What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Breaks

broken air conditionerIt’s that time of the year again, and we’re all running our air conditioners non-stop. Humidity and heat are playing their cruel game of seeing how much sweat they can get out of us. So, we turn on our air conditioners and stay inside to “beat the heat”. What happens, though, when your air conditioner breaks down? There’s the immediate sense of panic, especially if you live with someone who is older or an infant since they cannot tolerate high temperatures. Luckily enough, most people are only faced with this problem 1-2 times in their life, but because this scenario is so rare, many people don’t know what to do when it happens.

First things first…know that you are facing two options. You may need to either repair the unit or replace it. Hopefully the issue is just in need of repair, since this will be much more cost effective for your wallet. Next, you’ll need to find an air conditioner repair company (also known as an HVAC company). But before pulling out the yellow pages or “Googling” for help, you’ll want to look at a few things.

  1. Write down the model number and serial model of the air conditioning unit. You’ll want to get these numbers from the inside as well as the outside unit. These numbers are generally located on a sticker on the side or back of the unit.
  2. Try to find an HVAC company that works with your brand of unit. If they work with your brand, they’ll usually be able to get parts for your unit quicker than most, if they don’t already have it on hand.
  3. Go online and search for your HVAC expert. Look for review sites like Yelp or Google Places to see if they provide quality work. You can also use the Yellow Pages (the books), but you won’t find customer reviews, which might make them less helpful.
  4. Get several quotes on the repair or replacement. Sometimes you’ll find that the repair costs just as much as it would to get a new unit, and some repairs will only be temporary. If your unit is going to persistently break down, then it might be cheaper in the long run to get a new unit.
  5. Check to see if you have an existing warranty for your equipment, either through the manufacturer or through your home warranty. This might save you hundreds, if not thousands.
  6. Inquire what types of warranties are offered with the repair or replacement work. Be sure to ask whether the warranty covers both parts and labor should something go awry with the work or your unit breaks down again.