They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely accurate when it comes to your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to specialists, 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 frequent problems it faces can empower you to handle simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you money 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 essential element 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 not sure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.
Here are a few of the common 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 runs efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective thing you can do on your own is to change 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 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 removes the airborne debris while still permitting 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 expert. A good way to make sure you get the correct filter is to look at your old one before you head out 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 wanting to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at May's Heating & Air to do scheduled maintenance on your unit. They’ll inspect 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 ensuring your indoor air conditioner equipment is working efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your cooling system 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 into the outside air. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can soak up more heat from the air within your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils can help them release heat more easily.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, turn off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip the power switch off, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the inside of the unit. Then, being cautious not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, starting 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 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 carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray too hard, because that could ruin the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the unit to dry before turning the unit back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner changes depending on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how often it's used. That said, 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 system is through regular conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from May's Heating & Air consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Frederick.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Picking out the correct sized air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to think about when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you need to cool is one of the most important factors. Bigger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which should decrease 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 place.
- 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 can influence your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a starting point for determining what you need.
Due to the fact the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely 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 variables such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why May's Heating & Air is known for superb air conditioning installation in Frederick.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are crafted 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 along with federal regulations that can impact the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always a good idea to get at least a few quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Frederick, reach out to May's Heating & Air. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a free estimate, describe the plan and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
Air conditioning freezing up can be caused by many factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is suffering from 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 easily through your AC system, it can't sufficiently absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged air filter, something stopping air from flowing through the return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is frequently the result of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Running an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to function in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
May's Heating & Air is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Frederick.
At May's Heating & Air, we will make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our experienced 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 the first choice for air conditioning repair in Frederick and nearby towns.
If you’re planning to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Frederick. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone May's Heating & Air today at 301-690-0397 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!