They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly 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 general AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the common problems it faces can empower you to fix simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but knowing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your AC is a fundamental component 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 Columbus if you're unsure 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 an effective way to make sure it operates efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most important thing you can do 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 particulates from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it ought to in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still enabling 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 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, 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 wanting to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling to do scheduled maintenance on your system. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential trouble.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioning unit is functioning efficiently, it’s necessary 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 have 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 in your home so it can take in more heat from the air inside your home. Cleansing the fins and the coils will 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 off the the on/off switch, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the inside of the unit. Then, taking care not to strain any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and working down. Commercial coil cleaners are on the market and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as brands foaming solutions that are sprayed on with an attachment to your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most products, it's recommended that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to dissolve the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray very hard, because that could damage the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the components to dry before turning it 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 well it's maintained and how much it's used. Having said that, pros say you should start looking into air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get maximum value from your HVAC is through AC conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating a long time, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Columbus.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the proper size of air conditioner for your home is critical for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements 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 key factors. Larger spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which should minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler environment.
- 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 produce more body heat, which can affect your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a starting point for determining 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 Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling, we take the time to completely 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 Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Columbus.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new air conditioning system 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 crafted 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 along with federal regulations that can impact 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 purchase. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Columbus, reach out to Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling. We can provide you with a complimentary estimate, describe 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 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 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, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it can get too cold and freeze up. This is often a consequence of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Using an air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to work in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Columbus
At Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our experienced professionals 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 first choice for air conditioning repair in Columbus and neighboring cities.
If you’re looking to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Columbus. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling problems!
Phone Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling today at 614-451-0846 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!