June 26, 2013
During the stretch of higher temperatures, lots of people are relying on their air conditioners to keep cool.
But, as it goes with technology, sometimes things just don't work.
Chris Sullivan with MacK Morris Heating and Air Conditioning says the past few days have been among the busiest of the year.
"Very busy," he said. "I didn't get home last night until 7:30, I think it was."
He spent Wednesday making house calls, including a townhome on Pantops.
"The capacitor is blown," Sullivan said after a quick look. "This starts the fan motor and the compressor. What happens in extreme heat, it shorts out and it bursts."
With air conditioners, once one part goes, more are likely to follow. In this case, the capacitor caused the fan motor to break.
There are some clear warning signs that could show an air conditioner has an issue, but there are some things homeowners can do before making a call for repair.
"Take just an obvious look," Sullivan said. "See if the unit's frozen up, if there's ice, you have air flow. Then you start looking to see if the breaker has tripped off somewhere in the house."
If the air conditioner fits those criteria, it may be time to call a service tech. But perhaps the best thing to do is preventative maintenance and avoid the problem all together.
Examples of maintenance include checking the air filter or keeping the unit clean.
"It's as simple as coming outside with a water hose, making sure the unit isn't running by turning the breaker or disconnect off, taking a water hose and washing this unit down," Sullivan said.
However, sometimes the problems simply can't be prevented and the air conditioner just breaks.
Sullivan said this is the time of year for overtime.