to have your system maintained twice a year (this is particularly most often the cause for a blown capacitor).


Too often, people negate the importance of having their HVAC units inspected because they assume that if the machine turns on, then there are no problems. However, when you see your neighbor outside in the heat with sweat on his brow toying with his broken AC unit, you’ll be glad you made the call.


Dean Matthews is a writer for Yodle ,, a business directory and online advertising company. Find an HVAC contractor or more HVAC articles at Yodle Consumer Guide.


Author: Dean Matthews

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