“I can’t afford to replace my AC!!! ” “We might have to Band-Aid it and see if we can get another year out of it”. I’ve heard these words so many times in my 29 years in the industry, and all I can say about that is… sometimes you can’t afford NOT to replace your air conditioning system. Some systems are so unreliable and costing so much to keep in operation, a new system would pay for itself in a matter of years. There have been so many times where the customer opts to repair the old air-conditioning system yet again, only to fail on the hottest day of the year when all HVAC companies are backed up on installations. Some customers actually try to get me to promise them that their system will last a while longer if they replace a bad capacitor, motor or burnt contractor. While we do have some indicators of catastrophic failure, the rule is anything electrical… It’s not a matter of if it’s going to fail, it’s just a matter of when.
Ever heard it’s better to be proactive than reactive? This rule definitely applies to replacement of an air conditioning system that is a parasite robbing you blind. Many times it’s a system that has been completely ignored since the day it was installed, due in part to the old “don’t fix what ain’t broke” virtue. Now the repairs are astronomical because the blower as well as the evaporator coil are impacted or worse colonized with microbial growth. This restriction in airflow can cause a domino effect that will 1)Kill your compressor – due to not adding the heat from the home into the refrigerant your compressor gets hit with liquid refrigerant causing a bad suction valve(still cools but with much less efficiency and capacity), 2) Kill your indoor blower motor – as the blower tries to overcome the static of not being able to draw air through the restricted coil it eventually burns out.
Sometimes customers are intimidated by the cost of AC system replacements, but there is typically a financing option for most every customer out there, a lot of which can be paid off over a period of months at zero interest. I try to always use an automobile for an illustration to explain HVAC systems. Imagine you have a car that has 500,000 miles on it, and hasn’t really been taken care of all that well… And now you’re going on a cross-country trip from coast to coast. When do you think the car is most likely to break down? When it’s under the most stress,.. But you just had to see Death Valley didn’t you? The same is true with your air-conditioning system. Because HVAC systems are so completely neglected until there is a problem, in most cases, HVAC systems can be punished far worse than vehicles. How many people do you know that don’t even change the oil?
We expect a lot out of our HVAC systems here in Texas, and we need to be cognizant of their need for maintenance to ensure we get the maximum longevity out of the equipment. When a technician makes a recommendation that you replace your dual capacitor because it’s gotten weak and your contactor because it’s gotten burned because of all of the high amperage going across those terminals, and you really need to have a start assist device installed to make sure you get the maximum life out of your compressor, listen to him! He’s trying to get you the most out of your investment.