Air Conditioning Unit Repair Guide

Air conditioner units can experience a variety of problems. Let’s go through the most common symptoms and investigate what the underlying root cause could be. This should serve as an air conditioner unit troubleshooting guide. One of the most common things that can go wrong is that the unit will not turn on. First thing to check is, is the unit getting power. You may have a bad breaker. Check to see if the breaker is tripped (see next section). There may be a burned out wire at the disconnect. This is an inexpensive repair. Other causes can be a defective contactor, wire burned off at contactor, thermostat problem, or maybe just cut or damaged wiring. An electrician may be able to repair any of these problems for under $200.

Another issue could be that the circuit breaker will not stay on. Whenever you power up the AC unit, the breaker trips. The breaker itself may be bad. You can swap in a breaker to check this. Make sure it’s the right spec breaker. Now a more serious issue is that you may have a grounded compressor. This is a high ticket repair. You may also have a short to ground in the fan motor or defective contactor. These are slightly less expensive to fix.

You may also have a fan problem where the fan is humming but not turning. If you’re lucky it’s a burned out wire. If you’re not lucky, it’s a defective fan motor and could cost around $300. It may also be a problem with a capacitor.

The fan maybe working just fine but the compressor is not running. This may be hard to diagnose. Again you may have a wiring problem and you get off lucky with an inexpensive repair. A compresser problem can manifest in a variety of forms and costs to fix. You may need to perform some maintenance on the compressor like adjusting the refrigerant charge or cleaning the coil. If you have a serious compressor failure and you need to replace it, you’re looking at around 1000 bucks. You may have a smaller failure in the compressor like a relay or start capacitor which should run under $200

Let’s move inside the house and look at a problem that may occur there. The fan inside the house may not run. Again you as with the outside fan, you may have a bad fan motor. This is a pretty expensive fix, around 300 – 400 bucks. Or you may have a bad capacitor, this is cheaper, about $100. You may just need a little cleaning and general maintenance. You may just need to clean out the evaporator coil or get a new filter. And of course wiring could be a problem. It might be handy to have a Fluke digital multimeter around to check things like this. You may also have some other fan problem like a defective fan center which is more expensive at around $200.

Air Conditioning Unit Repair Guide continued in part 2

Next: Air Conditioning Unit Repair Guide Part 2