They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly the truth when discussing your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to specialists, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.
Learning how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces can empower you to tackle little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but understanding when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your AC is an essential element of your home comfort. Because of that, you should always err on the side of caution and call a NATE-certified specialist for air conditioning repair in Mount Hope if you're unsure about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are a few of the frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is a good way to make sure it operates efficiently, and potentially could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant action you can take on your own is to replace 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 clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most leading 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 smart idea to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are hoping to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Appalachian Heating to do regular maintenance on your unit. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making certain that your indoor air conditioning unit is functioning efficiently, it’s necessary to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your AC is an easy way to increase its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which include extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can take in more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleaning the fins and the coils will help them release heat more efficiently.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip off the the on/off switch, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the insides of the unit. Then, taking care not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as in the form of foaming solutions that are sprayed on with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most brands, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray very hard, because that could damage the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the coils and fins to dry before turning it 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 frequently 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 get the most mileage out of your system is through regular conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Appalachian Heating includes cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Mount Hope.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Choosing the proper size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The amount of space you have to cool is one of the biggest factors. Larger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll want a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler environment.
- Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house means greater body heat, which could impact your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a jumping off point for identifying what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Appalachian Heating, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Appalachian Heating is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Mount Hope.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate 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 developed to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price 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 in addition to federal regulations that can impact the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always helpful to get at least a few quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Mount Hope, get in touch with Appalachian Heating. We can provide you with a complimentary estimate, explain the plan and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
An AC freezing up can be brought on by a number of factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent triggers for AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't effectively absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is often the result of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Cold outdoor temperatures: Using an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to work in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Appalachian Heating is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Mount Hope.
At Appalachian Heating, we strive to make your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our experienced professionals 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 Mount Hope and the surrounding towns.
If you’re planning to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Mount Hope. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Appalachian Heating today at 304-707-0600 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!