when told that you need repairs on your AC unit, the typical reaction ranges from horror to dread to denial. Even someone sweltering in the heat may feel a cold knot in his stomach when told that the AC unit needs major repairs. The greatest fears are the cost of the repair followed by concerns of suffering longer while waiting for the technician to finish the job. How can you save money on AC repairs?
Tips to Reduce the Cost of AC Repairs
Get quotes from at least two AC repair companies before picking one for the job. Verify that the quotes are apples-to-apples, with similar services and repairs included.
If you are having the air conditioner repaired, select a workman who includes a warranty on the parts and service over the contractor who sells an additional warranty.
There is a general rule of thumb that when the cost of a car’s repairs exceed its value, replace the vehicle. A similar rule of thumb should be observed with major household appliances. If the cost to repair the AC unit is more than half the cost of the unit and it is more than three years old, you should seriously consider replacing it instead of repairing it now. The modestly higher cost of replacement should be offset by the energy savings you’ll receive from a newer unit.
How to Prevent Future Repair Costs
- Have your air conditioning pipes inspected for leaks, excessive condensation and debris. Periodically clean them to prevent them from freezing.
- Regularly replace the air filters to prevent the air intake from becoming clogged, since this can cause the internal parts to wear out faster. When you are raking the leaves in the fall, ensure that the leaves do not pile up and block the air intake.
- Maintain the air conditioner’s coils. Regular maintenance decreases the risk of the AC coils or condenser failing.
- Have the air conditioner’s drain cleaned.
- Ask a professional to check the refrigerant level periodically. Adding refrigerant regularly as part of the unit’s maintenance prevents a costly emergency service call when the AC starts blowing hot air.