There’s no better place to find a good horror story than the Internet. Warner Service is taking the top mishaps from conversation threads and news outlets around the virtual world to give you the top 10 air conditioning horror stories – and how you can avoid repeating them:

  1. A New York-based HVAC professional was removing the gauges of a rooftop air conditioner when the discharge valve on the compressor popped, leaving him with bad frostbite on his hand.

How to avoid: Our professionals are equipped with extensive knowledge of an HVAC system, its parts, and proper safety precautions before they hit the field to minimize accidents.

  1. WNYC broke the story of how more than half of public housing residents don’t have air conditioning compared to almost 90 percent of all New York residents who have a unit.

How to avoid: Before moving in, check with a potential landlord to see how they avoid the top tenant complaints, including a lack of proper air conditioning.

  1. A potential homebuyer was inspecting an old home. When he went into the attic, he found that most of the ductwork was pieced together with duct tape and had come apart at almost every joint. Needless to say, he didn’t buy the home.

How to avoid: There’s not much to avoid in this story because the potential homebuyer did the right thing. If you’re looking at a new house, conduct a thorough inspection of the HVAC and plumbing, or call a professional to check it out.

  1. One woman in Texas chose to replace her central unit and asked if it came with an overflow kill switch. The contractor nodded, but more than 3 weeks later, she had a major leak, which lead to mold. The company didn’t install the switch (and didn’t take responsibility for the accident), and the woman had tens of thousands of dollars in damage to her fairly new home.

How to avoid: When hiring a contractor, it’s best to ask a few detailed questions so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Check out our comprehensive list here.

  1. A homeowner installed a replacement unit in his attic with the help of a few friends. However, the DIY project didn’t include reattaching the condensate drain on the new unit. This led to water running from the overhead vents, which damaged the ceiling’s drywall, 2 pieces of furniture, and a surround-sound stereo.

How to avoid: Call a professional to install a new unit. Many think it’s cheaper to DIY, but the subsequent damage from improper installation could be more costly than hiring an expert.

  1. One homeowner in Great Britain decided to install an upstairs air conditioning unit by himself. (The only assistance he requested was his daughter holding the base of the ladder.) The man slipped, and the unit fell on his head. After convincing his daughter that everything was fine, he successfully installed the unit – but needed stitches in his head.

How to avoid: Like we mentioned before, call a professional to install a new unit. You’ll save yourself some time, money, and a trip to the hospital.

  1. Kennedy High School summer students braved severe heat last month while the school’s air conditioning operated at only 50 percent, sparking online outrage.

How to avoid: Like many commercial owners, public school operators often forget that the building’s HVAC requires more annual maintenance than a home because it runs on such a large scale. To avoid disastrous breakdowns like the one in Silver Spring, follow our facility maintenance checklist.

  1. In 2012, Home-Tech reported that an elderly woman called for an annual maintenance check-up on her home system and was bamboozled into spending a fortune on a brand new condenser unit that she didn’t need.

How to avoid: At Warner Service, we believe in ethical service. Whether it’s repair, replacement, or maintenance, our practices are fair and high quality. When calling for a check-up, ask for the licensing information and inquire about what the inspection will entail.

When it comes to air conditioning horror stories, Warner Service can save the day. From completing a proper installation to conducting a thorough check-up, we promise to provide the best service and advice possible.

If you want a head start on our best information, download our handy A/C checklist below.

Download "A/C Check-up Checklist"