They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely the truth when it comes to your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will enable you to fix easy problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but knowing when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is a fundamental part of your home comfort. Because of that, you should always err on the side of caution and call a NATE-certified professional for air conditioning repair in Swanton if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are some typical questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning your AC is a good way to make sure it works efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most important step you can take on your own is to change the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those contaminants from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it is supposed to in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow freely through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought from your local HVAC specialist. A good way to make sure you get the correct filter is to look at your old one before you go shopping, taking care to write down the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also a good idea to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are trying to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Northwest Services to do scheduled maintenance on your system. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor AC unit is operating efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your air conditioner is a simple way to boost its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which have extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the cooler air outside. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils is a way to help them release heat more easily.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut down power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to disconnect it completely from power, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the interior of the unit. Then, taking care not to stress any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, beginning at the top and then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are sold and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as brands foaming solutions that are applied with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most cleaners, it's recommended that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to attack the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray very hard, because that could ruin the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the components to dry before turning the power back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner can vary based on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how much it's used. That said, industry experts say you should start thinking about air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to make the most of your system is through AC conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Northwest Services features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Swanton.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Finding the proper size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to consider when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you have to cool is one of the biggest factors. More expansive spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can reduce your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house create greater body heat, which can impact your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a starting point for identifying what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Northwest Services, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s design and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Northwest Services is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Swanton.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news is that new air conditioners are designed to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price tag of an air conditioner is influenced by several factors during the manufacturing process, such as the cost and availability of raw materials, manufacturing and labor costs along with federal regulations that require modifications to the design.
Know these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Swanton, reach out to Northwest Services. We will provide you with a complimentary estimate, make sure you understand the procedure and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
An AC freezing up can be caused by a number of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical reasons for AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't sufficiently absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged air filter, something stopping air from flowing through the return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it could grow too cold and freeze up. This is often because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Operating an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to perform in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
Northwest Services is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Swanton.
At Northwest Services, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our knowledgeable technicians are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and are experienced on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the premier choice for air conditioning repair in Swanton and the surrounding towns.
If you’re looking to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Swanton. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact Northwest Services today at 419-548-5017 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!