They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly accurate when discussing your air conditioner. While challenging 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 common problems it faces can empower you to fix little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but understanding when to contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your Air conditioner 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 technician for air conditioning repair in Jefferson City if you're uncertain about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.
Here are several frequent 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 runs efficiently, and potentially could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant thing you can do on your own is to swap out the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those contaminants from the air circulating in 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 allowing air to flow easily 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 go shopping, noting 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 trying to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Stieferman Heating Company Inc to do scheduled maintenance on your system. They’ll look over 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 operating efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your AC is an easy 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 lowers 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) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the interior of the unit. Then, being careful not to strain any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and working down. Commercial coil cleaners are on the market 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 brands, it's suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to loosen the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray too hard, because that could damage 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 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, how well it's maintained and how often 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 make the most of your system is through regular conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Stieferman Heating Company Inc features 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 a long time, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Jefferson City.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the proper size of air conditioner for your home is vital for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to think about 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 most important factors. Larger spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can reduce your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll want 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 additional body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
- Current HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a starting point for identifying what you need.
Because the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Stieferman Heating Company Inc, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why Stieferman Heating Company Inc is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Jefferson City.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices vary depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement is that new air conditioners are designed to be exceptionally efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The cost 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 as well as federal regulations that can impact the design.
Know 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 decision. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Jefferson City, contact Stieferman Heating Company Inc. We will provide you with a complimentary estimate, make sure you understand the plan 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 multiple factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common triggers for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't properly 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 get too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Using an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to function in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Stieferman Heating Company Inc is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Jefferson City.
At Stieferman Heating Company Inc, we strive to make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our knowledgeable technicians 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Jefferson City and neighboring towns.
If you’re wanting to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Jefferson City. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Stieferman Heating Company Inc today at 573-635-3547 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!