While there's nothing you can do to guarantee your air conditioner or furnace will never need repairs, there are ways to take better care of your system. Changing out the air filters every 3-6 months, making sure nothing is obstructing or interfering with the outside unit, and keeping all vents unblocked in well-used rooms will help keep your air conditioning and heating system operating efficiently.
The contactor (relay) and start/run capacitor(s) (see illustration below) fail most often and are inexpensive. So it’s a safe bet to buy and install those parts right away, especially if your air conditioning service unit is older than five years. The condenser fan motor can also fail, but it runs about $150 — hold off buying that unless you’re sure that’s the culprit.
Before calling to schedule your appointment, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the air conditioning equipment that you have. Make sure you know at least the brand name, the model and the approximate age of the system, as well as any warranties that may be in effect—and read through our AC FAQ to see if any of your symptoms sound familiar.
If your thermostat has a small lever that moves along a calibrated scale that indicates “longer” (not the heat temperature lever), you can try adjusting this—the heat anticipator. Just set it one calibration mark closer to the “longer” setting if the furnace goes off and on too frequently or one mark away if the furnace allows room temperature to rise too high or drop too low before going on or off. It may take several hours for the thermostat to stabilize at this setting, so wait a while and then adjust it again if necessary.
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Designed to improve manufacturing process control in a printing plant, Carrier's invention controlled not only temperature but also humidity. Carrier used his knowledge of the heating of objects with steam and reversed the process. Instead of sending air through hot coils, he sent it through cold coils (filled with cold water). The air was cooled, and thereby the amount of moisture in the air could be controlled, which in turn made the humidity in the room controllable. The controlled temperature and humidity helped maintain consistent paper dimensions and ink alignment. Later, Carrier's technology was applied to increase productivity in the workplace, and The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America was formed to meet rising demand. Over time, air conditioning came to be used to improve comfort in homes and automobiles as well. Residential sales expanded dramatically in the 1950s.
Inspect your furnace thermostat by first making sure that it’s turned on. Also, ensure that the thermostat switch is turned to “heat” and not “cool”. If your furnace will still not start with the thermostat on, try adjusting the temperature settings to a few degrees higher. Inspect any visible wires for breaks or splits, and make sure your thermostat batteries are not dead. Do not touch any open wires; contact a professional.
Get an accurate price for your HVAC repair costs by contacting a local heating and cooling company and scheduling an inspection. Search HVAC.com’s Contractor Directory to find local HVAC contractors who perform heating and cooling repairs. Call for service and find the price of the HVAC repair costs needed to get your system back into good working order!
Cleaning the debris that builds up on your filters will aid with the flow of air. When your air filter is clogged, your air handler must work harder to compensate for the blockage of air flow. In addition to driving up your utility bill, the reduced air flow through your heating and cooling system can cause your heat exchanger to overheat and shut off too quickly.