Owning a home means striking a careful balance between your maintenance needs and your household repair budget. Few homeowners can afford to repair every aging appliance or repair every minor issue, and many people want to get as much value as they can from their equipment. In many cases, this means doing everything possible to extend the life of expensive items such as air conditioners.
While you should expect to get several years from a correctly maintained central air conditioning system, you should also expect to spend more on repairs as components age. Knowing what to expect can help you budget and prepare for these issues. Although many parts may fail on older air conditioners, these are four of the most common AC repairs you'll face.
1. Capacitor Issues
Your air-conditioning relies on at least two capacitors for smooth electrical delivery and starting power. While capacitors can theoretically last the lifespan of your air conditioner, multiple factors may impact their longevity. For example, heat can stress these capacitors and cause them to fail. These issues can result in tripped circuit breakers or, ultimately, they may stop your compressor from running at all.
2. Wiring Problems
Old wiring can be an issue with any electrical appliance. However, your condenser's outside location makes it especially vulnerable to issues. Mice or other pests can chew on the wiring, causing damage over time. These problems may be particularly likely if you don't routinely maintain the area around your condenser to prevent pests from building nests nearby or even entering the housing.
3. Refrigerant Leaks
Your air conditioner's line set might be out of sight and out of mind most of the time, but these critical plumbing elements are crucial for the system's proper operation. Contaminants in the refrigerant or other environmental conditions can lead to corrosion, ultimately causing leaks. Fortunately, leaks are a relatively minor issue if addressed promptly, but they can cause more significant damage if ignored.
4. Worn-Out Blowers
Your blower is a mechanical component, so it can fail for a variety of reasons. Insufficient lubrication and overheating are too common reasons for blower motor failures. A failing blower may initially produce unpleasant sounds, but it will eventually stop your system from distributing cool air altogether. In most cases, you can repair a faulty blower without needing to replace your entire system.
Although you're all but guaranteed to face more challenges with an aging air conditioner, many of these problems are not fatal. Repairing these issues as they arise will allow you to keep your system operational for much longer, saving you plenty of money on a much more costly replacement.