They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely the truth when discussing 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 general AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will allow you to tackle simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you money on minor service calls, but knowing when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your AC 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 specialist for air conditioning repair in Lexington if you're unsure 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 Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is an effective way to make sure it operates efficiently, and potentially could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective action 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 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 move air through the filter. A clean filter removes 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 expert. A good way to make sure you get the right filter is to look at your old one before you go shopping, jotting down 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 trying to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at James Heating & A/C, Inc 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 problems.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioning unit is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your cooling system is an easy way to improve 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 into the cooler air outside. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can soak up more heat from the air within your home. Washing the fins and the coils can help them release heat more efficiently.
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 interior of the unit. Then, being cautious not to strain any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and working down. Commercial coil cleaners are sold 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 suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to dissolve the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious 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 components to dry before turning the power 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, if maintained and how frequently it's used. Having said that, experts say you should start getting ready for 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. Maintenance service from James Heating & A/C, Inc features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and fixing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Lexington.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Finding the correct sized air conditioner for your home is crucial 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 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 preserve cool air better, which could reduce your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll want a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler place.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of people: More people in the house means more body heat, which can influence your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a starting point for determining 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 James Heating & A/C, Inc, we take the time to completely understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other factors such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why James Heating & A/C, Inc is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Lexington.
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 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 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.
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 purchase. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Lexington, reach out to James Heating & A/C, Inc. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain 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 brought on by many factors, all of which boil down to the AC'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 causes of AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't effectively 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 starting to get low on refrigerant, it may become too cold and freeze up. This is usually a consequence of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Operating the air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to operate in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
James Heating & A/C, Inc is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Lexington.
At James Heating & A/C, Inc, we strive to make your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our experienced technicians are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and work on on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the first choice for air conditioning repair in Lexington and nearby towns.
If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Lexington. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone James Heating & A/C, Inc today at 336-853-6070 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!