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No one likes unexpected AC repair costs. When your air conditioner breaks down, it can be stressful. Your home becomes less comfortable by the hour, you need to find the right HVAC contractor, and you need to figure out how much everything is going to cost. 

AC repair costs can vary widely based on a variety of factors. It can be tricky to predict just how much a repair will cost you. However, with the right information, you can get closer to an accurate prediction. In Meade’s guide to AC Repair costs, we will look at what factors affect repair costs as well as other helpful tips that can help you through the process. 

What’s Typically Included in AC Repair?

When you call an HVAC contractor for a repair, the services they provide all depend on what the issue is. However, below is a basic breakdown of what you can expect. 

Inspection

The first step in fixing your air conditioning is to figure out what the issue is. This can be tricky to accomplish if you aren’t familiar with HVAC systems. Therefore, it is best to call in a professional HVAC contractor who specializes in air conditioner repairs. 

Maintenance

Once the issue has been identified, we can begin to correct the issue. It can be a fairly simple process or it can be complicated. For instance, if dust and dirt are causing a clog in your system, it may just need to be cleaned. If your system has not received maintenance recently, it may just need some more care and attention. 

Replacing Parts

Over time parts wear out. If a certain component of your air conditioner wears out, it can cause issues with the rest of your system. If this is the case, the part needs to be replaced. Your Meade HVAC technician can help you find the right replacement part and install it for you. 

What Affects Your AC Repair Costs?

As we mentioned before, air conditioning repair costs can vary widely. Below you will find some of the main factors that go into determining the overall price of air conditioning repairs. 

Age 

Most air conditioners last 10-15 years. If your air conditioner is on the older side, it may have more issues or even difficult to find parts. This can cause the overall price to rise. If your system is old, you may want to consider replacing the entire system instead. 

Timeline

The time of the year can also affect the overall costs of the repair. Air conditioning repairs are typically in high demand during the spring and summer months and therefore, can be more expensive. However, by keeping up with regular maintenance and planning ahead, you can help avoid this issue. 

Efficiency

The efficiency and size of your air conditioning can also play a part in overall repair costs. High-efficiency parts are generally more expensive. However, higher efficiency parts typically don’t break as easily and save you more money on energy bills over time. 

Size

Larger units generally require more work which can cost more. However, your house size generally determines the size of your unit and there is no way around this. (Note: You don’t want to buy a smaller unit to avoid this issue as this can lead to other problems.)

Wear-and-Tear

While a replacement air conditioner part will cost about the same to matter what, you can help save costs by decreasing the amount of work your system has to do. Open the windows when it is nice out and leave the temperature a few degrees higher when possible. Small changes can make a significant difference.

Maintenance 

Similar to wear-and-tear, maintenance can also affect the amount of repairs you need over time. When your system receives maintenance on a regular basis, it will stay in better condition longer. Annual or biannual maintenance also allows Meade to fix small issues before they turn into expensive repairs. 

Extent of Damage 

Overall, when it comes down to it, the extent of the damage generally determines the cost. The more issues and more damage, the more you will end up paying. This is yet another reason why it is important to maintain and check up on your air conditioner regularly. 

Signs That Your AC Needs Repair

If you think your air conditioner needs a repair, it is better to call an HVAC contractor sooner rather than later. If you notice any of the issues below, call the professionals at Meade to get it checked out. 

Won’t Turn On

The most obvious sign that your air conditioner needs a repair is that it won’t even turn on. There are multiple reasons why it may not be able to start up. If your air conditioner hasn’t run in a while and you are expecting to need it, it is a good idea to test it out first. This way, if there are any issues, you can get them fixed before you need it. 

Strange Sounds

There are a variety of strange sounds your air conditioner may make if there is an issue with it. Just a few include squeaking, clanking, rattling, banging, grinding, or whistling. Different noises also signify different problems. The best way to ensure your system receives the right fix is to call on a professional contractor. 

Strange Smells

Another fairly obvious sign there is something wrong with your air conditioner is strange smells. Typically a strange odor signifies that there is bacterial or mold growth in your system. Your system will likely need to be thoroughly cleaned. 

Leaks

There are generally two common issues that may cause a leak with your air conditioner. The first of the two is the drain tube being blocked or broken. This is a fairly simple and affordable fix. On the other hand, if there is a refrigerant leak, the issue is more serious and expensive. Both are issues that need to be addressed immediately. 

Lack of Comfort

There are all sorts of air conditioner issues that can cause your home to be uncomfortable. You may experience problems with uneven heating, high humidity, lack of cool air, and more. To pinpoint and correct the problem, call on the experts at Meade. 

Frequent Cycles

Finally, if your system is running more often than usual, it can signal issues and cause your utility bills to rise. You may simply need some maintenance or you may need to completely replace your system. Meade will help you determine which is the case for your HVAC system. 

Parts That Commonly Break

Some parts of your air conditioner are more prone to breaks than others. Here are some parts that commonly break or malfunction. 

Filters

Filters should be changed on a regular basis. Most need to be changed or cleaned on a monthly basis, however, some last longer. Either way, if you forget to change or clean your filter, it will become clogged. When this happens, it stops working properly and can lead to other issues with your system. 

Belts

The belt is a part of your air conditioning system that will wear out over time. When this happens, you can experience decreased efficiency and other issues with your system. Replacing your belt when necessary can help keep your system running smoothly and help prevent your system from breaking down. 

Contactors

Contactors control where and when the electricity flows in your system. If the contractors fail or malfunction, you will experience issues with your system. It is very important to call on a trained technician for this type of repair as there is a high-voltage hazard. 

Capacitor

The capacitor supplies and stores electrical energy. When your air conditioner is powered on, the capacitor’s job is to provide a high-voltage jolt (around 400 to 600 volts) to the compressor, fan motor, and blower motor.

Coils

Your air conditioner has two basic types of coils, the evaporator coil, and the condenser coil. They are housed in your outdoor unit. If either coil breaks, you may notice a variety of issues.

Compressor

The compressor is the heart of the system. Compressors can go bad for a variety of reasons and some problems can be hazardous to your family. This is yet another repair you want to leave to the professionals. 

Fan Motor

The fan motor helps circulate air throughout your home. If it is malfunctioning or broken, you may notice issues such as little to no air coming out of your vents or higher energy bills. 

Drain Line

The drain line gets rid of the moisture that your air conditioner removes from the air inside your home. If it is broken, you may notice a leak. In this case, it may need replacing. However, it may just be clogged. 

Typical AC Problems

Dirt

The build-up of dirt and debris within your HVAC system can cause all sorts of problems. This is why regular maintenance is so crucial. To avoid issues, schedule maintenance with Meade twice per year. 

Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant works as a medium to transport heat out of your home. If there is a leak, you may end up not having enough to effectively cool the air. Unfortunately, fixing the issue can be tricky and expensive. Be sure to use a professional HVAC contractor. 

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is filled with refrigerant. If something goes wrong, it can freeze and lose its ability to function properly. When this happens, you may notice warm air or no air coming out of your vents. 

Dirty Condenser Coil

With the condenser coil, the main issue you have to worry about is dust and debris. When the coil gets covered with dirt it will have trouble removing the heat. Then it will run longer and wear out faster. If left long enough, this will lead to even more issues. 

Fan Issues

There are two different fans in your air conditioners. If either has a faulty motor, is not lubricated, worn out, or covered in dirt, it can cause poor airflow and other problems. If left unchecked, it can lead to compressor failure and a total system breakdown for your air conditioner. 

Leaking Ducts

If your air ducts are broken or leaking somewhere, it can significantly impact the air flow in your home. The air can get stuck in the air ducts or leak out somewhere else. Then it never makes it into your home for your family to enjoy. If this is the case, you will likely need to have part of your duct system replaced.

Thermostat Malfunctions

The thermostat is the brains of your HVAC system. If it isn’t working properly, the rest of your system will experience issues as well. If your air conditioner isn’t doing what you want it to, check to see if any settings may have been accidentally changed. If not, your thermostat may need to be recalibrated. Meade can also help you replace the thermostat if it can not be fixed. 

Calling in the Pros to Fix Your AC

When it comes to ensuring your air conditioner gets fixed properly, it is best to call in professionals. A lot of repairs can be tricky and if something isn’t installed properly, it will likely lead to more issues. If your HVAC system needs a repair, call on the experts at Meade HVAC. You can do so on our website here: https://meadehvac.com/contact/. You can also call us at 610-458-8706. Together we can help get your air conditioner running again so your family can be comfortable and happy.