They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely accurate when talking about 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 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 dollars on minor service calls, but knowing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is an important 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 Sandpoint if you're uncertain about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are several frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioning system is an effective way to make sure it works efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most important action you can take on your own is to swap out the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, 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 enabling air to flow freely through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered from your local HVAC expert. A good way to make sure you get the proper filter is to look at your old one before you leave for the store, noting the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also helpful to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are wanting to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Age Heating & Cooling to do regular 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 exterior unit of your air conditioner is a quick way to increase its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which are attached to extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. This brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can soak up more heat from the air inside your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils will help them release heat more effectively.
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) Remove 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 set the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, first 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 an attachment to your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most brands, it's suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to loosen the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray really hard, because that could ruin the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the coils and fins to dry before turning the unit back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how frequently it's used. That said, 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 air conditioner is through AC conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Age Heating & Cooling consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new filter and fixing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating a long time, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Sandpoint.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Finding the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to think about when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you want to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which could minimize 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 frequently let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house means more body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and performance of your current system can provide a place to start for determining what you need.
Due to the fact the size of your cooling system is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will probably 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 considerations such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Age Heating & Cooling is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Sandpoint.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the brand of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement is that new air conditioners are designed to be exceptionally 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 as well as federal regulations that necessitate changes to the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always helpful to get at least a few quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Sandpoint, reach out to Age Heating & Cooling. We will provide you with a free estimate, describe the procedure and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
An air conditioner freezing up can be a consequence of a number of factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical causes of AC freezing up:
- Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't sufficiently 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 getting low on refrigerant, it can grow too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Using the air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to perform in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Age Heating & Cooling is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Sandpoint.
At Age Heating & Cooling, we will make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our qualified 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Sandpoint and neighboring towns.
If you’re wanting to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-rate air conditioning installation in Sandpoint. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Age Heating & Cooling today at 208-603-2210 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!