They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly accurate when it comes to your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve everyday AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the common problems it faces will enable you to fix simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but understanding when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.
Your Air conditioner is an important element of your home comfort. Because of that, you should always err on the side of caution and call a NATE-certified technician for air conditioning repair in Sandpoint if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are several frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Should I Clean My Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is an effective way to make sure it runs efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant step you can take on your own is to replace the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those particulates from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters can be purchased at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the right filter is to look at your old one before you head out for the store, jotting 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 trying to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Age Heating & Cooling to do routine maintenance on your AC. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.
2. How Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor air conditioning unit is working efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your AC is a quick way to improve 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 to the outdoors. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Cleansing the fins and the coils can help them release heat more easily.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, turn off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to disconnect it completely from power, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the inside of the unit. Then, being cautious not to stress any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, beginning at the top and working down. Commercial coil cleaners are sold and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as products foaming solutions that are sprayed on with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most brands, it's recommended that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to loosen the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray too hard, because that could harm the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the unit 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 frequently it's used. Having said that, industry experts say you should start getting ready for air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get the most mileage out of your system is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Age Heating & Cooling consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and fixing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Sandpoint.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Picking out the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you have to cool is one of the key factors. More expansive spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which should minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler environment.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house create additional body heat, which can affect your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a jumping off point for determining what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so important to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Age Heating & Cooling, we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other factors such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Age Heating & Cooling is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Sandpoint.
5. What Does My Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices vary depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new air conditioning system generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news is that new air conditioners are crafted to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price of an air conditioner is affected 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 necessitate changes to the design.
Know these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Sandpoint, reach out to Age Heating & Cooling. We will provide you with a no-cost estimate, describe the plan and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
Air conditioning freezing up can be brought on by a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common causes of AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it can get too cold and freeze up. This is frequently because of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Using your air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to perform in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Age Heating & Cooling is your Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Sandpoint.
At Age Heating & Cooling, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our skilled technicians are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and work on on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the premier choice for air conditioning repair in Sandpoint and nearby areas.
If you’re looking to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-class air conditioning installation in Sandpoint. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Age Heating & Cooling today at 208-603-2210 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!