They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly true when it comes to your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the frequent 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 realizing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit 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 Cottonwood & Prescott if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are some frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning your AC is a good way to make sure it works efficiently, and very well 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 traps dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those particulates from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought 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 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 hoping to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Connolly Electric & Mechanical to do regular maintenance on your system. They’ll examine 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 making certain that your indoor air conditioner equipment is working efficiently, it’s necessary to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your AC is an easy way to boost its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which include extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can soak up more heat from the air inside your home. Washing the fins and the coils is a way to 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, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the interior of the unit. Then, taking care not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely set 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 suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to dissolve the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray really hard, because that could ruin the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the unit to dry before turning the power back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, how well it's maintained and how frequently it's used. However, pros 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 regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Connolly Electric & Mechanical features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and fixing 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 Cottonwood & Prescott.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Finding the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The amount of space you have to cool is one of the key factors. Larger spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which could reduce 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 place.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of people: More people in the house create greater body heat, which can impact your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a jumping off point for determining what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so important to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Connolly Electric & Mechanical, we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s design and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Connolly Electric & Mechanical is known for superb 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 tag of an air conditioner is impacted 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 require modifications to the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always a good idea to get numerous quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Cottonwood & Prescott, get in touch with Connolly Electric & Mechanical. We will provide you with a free 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?
Air conditioning freezing up can be due to multiple factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical reasons for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't effectively absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it can become too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Cold outdoor temperatures: Running an air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to work in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Connolly Electric & Mechanical is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Cottonwood & Prescott.
At Connolly Electric & Mechanical, we strive to make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our knowledgeable specialists 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 the premier choice for air conditioning repair in Cottonwood & Prescott and the surrounding towns.
If you’re planning 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 Cottonwood & Prescott. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact Connolly Electric & Mechanical today at 928-251-4327 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!