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Should You Be Doing Your Air Condition Repairs Yourself? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Should you be doing air condition repair yourself? If you have an air conditioner system in your house, it is only fitting that you know a thing or two about the air conditioner system as an owner. 

However, does that mean you should repair the air condition system yourself? Let us find out in today’s article. 

Should You Be Repairing Your Air Condition System By Yourself?

When you decide to repair an AC unit yourself and you don’t really know how to go about it, you tend to put yourself and the people around you lives at risk. You might end up electrocuting yourself or might cause a refrigerant leak.

so to answer this question, if you know how to go about repairing air conditioners, then you can go ahead and repair it yourself, but if you don’t have any knowledge about air condition repair, it is best if you take it to a professional for him to do the repairs for you.

Air-condition systems typically get checkups a few times a year, so you will not have any problems with yours.

However, the work they do by taking out the hot air inside your house and replacing it with cold air makes them prone to breakdown and faults. 

The filter, for instance, needs to be replaced at certain times when it gets filled with debris that tries to get inside the air condition system. 

Not replacing the filter can lead to the air condition system breaking down, and this means that this is something that an air conditioner owner should be able to do and not always have to call the repairman. 

However, you cannot perform a complete repair on your air conditioner system since you are not a professional.

You might end up causing more problems to the air condition system than what it was already dealing with. 

So as an owner of an air conditioner, there are some tips, you should know and be able to handle yourself without calling the professionals to the scene. 

As an owner, you probably do not want to be calling the repairman unless you need to do so.

What Is An Air Conditioner?

In simple terms, an air conditioner is an electrical appliance used to cool a house by taking out the hot air inside the house and replacing it with cold air. 

The hot air taken from the house is deposited outside the air conditioner. An air conditioner is an electrical appliance that maintains humidity around the house and frees the air in the home from excessive humidity during certain seasons. 

The air conditioner supplies the house with constant and adequate ventilation and effectively removes hot air.

The air conditioner uses a refrigerant to take out hot air and replace it with cold air. The refrigerant changes from liquid to gas and then back to liquid when transferring hot air out of the house. 

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There are also other things such as the filter and the coils that assist in taking out the hot air and replacing it with cold air inside the house. 

The filter filters the particles inside the air conditioner while the coils transfer the hot air outside the house. 

What Is A Refrigerant?

A refrigerant is a compound that you can find inside the air conditioner. The refrigerant can be in either a liquid or gaseous state, depending on its doing at that particular time. 

The refrigerant absorbs the heat inside the house and then provides refrigeration or air conditioning and other components like the compressors and the evaporators. 

When the refrigerant absorbs the heat inside the house, it changes itself from a liquid state into a gaseous state to deposit the hot outside of the air conditioner before returning into a liquid form after it cools down.

Let us now look at how the refrigerant works inside your air condition appliance.

How It Works

You can find the refrigerant inside the air conditioner inside the copper coils, and as the air conditioner absorbs the heat from the house, it changes form from being a liquid into a gas. 

The components in the air conditioner then send the refrigerant outside, where a fan blows the hot air away.

The refrigerant changes from being a gas into a liquid inside the air conditioner after cooling down. 

A fan then blows air over the excellent coils, and this cold air is distributed around the room.

So that is the primary cycle of how an air conditioner system works inside your house. 

The air conditioner absorbs the hot air inside the house and deposits that air outside the home, and it then replaces the hot air with cold air. 

When you switch the air conditioner off, the hot air is allowed back inside the house again, so once you switch the air conditioner back on, the cycle repeats itself as the air conditioner absorbs the hot air, and takes it outside and replaces it with cold air. This cycle will thus continue on and on and on.

Types Of Refrigerants

Several types of refrigerants are used in the construction of air conditioners. However, we are going to make mention of the most commonly known ones. 

These are the ones that are commonly used in the air conditioners and refrigerators that you usually use in your various houses. Let us look at the different types of refrigerants below.

Chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs)

This is one of the oldest known types of refrigerant, and it was used in the 1900s. This refrigerant was known to contribute to the greenhouse gas effect or global warming. 

Because of this, it was not suitable for use in air condition systems, and they finally halted its production in 1994. An example of this refrigerant is known as the R12 

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

This refrigerant was less damaging to the ozone layer when compared to the CFC. 

However, it was still not environmentally friendly. After the EPA mandated a phase-out by introducing the Clean Air Act in 2010, the production of this refrigerant was finally halted in 2020. 

An example of this refrigerant is the R12.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

This refrigerant contained no chlorine within its ingredients and was safer for the environment than the other two mentioned above. 

Most of the air conditioner running in this refrigerant is very efficient and reliable and produces better air quality than those running on the older refrigerants.

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Some examples of this refrigerant are the R13A and the R410A.

Refrigerant Laws That Govern Their Use

As an air conditioner owner, you should be aware of some laws that govern the electrical appliance you are using in your house, although you need to be concerned with it. 

Although the R410A is an HFC refrigerant, that does not mean that it is a hundred percent safe for the environment. 

This is why there are laws that the EPA has enacted to make sure that these refrigerants are appropriately used. This rule helps to minimize their effects on the environment. 

 Let us look at the laws that govern the use of refrigerants below. 

Please make sure to pay close attention so that you can know when you are violating a law or not, although these rules are applied to the manufacturers rather than the owners of the air condition appliances. 

  1. Venting refrigerant intentionally is prohibited by the law.
  2. Low-loss fittings should be used to limit the amount of refrigerant released into the environment during purging and the connection and disconnection of air conditioners.
  3. Technicians should always recapture, recycle and dispose of refrigerants safely.
  4. Air conditioners and other appliances that run on refrigerants should be disposed of according to the disposal rules that the EPA has set for their disposal.
  5. Air conditions that have refrigerant leaks must be repaired within 30 days.
  6. The only people allowed to purchase refrigerants are heating, ventilation, and air conditioning companies and technicians who have been licensed. Anybody else is prohibited from buying the refrigerants
  7. People who violate these rules and any other rules that govern the use and handling of refrigerants can be met with harsher punishments from the EPA. Such people can be fined as high as $37,000 per day.

So below are some of the things you can do to fix your air conditioner when it develops a fault. Please note that if the defect is something you cannot do anything about, then that is the time to call the repairman. Below are some things that you can do for your air conditioner. 

How To Fix Your Air Condition Yourself

Changing The Air Filter

This is something that you can do. You should always change the air filter in the air conditioner.

When you fill dust after being in the air conditioner for months, it can cause uneven airflow, low airflow, or tripping circuit breakers. 

It is advisable to change the air filter every three months to keep the air conditioner running smoothly.

Examining The Thermostat

Although this may seem a bit silly, the problem with your air conditioning may sometimes be with the thermostat. 

All you may have to do is check some settings on the thermostat. It could be possible that another occupant in the house may have changed the programming on the thermostat, so all you will have to do is revert it to the previous settings, and you are good to go. 

If you have a heat pump, you may have accidentally set the thermostat to heating mode instead of cooling mode.

Resetting Tripped Circuit Breakers

If the fans and compressors of your air conditioner system are not starting at all, you should go and check the electrical circuit breakers to see if any of them have been tripped. 

A temporary overload of the AC can cause this while it is starting up. Just reset the breaker and see if that will solve the problem or not.

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If the circuit breaker gets tripped again, you should call the repairman to see what is wrong with the air conditioner.

Cleaning The Outside Of The Air Condition

If your air conditioner is producing low cooling, this may be because of dirt and obstructions outside the air conditioner, which is the condenser. 

The condenser cannot absorb heat from the inside of the room if it cannot release heat to the outside. 

Always brush off the cabinet with a broom to remove dirt and any obstructions so the condenser can work smoothly. 

Opening Room Vents 

Always make sure that the room vents are open to reduce the pressure in the AC. Closing the vents increases the pressure in the AC, and this can cause it to shut off early forcefully. 

Ensure that all the room vents are always open, with nothing blocking them.

Air Conditioners Need Professional HVAC Technicians 

Before we go to the DIYs, let me emphasize that you should not try to repair your air condition system yourself. 

The air condition systems of today are intricate pieces of refrigeration appliances that take months to assemble.

Technicians spend years training and using special tools and equipment to handle such devices. 

As such, you should not attempt to act as a technician when you should not. An air conditioner owner should never try to do everyday repair tasks like sealing refrigerant leaks, replacing motors, and recharging lost refrigerants. 

Always call the professionals to handle such matters. Diagnosing the issue can even be tricky for an amateur to handle. 

Should I Replace 30-Year-Old Air Conditioner?

AC is designed to last for more than 10-30 years, taking good care of your AC determines how long it will last.

Remember the more you use the AC, the more your AC gets old, so when you see your AC malfunctioning, you can decide to repair and if it is beyond repair, you can then buy a new one.

Should I Replace A 25-year-Old Air Conditioner?

AC is designed to last for more than 25 years so the more you are able to take good care of your air conditioner, the more you will be able to use it for a longer time.

If your AC is still functioning after 25 years, then that means it is strong and you should do your best to continue using it and taking good care of it.

How Do I Know When My Air Conditioner Needs To Be Replaced?

You should start thinking of replacing your air conditioner when you notice these signs:

  • Foul smell
  • Limited airflow and lack of cool air 
  • High energy bills 
  • Strange sounds

Conclusion

So this article was about whether to repair your AC by yourself or not. As you can see, there are some things that you can do to make sure that your AC is performing smoothly, and we have listed all these in this article.

Apart from these, always call the repairman when you notice something is wrong with the AC.

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