AC Repair FAQ

Why Choose Our Air Conditioning Repair Service?

AC Repair FAQ
Here are the most common questions we hear along with the reliable answers we give every day.

Q: What are common heat pump and AC repairs?

A: Most central air conditioners and heat pumps are pretty durable. Often they need cleaning and tuning more than repairing. When you keep your heat pump or AC maintained every 1-2 years, you’ll have far fewer major repairs.

The most common repairs are small things like electrical contactors and capacitors. Beyond that, leaking air handlers caused by a clogged drain line or failed condensate pump are fairly common. Once in a while, we see a bad indoor or outdoor coil and on rare occasions, a compressor goes bad.

Q: Should I repair or replace my AC or heat pump?

A: The answer to this question depends on several factors. How old is the unit? If it’s 12+ years old, it starts to make more sense to replace it, especially if the repair bill is $750 or more. If it’s newer, then repair it.

Also, how long do you plan to live in the home where the heat pump or AC is? The longer you intend to live there, the more cost-effective in the long-run it is to replace the unit with a high-efficiency new one. If you’re going to move in the next 7 years, then repairing an older unit might be a better choice since you wouldn’t get your money out of a new unit.

We can help you make that difficult decision of repairing vs. replacing your AC or heat pump. We’ll evaluate your AC or heat pump and let you know how many years we think it has left on it.

Q: Why doesn’t my heat pump or AC make cool air?

There might be a few reasons why your AC or heat pump runs but doesn’t cool. First, it could be low on refrigerant. We’ll check the system for a leak, repair the leak and then recharge (refill) the system with refrigerant if that’s the problem.

Secondly, it could be because either the outdoor coil or the indoor coil is very dirty. It might be covered with grass clippings if it’s outside or dust and pet hair if it is inside. Dirty coils reduce the efficiency of the AC and will make it much harder for the unit to cool. Also, check the filter on your furnace or air handler and make sure it is clean. Replace it if it has been more than 3 months since you put in a new one.

Q: What is two-stage cooling?

The most affordable ACs and heat pumps are single-stage models. They run at full capacity all the time. They are usually combined with a single-speed air handler. The result can be slight temperature swings during or between cycles. In addition, when the system comes on at the start of a cycle, you might feel a blast of warm air from the register before the unit is really cooling the air.

A 2-stage air conditioner or heat pump runs at 2 capacities, low and high. Low capacity is about 65%-70%, and these units run on low capacity most of the time to maintain a comfortable cooling level (or heating level with a heat pump in cool weather).

When you adjust the thermostat to boost cooling or heating, the unit will kick into full capacity. Or when cooling, if the temperature outside is rising quickly as it often does, the AC or heat pump might run on high for a few cycles to boost the cooling.

The advantage of running on low capacity most of the time is that the cooling or heating is more gentle. There are fewer noticeable fluctuations in temperature. Two-stage heat pumps and air conditioners also remove humidity more effectively when cooling, something that is more important in climates that are more humid. It’s not something we’re as concerned about here in the desert.

The bottom line is that a 2-stage unit offers better climate control than a single-stage model. Today’s modulating heat pumps and ACs offer the best climate control of all.

Q: How does a heat pump or air conditioner work?

A: Refrigerant is amazing. It has the ability to capture heat and carry it from one location to another. A heat pump gets its name because it pumps heat from inside your home in the hot months to the outside, effectively cooling the inside.

When refrigerant enters the indoor coil in your home, also known as the evaporator coil, it expands from a liquid into a gas. Like water evaporating off your skin, it collects heat from around the coil when it evaporates and cools the surface of the coil. The coil becomes very cold – freezing cold in fact.

The blower in the air handler or furnace circulates air over the coil. Heat is extracted from the air by the refrigerant, effectively cooling the air, and is carried outside where it is released in the outdoor coil as the refrigerant is condensed back into a liquid.

The cooled air is then circulated into your home by the unit’s blower fan. As heat is removed from your home the temperature drops.
Do you have any more questions? Call us or email us at Scottsdale Appliance and AC Repair and we’ll be glad to answer them! We provide complete air conditioner and heat pump service and repair on every brand. We also install new heat pumps and air conditioners in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and the surrounding communities