They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will enable 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 reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your Air conditioner is an essential component 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 Houston if you're uncertain about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are some 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 good 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 replace the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it ought to in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters can be purchased at most leading 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 leave 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 thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Air Current AC & Heat to do scheduled maintenance on your system. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioning unit is working efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your cooling system is a quick 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 into your home so it can take in more heat from the air within your home. Washing 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 disconnect it completely from power, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the inside of the unit. Then, taking care not to stress any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are sold and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as brands foaming solutions that are sprayed on 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 brief period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious 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 components 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 often it's used. Having said that, industry experts say you should start getting ready for air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get maximum value from your HVAC is through AC conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Air Current AC & Heat consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Houston.
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 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. Bigger spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which can minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house produce greater body heat, which may impact your cooling needs.
- Current HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a starting point for deciding what you need.
Given that the size of your cooling system is so important to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At Air Current AC & Heat, we take the time to thoroughly 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 dedication to customer service is why Air Current AC & Heat is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Houston.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices vary depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, 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 developed to be exceptionally efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price tag 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 in addition to federal regulations that require modifications to the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Houston, get in touch with Air Current AC & Heat. We can provide you with a no-cost 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 caused by a number of factors, all of which boil down to the AC'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 common causes of AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't adequately absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged 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 could become too cold and freeze up. This is often the result of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Operating the air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to operate in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Air Current AC & Heat is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Houston.
At Air Current AC & Heat, we strive to make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our knowledgeable professionals 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 Houston and nearby towns.
If you’re looking to upgrade or its time for a new air conditioner, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-rate air conditioning installation in Houston. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Air Current AC & Heat today at 713-322-4318 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!