When it comes to central air conditioning, prevention is always the best medicine. Having your HVAC system inspected, maintained and repaired regularly is a good way to ensure your A/C always works, and it can save you a lot of money.
Why are regular inspections so important? Let’s go over a few of the most expensive HVAC repairs that can easily be prevented if you take the proper precautions.
1. Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigerant is the special compound that is found in the coils of your air conditioning unit. By changing from gas to liquid and back, it is responsible for cooling the air, and keep you and your family comfortable, even in the hottest conditions.
And, when refrigerant leaks occur, your HVAC system will lose its ability to cool your home more effectively. To make up for this, the condenser unit must often work harder to maintain the proper air temperature.
If the condenser unit is over-taxed in this way for an extended period of time, it could fail altogether – which can cost between $400-$1,200 or more to replace. In addition, hiring a professional HVAC technician to find, diagnose, and fix the leak can also cost you hundreds of dollars.
However, most refrigerant leaks are quite gradual – and can be caught with an annual inspection, and repaired for a fraction of the cost.
2. Failed Air Compressor
The air compressor is responsible for moving the refrigerant through your evaporator coils, to remove heat and humidity. If your coils are dirty and poorly-maintained, this can result in compressor failure, because the compressor must work harder to expel heat, and keep your home cool.
This results in overheating, and the breakdown of the compressor. Other common causes of compressor failure include blocked lines and hoses, which put additional stress on the unit.
Wondering how much of an impact this central air conditioning repair will have on your finances? If the compressor can be repaired, you’ll pay a few hundred bucks. But if it’s totally broken, expect to pay between $1,300-$1,800 for a brand-new compressor.
But don’t worry. With proper yearly maintenance, you can ensure that your evaporator coils are clean, and that the rest of your unit is properly maintained. With proper care, the air compressor can last up to 15 years.
3. Condenser Breakdown
In a central air conditioning system, the condenser is the unit that’s on the outside of your home, which is responsible for releasing heat from your home, via condensation. It consists of quite a few moving parts – the compressor, the blower fan, the condenser coils which are full of refrigerant, and a number of motors and other moving parts.
If your condenser breaks down, it can be very expensive to repair, because an HVAC technician will have to check every system, and see which ones are working, and which ones are not. Repairing the condenser can cost hundreds of dollars – and if it’s in particularly bad shape, it may have to be replaced completely.
Most often, condenser breakdown is caused by debris and dirt building up on the unit. That means that, as long as you clean and maintain your condenser at least once per year, and make sure you remove debris that could fall in and damage the unit, you can avoid condenser issues – and the corresponding costs.
Invest In Regular Maintenance And Repairs – And Stretch Your Dollar
A yearly HVAC inspection may seem unnecessary, but it can make the difference between facing a $200 repair and a $2,000 repair. Just like any other appliance, your HVAC unit needs proper preventive maintenance to function efficiently, and live its full lifespan.
So don’t neglect your air conditioning. If you do, you could face some serious financial issues if a major component fails, particularly in the heat of summer. Hire a professional for an annual HVAC inspection, and you’ll have peace of mind, and know that you’re making a great financial decision.