They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely true when discussing your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the common problems it faces will allow 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 contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your AC 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 Lancaster if you're unsure about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are a few of the typical questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning your AC is an effective way to make sure it operates efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective step you can take on your own is to change the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating in your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are available 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 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 trying to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Fairfield Heating & Cooling to do regular maintenance on your unit. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor AC unit is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your AC is a simple 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 to the outdoors. This brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can take in more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleansing the fins and the coils will 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, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the insides of the unit. Then, being careful not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely set 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 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 suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to loosen the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious 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 unit to dry before turning the unit back on.
3. What Is the Average Lifespan of My Air Conditioner?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how much it's used. That said, experts say you should start looking into air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get the most mileage out of your system is through regular conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Fairfield Heating & Cooling consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating a long time, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Lancaster.
4. What's the Right Size of Air Conditioner?
Finding the proper size of air conditioner for your home is vital for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to consider when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:
- Square footage: The amount of space you have to cool is one of the most important factors. Larger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain 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 occupants: More people in the house create more body heat, which may impact your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a jumping off point for identifying what you need.
Given that the size of your AC is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Fairfield Heating & Cooling, we take the time to completely understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Fairfield Heating & Cooling is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Lancaster.
5. What Is the Cost of a New Air Conditioner?
While prices vary depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique needs, a new air conditioning system generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news is that new air conditioners are designed to be extremely 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.
Realize 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 decision. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Lancaster, contact Fairfield Heating & Cooling. We can provide you with a complimentary estimate, describe the procedure and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze Up?
An AC freezing up can be a consequence of a number of factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common reasons for AC freezing up:
- Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily 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 frequently a consequence of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Running an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to function in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Fairfield Heating & Cooling is your Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Lancaster.
At Fairfield 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 work on on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the premier choice for air conditioning repair in Lancaster and the surrounding cities.
If you’re looking to upgrade or its time for a new air conditioner, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Lancaster. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact Fairfield Heating & Cooling today at 740-331-4331 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!