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Four Signs Your Home Could Require Emergency AC Repair

No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to a warm and humid home during the hot Texas summers. Yet, air conditioning systems do break down unexpectedly when they are not well-maintained, and then they require an emergency AC repair service call.

Require Emergency AC Repair

Long before your home’s AC breaks without warning, there are several early warning signs it will exhibit. If you can catch these and have the AC system repaired by our air conditioner company, you can hopefully avoid scheduling a 24-hour emergency repair service. Some of the more common warning signs to watch for include:

  1. There is a reduction in the force of the airflow blowing out of the vents.

This problem can be related to the air conditioning system not having access to unrestricted air flow. There can be a few causes for this type of problem. The most frequent cause is a dirty and clogged air filter.

If you notice this problem, the first thing you will want to do is check your air filter. If it is dirty and caked full of dust, dirt, and other debris, then change it. DO NOT run the air conditioner without a filter. Doing so will allow dirt, hair, dust and other debris to get inside the system and potentially damage it.

The other cause for a reduction in airflow could be an obstruction in the air vents themselves. It is not unheard of for a small animal, like a squirrel, mouse, or bird to get into the air vents and build a nest.

The materials they use to build the nest can block the air flow and create a restriction in the air vents. You will want to have our air conditioner company clean your air vents and verify all obstructions have been removed.

  1. The air conditioner is constantly running but not blowing cold air.

The cause for this issue could be that your air conditioner needs to have its coolant levels recharged. There might also be a slow leak in the cooling coils where the coolant is escaping. Additionally, if the air intake vents on the sides of the outdoor unit are dirty and need cleaning, the cooling coils cannot properly release heat.

This will cause the coolant to become warmer, so the air blowing out can feel cool or even warm. Having these types of problems fixed sooner than later could make a huge difference in your air conditioner breaking down unexpectedly.

  1. The thermostat “clicks” on but the air conditioner does not start.

For this type of problem, there are a few things you can check to see if you can get it started on your own before calling for AC repair. Start by verifying the breaker switch for your AC has not blown.

Depending on how your home is wired, the breaker for your AC outdoor unit could be in the main breaker box or in its own breaker box next to the unit. If the switch has blown, reset it and see if this fixes the problem. If the switch blows again, call for AC service, as there is an electrical problem that is overloading the system.

Another reason your AC will not start is if any of the wiring has become disconnected or damaged. Sometimes small rodents and other animals will chew on any exposed wiring. If they chew all the way through the wires, the signal between the thermostat and outdoor unit will be broken, and the AC will not turn on.

You can check to see if wiring near the unit appears to have been damaged. However, make sure to shut off the breakers first before touching the wiring. If you find wires are damaged and broken, then you will want to call for emergency AC repair.

  1. The air conditioner only runs for a short time and won’t turn back on for hours.

This issue can be related to low coolant levels inside the unit. It can also be caused if you have your thermostat set too low, and the coolant moving through the cooling coils is freezing. Yet another cause is if the water drain line on the side of the outdoor unit is clogged, it can cause the system to shut off.

For the latter two issues, you can do a self-check yourself before calling for service. Turn your thermostat up five degrees and wait to see if the system starts running correctly. If it does, then you had the unit set too low. You may still want to schedule a service call just to have your system checked.

For a clogged drain line, inspect around the outdoor unit and see if water appears to be coming out from underneath the unit. If it is, then the drain pipe is clogged. These are easy to clean if you have a removable one. If you are not sure how to do this, then call an AC repair technician for help.

When to Call for HVAC Emergency Service

If you failed to catch any of the early warning signs or your air conditioner just stops working unexpectedly, then you will need to decide if you truly need HVAC emergency service. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have children in the home?
  • Are you elderly or caring for elderly parents in the home?
  • Do you have pets in the home?

If you said yes to one or more, then you need emergency repair service. The hot Texas summers can be extremely difficult and hard for children, the elderly, and pets to deal with when they are stuck in a home that is 90+ degrees. Even if it is the middle of the night and your AC stops working, you can call and get 24-hour emergency repair service.

runner resting after running hard

Otherwise, if you can wait until morning and do not have children, pets, or elderly parents in your home, then you can still schedule same-day service so you will not have to be without your AC for long.

  • Emergency AC Repair Tip: Make sure to store our emergency service phone number in your cell phone or on a piece of paper hung on the side of your refrigerator.

Five Tips to Keep the Home Cool When Your AC Breaks

While you are waiting for AC repair service, there are several things you can do to help keep your home cool:

  1. Keep window blinds and curtains closed. You want to keep out direct sunlight, as this can heat up the home. You can also hang up sheets, beach towels, or light comforters over the windows for added layers to stop the heat.
  2. Turn up the speed on ceiling fans. If you have ceiling fans in the home, turn them up to medium or high speed. This will help keep the air flowing throughout the home better and prevent pockets of warm air from accumulating near the ceiling.
  3. If it is windy outside, create a natural cross-breeze upstairs. Open windows on opposite sides of your home in the bedrooms and leave the doors open. The cross-breeze will help draw up hot air from downstairs and vent it out of the home. If it is not windy out, you could place box fans in the windows and have one side blow into the home and the other outward to create an artificial cross-breeze.
  4. If you have children or elders, get out of the house. Go to a neighbor’s, the mall, a library, or a 24-hour diner where there is air conditioning and you can stay cool. You can let your AC service technician know you are leaving the home and ask them to call you when they are on their way to fix your AC.
  5. Keep electronics off and do not cook inside the home. Keep the TV, video games, computers, and other electronics off. These generate heat. Also, do not use your stove or oven or run the dishwasher or dryer, as these appliances will also create excess heat inside the house.

How to Avoid Emergency AC Repair Calls

Emergency AC Repair Calls

The most effective way to avoid having to call for emergency AC repair service is with regular maintenance and AC tune-up services. In Texas, since we tend to use our AC units almost year-round, it is highly recommended to have AC systems inspected twice a year—normally in the spring before the hot summer arrives, and again in the fall when temperatures start cooling down.

Bi-annual AC maintenance service helps prevent problems and can identify issues before your system fails unexpectedly in the middle of the hot summer. If you have not had your AC serviced yet this year, or if you are noticing any of the common warning signs we discussed or need emergency repair service, do not hesitate to contact your nearest Christianson  Air Conditioning & Plumbing location in San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels, or Temple today!

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