They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely the truth when it comes to your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the typical problems it faces can empower you to handle little 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 complex repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is a fundamental 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 Auburn if you're uncertain about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are several common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioning system is a good way to make sure it works 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 traps dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those particulates from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it ought to in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered from your local HVAC specialist. 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 helpful 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 skilled professionals like the crew at Forster Heating to do routine maintenance on your system. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention 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 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 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 into the outside air. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can absorb more heat from the air in your home's interior. Washing the fins and the coils will help them release heat more effectively.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut down power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip the power switch off, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the interior of the unit. Then, being cautious not to strain 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 products foaming solutions that are sprayed on with 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 attack the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray really 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 changes depending on the type of unit, its quality, how well it's maintained and how frequently it's used. That said, pros say you should start thinking about air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get maximum value from your system is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Forster Heating 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 possible, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Auburn.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the right size of air conditioner for your home is vital for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner to buy 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 retain cool air better, which can minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler place.
- Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house create additional body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a jumping off point for identifying what you need.
Given that the size of your AC is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At Forster Heating, we take the time to completely understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other considerations such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Forster Heating is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Auburn.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the type of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are developed to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price tag 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 along with federal regulations that require modifications to the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always a good idea to get at least a few quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Auburn, reach out to Forster Heating. We can provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain 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 many factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical reasons for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it can grow too cold and freeze up. This is frequently a consequence of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Running your air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to function in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Forster Heating is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Auburn.
At Forster Heating, we will make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our qualified specialists 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 first choice for air conditioning repair in Auburn and nearby areas.
If you’re wanting to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Auburn. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact Forster Heating today at 530-885-8081 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!