There are two main reasons why your air conditioner will fail. The number one reason is a dirty filter. A dirty filter in the return duct blocks the air flow causing the unit to have to work harder to cool to the desired temperature. It is just so easy for the home owner to fix this problem, just replace the filter. You can buy filters at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware and many other retail stores or online. Don’t by a cheap one that can only stop dogs and cats. Buy a pleated filter. The pleats increase the amount of surface area available to capture particles. Filters come in various sizes, thicknesses, and performance ratings with prices to match. Performance is measured by the ability of the filter to capture micro particles of 0.3 to 1 micron such as pollen, dust, and pet dander. Some pleated filters are electrostatically charged which increases their effectiveness.
The number two problem that causes your unit to fail is the contactor (a switch) that turns the power to the compressor on and off when signaled by the thermostat. It is mounted in the outside unit under the cover. The contactor has to switch heavy currents to get the motor running. The electrical contacts will wear out eventually but a common reason for failure is insects building nests between the contacts during the seasons when air conditioning is not required. Part of the spring preventative maintenance check is to test the contactor. If the contacts are in good shape then it’s easy to clean out any insect particles. Otherwise the contactor will need to be replaced. Our trucks carry a variety of contactors so they can be replaced during the spring visit. This will most likely save an emergency call during the heat of summer.
Air conditioning systems are not all that complicated for people with a little technical knowledge.
Tony Anderson, Partner, answers the question this way.
There are huge differences among service companies. Of course all companies can be good and all can be bad. The first major difference is size. There are large companies and small companies.
Let’s first focus on the large companies.Some large companies train their technicians to be commissioned sales people.That’s not good for our industry because sales people want to sell you equipment rather than repairing and maintaining your equipment. Interstate AC is a service company and we do not pay our technicians commissions.* We pay our technicians by the hour.We have had technicians apply for jobs whose experience was at companies that pay commissions for equipment sales and got the majority of their pay that way. They won’t work here as they just don’t fit our culture.
Let’s talk about the small companies. The advantage is you may get to know their technician as the same person comes on every call. However, the disadvantage with the small company is if they get two calls at the same time they are covered up.We run 21-22 service technicians so we can get to people quickly. Our technicians keep our trucks at their homes. Their homes are spread out all over our service area. Our dispatchers know where they are and can send the technician that is at a home close to yours or currently working in your area. Our dispatchers are good at ensuring the guy keep working every evening until every customer gets serviced.Some firms have to say it will be three days before we can get there. That never happens in our company. We might roll you over to the next day if it’s not an emergency but if it is an emergency we get there!