Local AC Repair for Indianapolis Homeowners

When it’s time for home AC repair, we know you have questions. Continue reading for answers to all your home HVAC concerns.

If you ever wondered about home AC repair, you’ve come to the right place to find answers to your questions. This guide will provide you with all you need to know as an Indianapolis homeowner.


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How Your Air Conditioning Components Work

No matter the size or efficiency rating every AC unit consists of the same essential components:

  • CONDENSER — The outdoor portion of your AC unit and heat pump that releases and collects heat, depending on the setting and time of year.
  • COMPRESSOR — Part of the condenser, the compressor pumps refrigerant throughout your system to cool your home.
  • EVAPORATOR COILS — These coils are either attached to your furnace or inside the air handler, absorbing heat from the air inside your home.
  • REFRIGERANT — The chemical used to produce a cooling effect on airflow throughout your home.
  • DUCTWORK — Made of either metal or synthetic material, the ducts transport air throughout your home.

During proper operation, warm air flows over the refrigerant in the coils. This process causes the refrigerant to turn into gas, which travels through the compressor and applies pressure to increase the temperature of the gas significantly.

Coils located within the condenser draw wasted heat from this process and send it out of the system — cooling the refrigerant back into a liquid and chilling the air. Then, the cool air travels through your ductwork and your home.

Life Expectancy of an Air Conditioning Unit

One of the most frequently asked questions customers ask is, “how long will this last?” And we always reply that it completely depends on a few factors.

On average, a full central HVAC system can last anywhere between 10 to 25 years. Your usage, the type of equipment and maintenance affect the ultimate life expectancy. Most importantly, proper maintenance plays a huge role in prolonging the life of your air conditioner.

Several factors may reduce the lifespan of your air conditioning unit, including:

  • Poor maintenance practices
  • Poor quality or defective components
  • Over- or under-sizing the system for the residence or property
  • Improper installation
  • Improper usage, such as heating or cooling with windows and doors open
  • Unusually high usage

The Need for Preventative Maintenance

At Homesense, we strongly believe in prevention. While your system still functions properly, we recommend that you commit to regular maintenance to prolong the life of your HVAC system. Three key maintenance checks to add to your calendar include:

  • Change your filter regularly (every 1-3 months).
  • Keep your outside unit clean and clear from debris.
  • Schedule professional maintenance checks at least twice a year.

Possible Causes of a Broken Air Conditioner

Over the years, we have seen many reasons for systems to break down or operate poorly and require AC repair. Here are some of the primary issues that cause malfunctions for air conditioners:

Old Filter

Outdated air filters easily become clogged and restrict airflow throughout your entire unit, which decreases the system’s ability to cool the air inside your home. We highly recommend you clean or change your air filters at least four times a year (use the seasons as a reminder), or even better, once a month.

Low Refrigerant

Your air conditioner uses refrigerant to remove heat and humidity from the air in your home. Your system can sometimes develop leaks in the refrigerant lines, meaning insufficient refrigerant circulates through the system to properly cool the air.

There are also some potential warning signs that indicate you may be leaking R22 or R410A refrigerant. For example, your AC may blow lukewarm or hot air. You may hear a hiss or bubbling noise coming from a leak in your refrigerant line. Additionally, your refrigerant line may have ice on it.

To test for leaks and diagnose the problem, there are three leak tests to consider:

  1. Electronic Leak Detector Test.
  2. Nitrogen Leak Detector Test and Bubble Test.
  3. Dye Test.

Unfortunately, fixing a low refrigerant problem does not equate to just replacing the refrigerant. To fully remedy the issue, a home AC repair technician needs to find the leaks and repair the holes in the lines — often a time-consuming process with multiple leaks.

Blown Capacitor

The capacitor stores energy and enables currents to pass through so your system can turn on and off when desired. Without a properly functioning capacitor, your entire HVAC unit cannot turn on. Capacitor failure can be a more common issue and usually be fixed for under $300.

Compressor Failure

When dust, grime and dirt build up on your condenser coil, the air conditioner cannot expel enough heat from the system. Consequently, it forces your system to constantly run in an effort to cool your space.

Many times, it overheats your compressor and causes it ultimately to fail. A compressor failure often leads to a recommendation to replace. The compressor is probably the biggest and most expensive part in your air conditioner or heat pump, and the repair is labor intensive.

Blocked Airflow

There are several reasons why your air conditioner may experience blocked airflow.

  • LEAKY AIR DUCTS — This is the most common cause of bad airflow. It allows air to escape and your HVAC unit works less efficiently.
  • CLOGGED AIR CONDITIONER COIL — Dust builds up on your air conditioner coil, which reduces the amount of airflow your furnace distributes.
  • DIRTY FAN BLOWER — When dust builds up on the fan blower it reduces its efficiency, preventing proper air distribution throughout your home.
  • BROKEN AIR DUCTS — Disconnected or crushed air ducts also cause bad airflow because air cannot properly circulate throughout your home.
  • INCORRECTLY-SIZED HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM — The size of your air conditioning system should be determined prior to installation. If the system is undersized or oversized, you may experience airflow issues, as well as short cycling and strain on your equipment.

Frozen Air Conditioning

Your evaporator coil, located inside the blower cabinet, may freeze and prevent your air conditioner from working properly. This coil sucks hot air from inside your home and moves it outside. If your refrigerant levels are low, the evaporator coil cannot gather enough hot air to cool your house. Over time, moisture collects around the coil and freezes, preventing refrigerant from flowing freely throughout your system.

Sadly, homeowners cannot do much to repair a frozen AC unit. We strongly recommend turning your AC unit off, and calling an HVAC professional to remedy the problem.

How To Do Your Own Home AC Service – DIY Tips

Not all issues with your air conditioner require a service technician to come out to your home for an inspection, especially if you do not need emergency service.

Things to Check on Your Air Conditioner Before you Call a Pro

We suggest checking the following to see if you can make any of your own home AC repair:

  • BREAKER OR FUSE — If your AC does not turn on at all, it could mean that you have blown a circuit breaker or fuse. First, make sure your AC is receiving power from your electrical panel. Second, reset the circuit breaker. Third, replace your fuse.
  • THERMOSTAT SETTING — You may experience issues with an improperly set or faulty thermostat. Check the settings to make sure the thermostat reads “cool” when you want the AC turned on, instead of “off” or “heat.”
  • CONDENSATION SENSOR — There’s a sensor on your condensation tray that will turn your AC unit off when there is an overflow of water being collected. Check this tray to see if it is full, and if so, empty it and see if your unit turns back on.
  • BLOWER DOOR ON AIR HANDLER — Check your air handler to make sure the blower door is securely closed. Otherwise, your A/C unit will not turn on.
  • BLOCKED CONDENSER — Check to see if your condenser is blocked by weeds, grass or other airborne debris. If it is, remove the blockage and clean the condenser.
  • CHANGE FILTER — Pull out your air filter to see if it needs to be replaced. We strongly recommend cleaning or changing your filters at least four times a year (when the seasons change) or, better yet, once a month.
  • REGISTER DAMPERS — If your AC is turned on but not cooling the air, check your register dampers on the vents in each room to make sure they are set to the open position.

stay cool while waiting for emergency service

How to Stay Cool While Waiting for Home AC Repair Services

If, after checking all these items, your system still needs AC repairs, here are several ways you can stay cool while waiting for an HVAC technician to arrive at your home:

  • COVER WINDOWS — Close your curtains, turn down the blinds and pull down your shades. Keeping heat from the sun out during this time is the easiest way to keep your house as cool as possible. Once the sun goes down, open your windows and let the warm air out and cool night air inside your house.
  • CHANGE CEILING FAN ROTATION — Make sure your ceiling fan rotates counterclockwise during warmer months. This particular rotation pulls warm air up toward the ceiling. Most fans should have a switch on the side that allows you to reverse the blade direction.
  • TURN LIGHTS OFF — Keep as many lights off as possible during the day. If you need lights on, keep in mind that LED and CFL light bulbs generate the least amount of heat, while incandescent bulbs create the most.
  • COOK DIFFERENTLY — While waiting on home AC repair services to be made, reconsider using your stove or oven as they generate a large amount of heat in your home. Consider eating leftovers or preparing salads or picking up prepared foods from the grocery store.
  • INVEST IN DEHUMIDIFIERHumidity levels are high in Indiana, and a dehumidifier will keep the air inside your home dry. Investing in a dehumidifier can be particularly important in the rooms where your family spends the most amount of time, increasing comfort levels without increasing air conditioning.
  • SLEEP SMARTER AND BETTER — Choose cotton sheets and wear cotton pajamas. Also, take a cold shower or dip your feet into cold water before going to bed, and unplug electronics to reduce the total heat circulating throughout your room.

The Process for Home AC Repair

While many HVAC companies focus on profit, we incentivize our technicians to repair existing equipment instead of trying to sell new equipment for no reason. Similarly, we don’t set mandatory sales quotes for our technicians. Selling you a new HVAC unit is not our goal. Our goal is to fix your air conditioner properly — the first time — so you can avoid issues in the future.

What You Can Expect From Homesense

When you call Homesense Heating and Cooling for AC repair in the Indianapolis area, you can expect friendly customer service by our EPA or North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Certified Technicians, who are all capable of fixing most heating and cooling brands. At the end of our inspection, you’ll receive:

  • A thorough HVAC system diagnosis
  • Easy-to-follow estimate
  • Honest answers to your questions.

Homesense Service Areas

Locally-owned and operated, our team offers the best combination of quality, service and pricing for all of your HVAC needs. We work on all heating and cooling needs across Central Indiana, including service in Indianapolis, Broad Ripple, Meridian Kessler, Geist, Castleton, Carmel, Westfield, Zionsville, Noblesville, Butler-Tarkington, and more.

10-Year Extended Parts Warranty

For all new system installations, we register all Carrier equipment, so that it qualifies for a 10-year extended parts warranty. We also offer a 10-year extended labor warranty option, which provides you the peace of mind that your system remains protected.

In addition, we provide a one-year HVAC part warranty for all home AC repair services made by our team of trusted Homesense HVAC technicians. Most major brands will come with a 5-year part warranty standard, with the potential of an extended 10 year part warranty if the system has been properly registered.

If something is causing you to worry about the status of your HVAC system, we are your Indianapolis and Broad Ripple Service Experts. Give us a call at (317) 203-8149. If you’re in our service area, we can perform a full inspection of your equipment and give you an estimate for its remaining years.

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