No one has time for vague failure descriptions. Literally. A work order that says, “A/C won’t blow cold air” is going to soak up a lot of hours in the service bay compared to one that’s more descriptive and thorough.
If you’re a distributor or dealer, talk to your counterpeople or service reps about the importance of a clear failure description on a work order. It only takes a few simple questions.
Your conversation with the operator might go like this:
Q: What’s the situation?
Won’t blow cold air.
Q: OK. When did the system stop cooling?
About an hour ago.
Q: What steps did you take when you noticed the lack of cooling?
I cranked it up to maximum cool. When it still wouldn’t work, I turn off the A/C and just opened the window.
Q: Is this a new problem or have you noticed it before?
In the last few days I’ve had problems off and on. This is the first time it happened when I was close to a place that did A/C service.
Q: Do you get any cooling at all?
Yes, but it quits after a while.
Q: Do you feel any air coming through the vents from the blower?
Yes. The air is getting through but it’s kind of warm.
Q: When was your air conditioner last checked or serviced?
Maybe a year ago.
Q: Has the heater been used recently and did it work OK?
Q: Have you had other service problems in the last few months?
No. (If the answer is yes, ask when, where, and what was fixed?)
So, with a little more information, a clearer picture starts to emerge: the A/C cools for awhile and then blows warm air; the system hasn’t been maintained in a year; and there are no complaints about the heater. Based on what the operator said, it’s possible there’s a leak and a low-pressure cutout switch is cutting the circuit to the clutch, protecting the compressor.
Your next step: recommend a complete inspection to find the problem.
So where does this leave your customer?
He has some options. He can give you the go-ahead for full service and repair now, wait until you’ve inspected the system to determine cause and cost, or delay repair until he has some downtime available.
It’s a heck of a lot better than than writing up a work order to “check things out.” And your technician will have a better handle on how to troubleshoot the problem.