Air conditioning units are essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, especially during hot summer months. However, like any mechanical system, AC units can encounter emergencies that disrupt their functionality. From sudden breakdowns to strange noises and leaks, these issues can be stressful and inconvenient. In such situations, having the knowledge of quick fixes and professional tips can make all the difference in restoring your AC system to working order. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to addressing common AC emergencies efficiently and offering pro tips for repair and installation to ensure optimal performance.

Signs that indicate the need for AC repair or installation

Weak airflow: If you notice that the air coming out of your vents is weak or not as forceful as it used to be, it could be a sign of a blocked or damaged air duct, a failing blower motor, or a malfunctioning fan.

Strange noises: Unusual noises such as rattling, grinding, or squealing coming from your air conditioner can indicate loose or worn-out components, a faulty motor, or a failing compressor. Ignoring these noises can lead to more severe damage and costly repairs.

Foul odours: If there is a persistent musty or foul smell whenever your AC is running, it could be a sign of mould or mildew growth inside the unit or ductwork. This not only affects the air quality in your home but can also lead to health issues if left unaddressed.

Frequent breakdowns: If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs and is constantly breaking down, it may be more cost-effective to consider replacing the unit altogether. An ageing AC system can become less energy-efficient, leading to higher utility bills and inconvenience.

Quick fixes for common AC problems

Frozen evaporator coil: If your AC is blowing warm air, but the indoor unit’s evaporator coil is covered in ice, the coil may be frozen. Turn off the AC and let the ice melt. Once melted, check the air filter and ensure it is clean. Dirty filters can restrict airflow and cause the coil to freeze.

Tripped circuit breaker: If your AC suddenly stops working, check the circuit breaker panel for any tripped breakers. If you find a tripped breaker, reset it and monitor the AC. If the breaker trips again, there may be an underlying electrical issue that requires professional attention.

Clogged condensate drain: A clogged condensate drain can cause water to back up and potentially damage your AC system. To unclog the drain, locate the drain line and use a wet/dry vacuum or a pipe cleaner to remove any debris or algae buildup.

DIY AC repair and installation tips

While some AC repairs and installations require professional expertise, there are certain tasks you can tackle on your own. However, it’s essential to exercise caution and prioritize your safety. Here are a few DIY tips to keep in mind:

Changing air filters: Regularly changing or cleaning your air filters is a simple and effective way to maintain your AC system’s efficiency. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly replace or clean the filters.

Cleaning the evaporator coils: Over time, the evaporator coils can accumulate dirt and debris, reducing their ability to absorb heat. Gently clean the coils using a soft brush or a specialized coil cleaner to enhance their performance.

Sealing air ducts: Leaky air ducts can result in energy loss and inefficient cooling. Inspect your ductwork for any visible leaks or loose connections and seal them using foil tape or mastic sealant.

Installing a programmable thermostat: Upgrading to a programmable thermostat allows you to set temperature schedules and optimize energy usage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to safely install the thermostat and ensure compatibility with your AC system.

When to call a professional for AC repair or installation

While DIY efforts can be helpful for minor AC issues, certain situations require the expertise of a professional. Here are some instances when it’s best to call in the experts:

Refrigerant leaks: Handling refrigerant requires specialized knowledge and equipment. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, it’s crucial to contact a professional to assess the situation and perform any necessary repairs.

Electrical problems: AC systems involve complex electrical components. If you encounter electrical issues such as frequent circuit breaker trips or faulty wiring, it’s important to leave the repairs to a licensed electrician or HVAC technician.

Complex repairs or installations: Major repairs or complete AC installations are best left to professionals. They have the experience, tools, and knowledge to handle complex tasks safely and efficiently.

Warranty considerations: If your AC system is still under warranty, attempting repairs or installations yourself may void the warranty. It’s advisable to consult with a professional to ensure warranty compliance.

Choosing the right AC repair and installation service

When selecting an AC repair and installation service, it’s essential to choose a reputable and reliable provider. Here are a few factors to consider:

Experience and expertise: Look for a service provider with extensive experience in AC repair and installation. Check their certifications and licenses to ensure they meet industry standards.

Customer reviews and testimonials: Read online reviews and testimonials to gauge the overall customer satisfaction and quality of service provided by the company.

Response time and availability: AC emergencies can happen at any time. Choose a service provider that offers 24/7 availability or guarantees a prompt response to your inquiries or service requests.

Pricing and warranties: Obtain multiple quotes from different service providers and compare their pricing structures. Additionally, inquire about the warranties they offer for their services and parts used.

AC maintenance tips to prevent emergencies

Regular maintenance is key to preventing AC emergencies and prolonging the lifespan of your system. Here are some essential maintenance tips:

  • Clean or replace air filters regularly, ideally every 1-3 months.
  • Keep the outdoor condenser unit clean and free from debris.
  • Schedule professional maintenance twice a year, preferably before the cooling and heating seasons.
  • Inspect and clean the evaporator and condenser coils annually to remove dirt and debris.
  • Check and seal any leaks in the ductwork to prevent energy loss.
  • Lubricate the moving parts of your AC system to reduce friction and wear.
  • Monitor the refrigerant levels and schedule professional inspections for leaks


When facing an AC emergency, it’s important to stay calm and assess the situation. By understanding common AC problems and emergencies, recognizing the signs that indicate the need for AC repair or installation, and implementing quick fixes when possible, you can effectively troubleshoot and address AC issues. However, for complex repairs, installations, or situations that require professional expertise, it’s always advisable to seek the assistance of a licensed HVAC technician. Regular maintenance and following the necessary precautions will help prevent emergencies and keep your AC system running smoothly, ensuring your comfort during the scorching summer months. If you’re experiencing an AC emergency or need professional AC repair and installation, contact our expert team at Total comfort today.