They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when it comes to your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common 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 money on minor service calls, but understanding when to contact 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 specialist for air conditioning repair in Greater Richmond if you're unsure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are some typical questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. What Is the Best Way to 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 effective action you can take on your own is to change the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter traps dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those contaminants from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought from your local HVAC expert. A good way to make sure you get the right filter is to look at your old one before you head out 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 wanting to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to do regular maintenance on your AC. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor air conditioning unit is operating efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your cooling system is a simple way to improve 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 outside air. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can soak up more heat from the air within 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, turn off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip the power switch off, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the insides of the unit. Then, taking care not to stress any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are available 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 recommended that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray really 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 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 often it's maintained and how frequently it's used. However, 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 system is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating a long time, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Greater Richmond.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Should I Have?
Finding the proper size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to think about when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you want to cool is one of the biggest factors. More expansive spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, in particular 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.
- Current HVAC system: The size and performance of your current system can provide a starting point for determining what you need.
Due to the fact the size of your cooling system is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Greater Richmond.
5. What Is the Cost of a New Air Conditioner?
While prices differ depending on the brand of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, 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 exceedingly efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price 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 can impact the design.
Know these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always smart to get several quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Greater Richmond, contact Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We will provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain the process 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 many factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability 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 frequent causes of AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't adequately absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged air filter, blocked return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it can become too cold and freeze up. This is frequently because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Running your air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to function in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Greater Richmond.
At Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our knowledgeable professionals 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Greater Richmond and nearby towns.
If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-class air conditioning installation in Greater Richmond. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today at 804-302-6657 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!