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Replace or Repair? How to Tell the Difference with Your Home’s HVAC System

Wait! Don’t Spend a Lot of Money If You Don’t Have To. Some HVAC Problems Are a Quick Fix

HVAC Service and Maintenance

It’s fun to buy a new plant or new picture for your living room; you can see the upgrade right in front of you and enjoy it. It’s sometimes less fun to replace behind-the-scenes equipment in your home, however. While these items may be more important to your home’s livability, and add more long term value than a plant or a painting might, whether or not the big expense was really necessary is sometimes a lingering question.

Your home’s HVAC system is one of those “must have” home features that may seem a bit of a mystery. Do you really need to embark on a costly upgrade, or can you get by with a few fixes here and there to keep it going?

We’ve outlined a couple of examples of both situations, below. Remember, whether your HVAC needs just a quick tune up or a total overhaul, make sure you’re getting your advice, repairs and even purchases from a licensed, experienced HVAC professional. We see far too many customers who have trusted what seemed like a minor repair to a handyman or unscrupulous contractor, only to have to pay big bucks later to repair or replace the damage.

Repair: Leaking Refrigerant

If you notice your air conditioner isn’t cooling, don’t despair. You may have simply run low on refrigerant, or have a leak. This is typically fixable with an easy repair visit from a technician.

Replace: Your HVAC Uses Freon Refrigerant

If your HVAC system was installed prior to 2010, your system is probably using Freon (also known by its generic name, R-22).  Use of Freon has been linked in recent years to numerous environmental problems.  As of 2020, its manufacture and importation to the United States has been banned. What does this mean for you? R-22 will become increasingly hard to get, and more expensive. You may want to consider replacing your air conditioning entirely. In turn, you’ll get 10-15 years of use, reduced maintenance costs and lower utility bills, as newer systems are far more energy efficient.

Repair: Little Airflow

You may notice your air conditioner is no longer blowing colder air with the force it did before. No need to panic. It’s likely your air filter has become clogged. The great news? You can easily replace this filter yourself with an inexpensive new one purchased online or from your neighborhood hardware store. Pro tip: if you have indoor pets, get used to replacing your air filter every three months. You’ll enjoy better air quality, and improved airflow all year round.

Replace: Compressor Breakdown

When your reduced system airflow turns into the air conditioner not working at all, first check your air filters. Then look for a loose wire or electrical connection that’s cut power to your HVAC system. If neither of these possible issues seem to be the problem, you may need a new HVAC system. The compressor is the core of your air conditioner, and if it doesn’t work, nothing works. However, keep this in mind: more than 75% of compressor failures can be prevented through regular repair and maintenance. If you suspect a problem, get it looked at … before it’s too late.

At Air-Tro, we can help you plan a realistic service schedule to ensure your existing system or new HVAC equipment provides cost effective, energy-conserving indoor comfort for years to come. Call us today!


Air-Tro keeps California comfortable. Get in touch at (626) 357-3535.