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The Importance of a Good AC Repairman

Published June 6, 2023
Written by Eric Smith
The Importance of a Good AC Repairman

How important is it to hire the right AC repairman? Turns out, very. Here’s our Master Tradesman’s take on how to pick ’em when you need one.

Like any appliance, your AC unit experiences wear and tear over time. And in the summer months, it doesn’t take long for an AC breakdown to break you down. So we understand the temptation to try and fix the issue yourself—or pay the cheapest AC repair guy Google can find to get it done.

But don’t do it! AC mistakes can be costly, especially when they cause further damage to the cooling unit. A well-trained AC technician should be able to do all of the following:

  • Properly diagnose your unit,
  • Provide a lasting repair job, and
  • Ensure that it’s running efficiently (not just effectively!)

That’s how a real expert saves you money on energy bills and repair bills in the long run. That’s right: it should be enough to make a noticeable difference!

Important Signs Your AC Needs Repair ASAP

First, some sage advice from our Master Tradesman himself:

Pay attention to your AC unit when it’s working; don’t just ignore it until there’s a problem.

That’s how you’ll catch these signs early (and for some of them, there ain’t a real big window before they get worse).

AC Symptoms List

  1. Reduced airflow. You may notice that the air blowing from your air conditioner seems really weak, or at least markedly weaker than it used to be. If so, you’re probably not imagining it, and it really is an indication of a developing problem.

  2. Strange noises. Banging, rattling, and screeching are NOT normal. If you’ve lived with this for a while and dealt with it by adjusting your AC usage to be really sparing, be careful. Not only are you putting yourself in danger, but your air conditioner isn’t going to keep functioning like this for long. Make sure you’re not the one being conditioned to accept poor performance!

  3. Foul odors. There’s never a good reason for a bad smell.  We’ll avoid getting too scientific here, but if you’re able to smell something, that basically means that particles of the source of the smell are already in contact with your airways. Mold is just one example of a respiratory contaminant that can colonize in an AC unit and cause disrepair…not to mention serious illness!

  4. Leaking water. If you notice water leaking from your air conditioning unit, it may be a sign of a clogged drain or a more serious issue with the unit. (By the way, AC leaks are notorious for disguising themselves as furnace leaks.)

If you notice any of these symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact an AC repairman as soon as possible.

DIY Repairs: Why You SHOULDN’T Do It Yourself

The Risks of Unqualified AC “Repairs”

Although aggregating a bunch of ill-advised “DIY AC repairs” would probably get us more clicks for less effort, at the end of the day it’d go against our conscience. You need and deserve a cost-effective solution, sure—but not a bunch of fake solutions that would end up sending you right back to us, costing you more money to have us clean up the inevitable mess.

First of all, do-it-yourself repairs can actually void your warranty. But hey, let’s say it goes alright: even in the best-case scenario, any future AC breakdown is gonna put you out thousands of dollars. (We’re willing to bet those other articles do a tidy job of avoiding this fact.)

More commonly, DIY repair attempts cause further damage to the AC unit, leading to more expensive repairs in the future.

Finally, improper handling of an air conditioner can be legitimately dangerous, posing actual risk of bodily harm to you and your family.

Self-done AC “Solutions” to Avoid

Some of the most widely-recommended bad ideas we see getting passed around are recommendations to add refrigerant, clean the evaporator coil, and perform consumable parts replacement. Here’s a super brief glance at the perils of each:

  • Adding refrigerant yourself: While it may seem like a quick fix, trying to refill your own refrigerant is a fast way to cause more harm than good. Seriously, pulling something like this when you don’t know what you’re doing is liable to result in compressor failure (or worse). And that is not cheap to get fixed.

  • Cleaning your own evaporator coil: Yes, it’s important to keep your AC unit clean, and there are some reasonable steps homeowners can take to accomplish this. But trust us when we say that the inner workings of an air conditioner are best left to the professionals. Why? Because in this case, an AC repairman’s specialized tools plus his knowledge of the trade are the only things standing between you and disaster.

  • Replacing parts yourself: For your own good, just don’t. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

⚠ Skimming this article? Look carefully: the above are NOT recommendations!

Actual AC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

“Isn’t there anything I can do to keep my AC in better shape? There must be a way to live without needing constant HVAC repairs.”

If these thoughts are familiar to you, yes! You’re absolutely right. Some of the services we provide are things you can regularly handle without us, if you so choose. You’re not powerless here.

How to Minimize Repair Costs & Extend the Useful Life of Your AC

A correctly fitted, properly installed AC system should last between 11 and 15 years. Within those last four years, a lot can go wrong…or you can avoid tons of trouble with preemptive care right now. Are you doing these? If not, it’s time to start:

– Regular cleaning: Cleaning the visible, easily-accessible parts of your air conditioner is a perfectly safe way to preempt dirt and debris from building up and creating hard-to-fix airflow issues.

– Changing filters: Changing your AC filters regularly is genuinely beneficial, not only to the AC, but also to you! It’s an easy, affordable way to improve your indoor air quality and prevent the unit from working harder than it needs to.

– Checking refrigerant levels: Regularly checking your AC unit’s refrigerant levels can ensure that it is running at maximum efficiency. Yes, you’ll need to call us when you notice it’s low, but that’s a lot cheaper than letting your AC try to function without a drop of refrigerant left and having total AC failure take you by surprise.

What to Look for in an AC Repairman or Company

Have you put much thought into what kind of AC company you want to do business with? To make sure you’re getting a worthy repairman, you should be on the lookout for certain characteristics. In particular, these qualities are what Team Austin calls the “Big Four”: experience, professionalism, customer reviews, and licensing & insurance. These bases are all you need to cover for an accurate, at-a-glance concept of the company’s reputation and credentials. So remember them! Then, once you’ve identified these traits in an HVAC biz, you can consider it a green light to go ahead and set your first appointment.

“How can I benefit from hiring an AC expert?”

Glad you asked!

A high-quality AC repairman is someone with enough experience to diagnose the problem & fix it correctly the first time. It’s someone who knows what proper energy consumption looks like, so they can warn you when you’re spending more than necessary on utilities. And of course, it’s gonna be someone certified, able and willing to offer warranty protection on every dollar you put into AC repairs.

When it comes to compressor problems, refrigerant leaks, thermostat replacement, ductwork repairs, and so much more, trust the AC gurus at Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air. Booking online is fast and easy. You won’t regret it!

About The Author: Eric Smith
Eric Smith is a 3rd generation State of Wisconsin Master Plumber, Water Well Pump Installer, Plumbing Contractor, Water Well Contractor, HVAC Contractor and Water Treatment Expert and the owner of Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air.