How To Pay For AC Repairs If You Don't Have Any Money

Why does it always seem that you only need to repair or replace something major when you don't have any money saved up for it? If your air conditioning stops working, and you don't have the money handy for repairs, it could leave you in an uncomfortable position at best, and a downright dangerous one, at worst. Depending on where you live, the temperatures during the summer months can be deadly for small children, elderly family members, and even your household pets. How can you keep your cool, and your family safe from the heat, if you don't have the money for air conditioning repair services? 

See if you can DIY the repairs

If your AC is not really broken, but simply experiencing some "technical difficulties," you may be able to make the minor repairs needed to get your home cool again. If you are getting air, but it's not cold, you might have a frozen evaporator coil. Start my making sure that all the air conditioning vents are open inside your home, then check the furnace filter for any dust or debris that could be preventing air from moving throughout the system. You'll know if the evaporator coil is frozen if there is ice on the metal coil inside the big air conditioning unit outside of your house.

To remove the ice and allow the unit to cool the air inside your home, switch the AC from the "cool" setting to the "off" position, then turn the blower on. If ice was the culprit, you should get a blast of cold air when you switch the AC back to "cool" after 30-45 minutes. If you don't see an improvement, it might be time to call a professional.

Check your insurance policy

Your homeowner's insurance isn't likely to pay for repairs to your air conditioning, unless it was damaged in a storm or you have a home warranty in place. However, if you happen to have a major appliance insurance policy, you could get your repairs covered by filing a claim against the policy and paying only any deductible that the policy has. These policies cover your major appliances as well as your heating and cooling systems, and as long as you've paid your premiums and haven't exceeded your allowed number of claims, you should have few problems getting your AC repaired under your plan.

Apply for assistance

If you don't have a major appliance insurance policy in place, or if you can't afford to pay the deductible, you can seek out assistance from your local or state governments. You may be able to obtain a grant in order to have your air conditioning system repaired or even replaced. Most assistance programs take your household income into consideration, and many give priority to households with vulnerable family members, such as the elderly, young children or babies, and disabled family members. 

Ask about a payment plan

If you can't get financial assistance with your repairs, and you can't fix the AC yourself, ask your local air conditioning service company if they offer a payment plan. You may be able to finance the repairs through the repair company at a reasonable interest rate, so you can keep your home comfortably cool while you pay for the cost of the service. Not every heating and air contractor will offer this service, but it's worth asking.

Of course, the best way to deal with repairs to your AC system is to never need them in the first place. Regular maintenance can prevent costly repair problems, and can keep you from losing your cool when the temperatures soar. 

  • Keep your fins and coils clean and clear of dirt and debris.
  • Change your filters every couple of months to improve air flow.
  • Keep your vents open fully to allow the air in your AC system to move freely.

Unexpected repairs can put a strain on your finances, so plan ahead and know how you'll handle getting your air conditioning system repaired if the need arises.