They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely accurate when it comes to your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to specialists, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve everyday AC issues.

Knowing how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will allow you to handle little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but realizing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.

Your AC is an important part 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 Cottonwood & Prescott if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.

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

1. How Should I Clean My Air Conditioner?

Cleaning an air conditioning system is a smart way to make sure it runs efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.

The most significant step you can take 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 particulates from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still permitting 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 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, 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 comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Connolly Electric & Mechanical to do routine maintenance on your system. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.

2. How Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?

In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioning unit is functioning efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your AC 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 lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can absorb more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleaning the fins and the coils will help them release heat more easily.

To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:

1) First, turn off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip off the the on/off switch, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.

2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the inside of the unit. Then, being careful not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.

3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as products foaming solutions that are sprayed on with an attachment to 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 softly spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray too 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 Can Air Conditioners Work?

The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, how often it's maintained and how frequently it's used. That said, industry experts say you should start getting ready for air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.

One of the best ways to make the most of your HVAC is through regular conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Connolly Electric & Mechanical includes 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, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Cottonwood & Prescott.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Finding the proper size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:

  • Square footage: The amount of space you need to cool is one of the key factors. Larger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which should decrease your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler environment.
  • Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of people: More people in the house produce greater body heat, which can affect your cooling needs.
  • Existing HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a place to start for identifying what you need.

Due to the fact the size of your air conditioner is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At Connolly Electric & Mechanical, we take the time to completely understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Connolly Electric & Mechanical is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Cottonwood & Prescott.

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 air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are developed to be exceedingly efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.

The price 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 along with federal regulations that can impact the design.

Realize these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always a good idea to get numerous quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Cottonwood & Prescott, contact Connolly Electric & Mechanical. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a free estimate, describe the process and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.

6. Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze Up?

An AC freezing up can be caused by many factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit 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:

  • Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't sufficiently 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 running low on refrigerant, it could get 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 very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to perform in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.

Connolly Electric & Mechanical is your Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Cottonwood & Prescott.

At Connolly Electric & Mechanical, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our experienced professionals 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Cottonwood & Prescott and nearby towns.

If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Cottonwood & Prescott. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!

Phone Connolly Electric & Mechanical today at 928-251-4327 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!