They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when it comes to your air conditioner. While complex 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.
Learning how your AC works and the common problems it faces will enable 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 realizing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your AC 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 specialist for air conditioning repair in Elk River if you're uncertain about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are some common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is a smart way to make sure it runs efficiently, and very well 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 particulates from the air circulating throughout 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 catches the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most major 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 go shopping, noting 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 wanting to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Home Comfort Heating & Air to do scheduled 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 issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioner equipment 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 simple 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 brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can take in more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleaning the fins and the coils is a way to help them release heat more effectively.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, turn off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip off the the on/off switch, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the interior of the unit. Then, taking care not to stress any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Put 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 brands foaming solutions that are applied with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most products, it's suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to dissolve the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful 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 coils and fins 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, how often it's maintained and how much it's used. That said, industry experts say you should start looking into air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to make the most of your HVAC is through regular conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Home Comfort Heating & Air consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and mending 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 Elk River.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Picking out the proper size of air conditioner for your home is critical for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to consider when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you need to cool is one of the biggest factors. More expansive spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which can reduce your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person 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 create greater body heat, which can affect your cooling needs.
- Current HVAC system: The size and performance of your current system can provide a jumping off point for identifying what you need.
Given that the size of your AC is so important to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At Home Comfort Heating & Air, we take the time to completely 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 focus on customer service is why Home Comfort Heating & Air is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Elk River.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new air conditioning system generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are crafted to be exceedingly 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 require modifications to the design.
Know these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always smart to get several quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Elk River, reach out to Home Comfort Heating & Air. 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?
An air conditioner freezing up can be a consequence of a number of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent reasons for AC freezing up:
- Poor 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, something stopping air from flowing through the return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it may grow too cold and freeze up. This is frequently because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Operating your air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to function in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
Home Comfort Heating & Air is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Elk River.
At Home Comfort Heating & Air, we will make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our experienced technicians 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Elk River and the surrounding areas.
If you’re planning to upgrade or its time for a new air conditioner, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Elk River. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Home Comfort Heating & Air today at 763-276-0617 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!