Many people don’t realize it, but we’re rapidly rocketing toward the use of solar panels for much of our energy. In one hour, the sun provides more energy that we can produce worldwide in an entire year. The Mojave Desert is home to the world’s largest solar plant, and it produces 90% of the world’s commercially produced solar power. Many home are installing solar panels on their roofs where they gain plenty of contact with the sun, and the price of solar panel installation has already dropped by about 40%. Still, thermostats, furnaces, and central air rule the day for now. The EIA has estimated that 60% of North Eastern homes utilize programmable thermostats.
If you own a central air conditioner, you’ve seen firsthand the frustrations that can come along with that system. Odds are that you’ve called an air conditioner service once or twice for central air repair and that you’ve shelled out more than you’d have liked to for that service. Here, we’re going to provide a tip that just might help you save a call for central air conditioner repair in the future.
The truth is that most air conditioner service calls result in the replacement of three parts. If you can learn how to check and replace those three parts, heating and air conditioning repair calls might be a thing of the past for you.
Cleaning or Replacing the Contactor Relay
The contactor relay switches power to the condenser fan and the compressor. It can sometimes get jammed up with dead bugs, so check there first. Remove the condenser unit’s access cover and locate the contactor relay. It’s the one with at least six wires attached. Use compressed air to clean out the insects, or if it’s beyond cleaning, replace it for about $30.
Replacing the Capacitor
The capacitors store electrical energy to jump-start the compressor and fan motor. They have very high failure rates, and they’re also only about $30. Discharge any remaining electrical charge from the capacitors before replacing them.
Replacing the Fan Motor
First, get rid of the fasteners holding the fan guard in place and remove the fan assembly. Make sure you mark the bottom of the blade, so you know which direction it should go in when you replace it. Loosen the blade-retaining nut and pull it off the motor shaft, disconnect the fan motor electrical connector, and swap in the new fan motor before reconnecting the fan guard.
Test Your Work!
Raise the temperature on the thermostat and turn the A/C and furnace breakers on. Wait 15 minutes, and then lower the temperature. The condensing unit should start up, but it might need more time. If it doesn’t turn on after another hour, call an air conditioner service and specify exactly what you did, so that they don’t replicate your work.
Until the day when solar energy is our most popular option, central air and air conditioner services will most certainly remain important. If you can master these fixes, you’re in a position to be self sufficient in your A/C repair until then. More on this topic.