AC maintenance tips that could save you money

Jeff Ehling Image
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
AC maintenance tips that may save you money
An AC technician offers some tips that could save you thousands of dollars

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Your air conditioner is hard at work right now and if you want it to keep you cool there are a few things you must do.

Jordan Hunt's AC picked this summer to break down.

"One day I woke up sweating, sweating like real bad," said Hunt.

"I'm checking the amp draw on this capacitor right there," said AC repairman Tom Johnson.

Johnson of Fondren AC is seeing a lot of broken air conditioners right now. The number one issue is blown capacitors.

"This is 50 percent of the calls, I would say are capacitors," said Johnson.

Johnson says replacing one of these runs about $250. But routine maintenance is far cheaper. Like replacing your AC filter every three months. The filters cost a couple of dollars but dirty filter can cause your AC to work harder and break down faster.

"I was on one this morning it was a dirty air filter and the air conditioner just froze up. Probably would not have happened, it was a little low on Freon which can cause it to freeze up but if they had a clean filter they probably would not have had an issue," said Johnson.

Another easy way to keep your unit running is washing the coils once a year to get the dust and dirt off of them. And if you have plants growing around your air conditioner, keep the leaves away and the vines out too.

"It can block air flow off to the AC," he said.

If debris sits along the bottom of your AC long enough it can rot out the coil leading to a repair costing thousands of dollars. Another common problem is the batteries dying in the thermostat.

"Normally it will shut down the air conditioner and sometimes you still have the display on the thermostat so you really don't know that's what's got you shut down," he said.

If your air conditioner goes out and a technician comes out and states you need the replace the entire AC unit, it's recommended you get a second opinion because replacing the unit can cost you thousands of dollars.