They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve general AC issues.
Knowing how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will enable 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 contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic 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 technician for air conditioning repair in Rockford if you're not sure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.
Here are several frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is a good way to make sure it operates efficiently, and potentially could extend the life of your unit.
The most important thing you can do 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 in your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow freely through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered 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, taking care to write 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 detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at Temperature Doctors Heating & 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 issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making certain that your indoor AC unit is functioning efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your air conditioner is a quick way to increase 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 cooler air outside. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can take in 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 flip the power switch off, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the insides of the unit. Then, being cautious not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are on the market and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as products foaming solutions that are applied 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 short period of time to dissolve the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray really hard, because that could harm the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the coils and fins 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 often it's used. That said, industry experts say you should start thinking about 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. Routine checkups from Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling features 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, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Rockford.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the proper size of air conditioner for your home is critical for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you want to cool is one of the key factors. Bigger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which could reduce your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone 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 residents: More people in the house produce greater body heat, which can influence your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a place to start for identifying what you need.
Because the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, we take the time to thoroughly 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 focus on customer service is why Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling is known for superb air conditioning installation in Rockford.
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 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 impacted 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 necessitate changes to the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always helpful to get numerous quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re interested in air conditioning replacement in Rockford, contact Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling. We will schedule an appointment to 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 AC is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent causes of AC freezing up:
- Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't effectively absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Operating your air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to operate 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 contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Rockford.
At Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, we will make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our experienced 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Rockford and nearby 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-class air conditioning installation in Rockford. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling today at (815) 914-6197 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!