San Diego

Expert Says to Call A Pro for Your A/C Unit This Summer, Don't DIY

The summer heat means people are cranking up their air conditioning units but specialists are noticing more units break down if they are not regularly maintained.

Alvin Troyer, a service technician with Bill Howe Heating and Air, said he’s already worked a couple 60-hour weeks this summer.

“We were busy, thankfully, we hired three more guys,” said Troyer.

He was repairing three A/C units at a Little Italy apartment complex on Thursday afternoon.

“This one is low,” he said as he started filling it with coolant. “Apparently, this one is leaking a little bit. Maybe they did not charge it right when they installed it.”

He said the most common A/C repairs include leaks and clogged filters that stop the cool air from coming inside the home.

“The condensate lines gets plugged and we have to clean those out,” said Troyer.

He has been fixing heating and A/C units since 1989 and says a lot of repairs jobs come after someone else tried to fix it on their own without a professional service technician.

“A lot of do-it-yourselfers. A handy men will come and be like, ‘It’s low in charge' and they’ll pump 20 pounds of refrigerant in there,” said Troyer, who then has to come in pump that back out.

He said if you change your filters regularly and do regular maintenance three- to four-times a year, you will save yourself lots of trouble. A coolant replacement can cost you around $700, and new units can run $1,200.

He said there are parts you can purchase for a few hundred dollars that could save you thousands in the long run.

Bill Howe also offers maintenance and tune-up packages that Troyer highly recommends and says will save you money.

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