They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly true when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to specialists, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve everyday AC issues.
Knowing 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 cash on minor service calls, but realizing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is an essential 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 Columbia if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are some 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 works efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant 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 impurities from the air circulating in your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are sold 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 proper 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 hoping to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Watts Electric & AC to do routine maintenance on your system. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it 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 operating efficiently, it’s necessary to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor 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 have extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back into 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 easily.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut down power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip off the the on/off switch, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the interior of the unit. Then, being cautious not to stress any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Spray 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 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 carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray very hard, because that could ruin 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, how often it's maintained and how much it's used. However, 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 regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Watts Electric & AC includes cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Columbia.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Choosing the correct sized air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The amount of space you want to cool is one of the biggest factors. Bigger spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which could minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler climate.
- 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 produce additional body heat, which can affect your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a starting point for identifying what you need.
Due to the fact the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Watts Electric & AC, we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other considerations such as your home’s design and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why Watts Electric & AC is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Columbia.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the brand of the unit and your home’s unique needs, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement is that new air conditioners are designed to be exceedingly efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price tag 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 in addition to federal regulations that can impact the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always helpful to get several quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Columbia, contact Watts Electric & AC. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a free estimate, explain the plan and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
An AC freezing up can be a consequence of many factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common reasons for AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't adequately absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, blocked return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it can get too cold and freeze up. This is usually a consequence of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Using the air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to work in temperatures lower 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.
Watts Electric & AC is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Columbia.
At Watts Electric & AC, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our qualified specialists 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 premier choice for air conditioning repair in Columbia and neighboring areas.
If you’re wanting 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 Columbia. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Watts Electric & AC today at 601-736-7362 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!