Common Types of Air Conditioners
There are a few different types of air conditioners on the Baltimore market. While HVAC contractors can work with most types, knowing which one you have will streamline your company hunt.
- Split ACs: Split ACs have two main elements: one inside and one outside. They provide quiet operation, improved energy efficiency, ductwork options, and more cooling capability versus mini-splits.
- Window ACs: Window air conditioners are a popular choice for Baltimore apartments, townhomes, and condos. These budget-friendly, convenient units are designed for cooling small spaces and single rooms, and they fit snugly in a window frame or dedicated wall slot. Many window-mounted AC users deploy their units without professional assistance, though technicians can still help with maintenance and repairs.
- Central AC: These are the most common residential AC systems, offering consistent, precise temperature control. They feature a central unit that cools air from outside, purifies it, and sends it through ducts to various rooms in your home.
- Ductless mini-split: Ductless mini-splits have an exterior unit and multiple interior units, with no ductwork required. They offer individual room temperature control, higher energy efficiency, and flexible installation options.
- Portable air conditioners: As the name hints, portable ACs don't require permanent installation or ductwork. Instead, they remove hot air through an exhaust hose connected to a window or nearby vent. They're preferred for apartments, condos, or individual rooms.
How to Choose Your Baltimore AC Repair Service
While you might want to resolve your AC issue quickly, you should carefully investigate what's out there before signing a contract with a repair service. Take the following steps to ensure you find the top-rated company for your home.
Confirm the Company Is Properly Licensed and Insured
Maryland HVAC contractors need licensure from the Board of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Contractors. A master license requires three years of journeyman experience, 1,875 hours of HVAC work performed in the last year, and a comprehensive trade exam.
You should also confirm a company has sufficient liability insurance coverage, even if your state doesn't require it. Choosing an insured company will protect you if something gets damaged during work.
Read Customer Reviews
Find customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website for each company you're interested in. The BBB accredits businesses that handle complaints professionally and honor their warranties.
It's common for even the best AC repair companies to have both positive and negative reviews. Read each one carefully, and avoid a company if most reviewers had subpar experiences.
Obtain at least three detailed, written estimates from different providers for the best value. A good estimate should include additional fees such as permitting costs. You should also ask about installer guarantees, the emergency repair process, and manufacturer warranties.
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Baltimore HVAC FAQ
How much can I expect to pay for AC repair in Baltimore?
Your AC repair costs will hinge on your system's make and model and the malfunctioning part. A basic repair job like sorting out a thermostat might cost $150–$250, whereas a more intricate fix like swapping out the compressor will be more expensive.
See the average costs for common AC repairs below.
|Common Repair||Average Cost|
|Clogged air filter||$84–$203|
|Frozen condenser coils||$282–$1131|
|Fan or air blower issues||$508–$735|
What are some signs that I should call an HVAC repair company?
Here are some common AC issues you might face:
- Clogged air filter
- Dirty evaporator coil
- Fan motor failure
- Faulty thermostat
- Faulty wiring
- Freon leak
- Frozen evaporator coil
- Improper refrigerant charge
- Malfunctioning capacitor
- Malfunctioning compressor
- Mold or mildew growth
- Oversized or undersized unit
- Refrigerant leak
- Water leaks
Does my air conditioner need routine maintenance? If so, how often?
Homeowners should have their AC systems serviced every year to ensure optimal performance. This usually involves cleaning the outdoor unit of brush and debris. Regular servicing can help to maintain the system's efficiency and prolong its lifespan.
How long is my air conditioner's lifespan? When should I consider a replacement?
With adequate care, your air conditioner's lifespan could be 10-15 years. Remember that parts frequently become obsolete as time goes on. If your HVAC contractor can't find a critical replacement part, you might need to consider installing a new AC.
My HVAC problem is urgent. How quickly could a company respond?
Some repair companies offer same-day or next-day service for emergency air conditioner breakdowns. However, the specific timeframe will vary depending on the team's schedule, the terms in your contract, and the severity of the issue. For the most accurate info, we recommend contacting the provider directly and explaining the situation.
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