Jerry-Rigging Your Air Conditioner To Save Money Could Cost You Far More In The Future

13 July 2021
 Categories: , Blog


If you've been holding back on repairing your home's air conditioning because it doesn't seem that important, think twice. Mother Nature may change your mind and make you wish you had repaired your air conditioner instead of jerry-rigging until later.

What if your region had record-breaking temperatures higher than 110 degrees like the extreme heat wave in the Pacific Northwest in June 2021? It was the worst heat wave in that area since records of temperatures have been kept. 

Stop Jerry-Rigging Your A/C Unit

Jerry-rigging is when you do makeshift repairs just to temporarily deal with a problem with whatever means you have on hand. In regards to air conditioning units, jerry-rigging could entail things such as:

  • adding Freon stop-leak 
  • patching holes with duct tape
  • removing air filters
  • supergluing broken pieces
  • hitting your air conditioner

While these methods may work at the moment, it's crucial to have your air conditioning repaired by a professional instead. Why? Because, on average, fans and air conditioners cause 7,800 home structure fires each year.

With that said, when you consider the amount of work a jerry-rigged air conditioner would need to do in order to keep up with cooling your home on a record temperature setting day, it clearly becomes more of a fire-safety issue than a discomfort problem.

Call a Professional HVAC Technician to Repair Your A/C

An AC repair technician can inspect your air conditioner and HVAC system to determine the cause of the malfunction that you've attempted to jerry-rig. When the cause of the problem is discovered, they will either repair it immediately or schedule an appointment to complete the repairs at a different time, depending on the availability of parts and the amount of time the work would take to be completed.

The technician may need to order more parts if your jerry-rigging caused more damage than they would have otherwise, such as a condensation pan being unable to fit properly due to it being superglued or the sticky residue of duct tape interfering with electric signals. Depending on the costs involved, you may want to consider asking your HVAC technician if it would make more sense to replace the unit rather than to repair it. 

Paying for Air Conditioning Repairs

If your air conditioner is under a warranty, the warranty will not be accepted since you previously jerry-rigged the unit. Therefore, you will need to pay for the repairs yourself out of pocket. Also, if the reason the air conditioner stopped working effectively was due to something that your homeowner's insurance may have covered before, such as hail damage or water damage, the jerry-rigging you did, your homeowners insurance will likely not cover the repair costs at this point, even if they would have before. 

If the repair costs are what has prevented you from hiring a professional to repair your air conditioning, speak with the technician to see if they offer payment plans. If they don't, perhaps you can get a loan from your bank. While the costs of repairing an air conditioning system shouldn't be awfully high, it's still difficult to afford for people who live paycheck to paycheck, which is usually the reason people jerry-rig faulty appliances and equipment in the first place.

If you are low-income, you can apply for assistance through Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to pay for all of the repairs or a portion of the costs. Check with your county's family service program to see if your state and/or county provide assistance as well. You can also ask your HVAC technician if they know of any programs to help you pay for the costs of the repair.