They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely accurate when talking about 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 common AC issues.

Learning how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will allow you to tackle easy problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but understanding when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.

Your AC 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 specialist for air conditioning repair in Frederick if you're unsure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.

Here are a few of the frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:

1. How Should I Clean My Air Conditioner?

Cleaning your AC is an effective way to make sure it works efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.

The most effective 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 impurities from the air circulating in your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow easily through the system.

Replacement filters can be purchased at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased from your local HVAC expert. 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 helpful to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are wanting to buy something similar.

For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at May's Heating & Air to do scheduled maintenance on your unit. 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 certain that your indoor air conditioner equipment is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your air conditioner is a simple 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 to the outdoors. This brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Cleansing the fins and the coils is a way to help them release heat more easily.

To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:

1) First, shut off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip off the the on/off switch, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.

2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the inside of the unit. Then, being careful 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 then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as in the form of foaming solutions that are sprayed on with an attachment to your garden hose.

4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most products, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to dissolve the grime and then softly 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 unit to dry before turning it back on.

3. How Long Can Air Conditioners Work?

The life span of an air conditioner changes depending on the type of unit, its quality, how well it's maintained and how often it's used. That said, pros 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 system is through regular conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from May's Heating & Air features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Frederick.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Picking out the right size of air conditioner for your home is vital for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to think about when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:

  • Square footage: The amount of space you have to cool is one of the biggest factors. Larger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which should reduce your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll want a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler climate.
  • Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of occupants: More people in the house means more body heat, which could influence your cooling needs.
  • Present HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a starting point for deciding what you need.

Given that the size of your air conditioner is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At May's 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 design and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why May's Heating & Air is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Frederick.

5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?

While prices differ depending on the type of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news is that new air conditioners are developed 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 as well as federal regulations that can impact the design.

Know these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always helpful to get numerous quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Frederick, contact May's Heating & Air. We can provide you with a free estimate, make sure you understand 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 caused by a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some frequent triggers for AC freezing up:

  • Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't properly 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 starting to get low on refrigerant, it can get too cold and freeze up. This is often the result of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
  • Frigid outdoor temperatures: Operating an air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to work in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.

May's Heating & Air is your Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Frederick.

At May's Heating & Air, we will make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our qualified 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 Frederick and the surrounding towns.

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 Frederick. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!

Call May's Heating & Air today at 301-690-0397 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!