They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly true when discussing your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve everyday AC issues.
Knowing how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces can empower you to tackle 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 major repairs.
Your Air conditioner is an essential 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 Mobile if you're not sure 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 your AC is a good way to make sure it operates efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most important step you can take on your own is to swap out the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter traps dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those particulates from the air circulating in your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it is supposed to in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased 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 leave for the store, 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 hoping to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc to do scheduled maintenance on your unit. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioner equipment is functioning efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your air conditioner is a simple way to improve 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 outside air. This brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can soak up more heat from the air within your home. 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 the power switch off, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the interior of the unit. Then, taking care not to stress any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, beginning at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as brands 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 brief period of time to attack the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray really hard, because that could damage 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 depends on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how much it's used. However, 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 air conditioner is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc includes cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and fixing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Mobile.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Choosing the proper size of air conditioner for your home is vital for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to think about when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you want to cool is one of the biggest factors. More expansive spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can 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 produce greater body heat, which may impact your cooling needs.
- Current HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a place to start for identifying what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc, we take the time to completely understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other considerations such as your home’s design and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Mobile.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique needs, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are designed to be exceedingly 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 necessitate changes to the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always smart to get numerous quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Mobile, get in touch with Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. We can 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 brought on by multiple factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical causes of AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't adequately 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 could become too cold and freeze up. This is often because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Using the air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to operate in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Mobile.
At Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc, we strive to make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our qualified professionals are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and are knowledgeable on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the premier choice for air conditioning repair in Mobile and the surrounding towns.
If you’re wanting to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-class air conditioning installation in Mobile. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc today at 251-471-2674 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!