They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the common problems it faces will allow you to deal with little 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 AC is an essential component 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 Arlington if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are some frequent 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 operates efficiently, and very well 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 captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it ought to in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the proper 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 wanting to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning to do routine maintenance on your system. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor AC unit is functioning efficiently, it’s necessary to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your AC is a quick way to increase 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 into your home so it can absorb more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleaning the fins and the coils can help them release heat more efficiently.
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, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the inside of the unit. Then, being careful not to strain any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are available 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 cleaners, 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 softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray very 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 it back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, how well it's maintained and how much it's used. However, experts say you should start looking into 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 regular conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning includes 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 Arlington.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the correct sized air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to consider when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you have to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which can decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of people: More people in the house means additional body heat, which may influence 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.
Due to the fact the size of your AC is so important to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning, we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other factors such as your home’s design and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Arlington.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices vary depending on the size 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. 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 cost 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 can impact the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always helpful to get several quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Arlington, get in touch with Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning. We can provide you with a free estimate, explain the process 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 multiple factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common causes of AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't adequately absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, blocked return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is running low on refrigerant, it could get too cold and freeze up. This is usually a consequence of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Cold outdoor temperatures: Using the air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to perform in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Arlington.
At Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 work on on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us their first call for air conditioning repair in Arlington and the surrounding 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 Arlington. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning today at 360-255-5857 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!