They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly true when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated 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 typical 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 understanding when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.

Your Air conditioner is an essential 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 Houston if you're not sure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.

Here are several common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:

1. How Should I Clean My 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 change the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow freely through the system.

Replacement filters can be purchased at most leading 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, 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 wanting to buy something similar.

For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Air Current AC & Heat to do scheduled maintenance on your AC. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.

2. How Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?

In addition to making sure your indoor AC unit 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 boost 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 cooler air outside. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can take in more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleansing the fins and the coils can 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 flip off the the on/off switch, rather than turning the thermostat off.

2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the insides of the unit. Then, being careful not to stress any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.

3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, beginning at the top and moving 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 your garden hose.

4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most brands, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to loosen the grime and then gently 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 unit to dry before turning the unit back on.

3. What Is the Average Lifespan of My Air Conditioner?

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, industry experts say you should start looking into air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.

One of the best ways to get maximum value from your system is through regular conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Air Current AC & Heat features 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 a long time, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Houston.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Should I Have?

Selecting the right size of air conditioner for your home is vital for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to consider when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:

  • Square footage: The total area of the space you need to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces necessitate more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which can decrease your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler place.
  • 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 means greater body heat, which could affect your cooling needs.
  • Present HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a jumping off point for identifying what you need.

Because the size of your AC 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 completely 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 commitment to customer service is why Air Current AC & Heat is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Houston.

5. What Does My Air Conditioner Cost?

While prices differ depending on the brand 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 crafted to be exceedingly 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.

Note 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 thinking about air conditioning replacement in Houston, contact Air Current AC & Heat. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a complimentary estimate, make sure you understand the process and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.

6. Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze Up?

An air conditioner freezing up can be brought on by many factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some frequent reasons 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 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 getting low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
  • Frigid outdoor temperatures: Using an air conditioner when it's very 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: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all play a role 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 will make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our skilled 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 Houston and nearby areas.

If you’re planning to upgrade or its time for a new air conditioner, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-class 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!