They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely true 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 ordinary AC issues.
Learning how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will enable 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 contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your AC is an important element 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 Laurel 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 your AC is a good way to make sure it operates efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most important step you can take on your own is to replace the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those contaminants from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered 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, jotting down 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 trying to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at H&C Heating and Cooling 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 trouble.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making certain that 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 AC is an easy 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 brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can soak up more heat from the air inside 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 down power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to disconnect it completely from power, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the insides of the unit. Then, taking care not to strain any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, starting 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 your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most products, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to dissolve the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray too 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 unit 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 well it's maintained and how frequently it's used. Having said that, 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 AC conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from H&C Heating and Cooling consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Laurel.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Should I Have?
Picking out the right size of air conditioner for your home is vital for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to consider when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you have to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain 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 someone living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house produce more body heat, which could influence your cooling needs.
- Current 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 likely want a professional opinion. At H&C Heating and Cooling, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other considerations such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why H&C Heating and Cooling is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Laurel.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the type of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news is that new air conditioners are developed to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The cost of an air conditioner is influenced 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 require modifications to the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always a good idea to get several quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Laurel, get in touch with H&C Heating and Cooling. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a complimentary estimate, explain the process and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?
An air conditioner freezing up can be brought on by many factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent triggers for AC freezing up:
- Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged 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 can become too cold and freeze up. This is frequently because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Running the air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to function in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
H&C Heating and Cooling is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Laurel.
At H&C Heating and Cooling, we will make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our knowledgeable technicians 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 Laurel and neighboring towns.
If you’re wanting 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 Laurel. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone H&C Heating and Cooling today at 301-960-3247 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!