They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly accurate when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to specialists, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.
Learning how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will enable you to fix easy problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but knowing when to contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is an important component 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 Athol if you're unsure about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are several typical questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioning system is a smart way to make sure it operates efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective thing you can do on your own is to swap out 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 inside your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters can be purchased 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 proper filter is to look at your old one before you go shopping, taking care to write down the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also a smart 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 skilled professionals like the crew at Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling to do scheduled maintenance on your AC. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention and look for worn-out parts and potential trouble.
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 quick way to improve its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which are attached to 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 in your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Washing the fins and the coils will help them release heat more easily.
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) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the interior of the unit. Then, being careful not to strain any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Apply 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 in the form of foaming solutions that are applied with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most cleaners, 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. 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 the unit back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner can vary based on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how much 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 AC conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling includes 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 it can, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Athol.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the correct sized air conditioner for your home is vital for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to consider when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you have to cool is one of the biggest factors. More expansive spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which could minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner 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 people: More people in the house produce more body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a jumping off point for deciding what you need.
Because the size of your air conditioner is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling, 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 dedication to customer service is why Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Athol.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the brand of the unit and your home’s unique needs, a new air conditioning system generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news 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 impacted 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 necessitate changes to the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always helpful to get numerous quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Athol, get in touch with Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling. We can provide you with a no-cost estimate, describe 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 a consequence of a number of factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical causes of AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly 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 running low on refrigerant, it could get too cold and freeze up. This is usually a consequence of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Cold outdoor temperatures: Running your air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to function in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Athol.
At Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling, we will make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our experienced specialists 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 premier choice for air conditioning repair in Athol and the surrounding cities.
If you’re looking to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Athol. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling today at 208-561-1226 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!