They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely the truth when it comes to 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 common AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will allow you to deal with simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but understanding when to contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your AC is an essential part 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 Lake Forest if you're uncertain about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are some typical 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 potentially could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective 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 contaminants from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the proper filter is to look at your old one before you head out for the store, taking care to write down the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also a good idea to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are hoping to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning to do routine maintenance on your AC. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor AC unit is functioning efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your cooling system is an easy way to improve 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 cools the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can soak up more heat from the air within your home. Cleansing the fins and the coils is a way to 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, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift 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 move the top to the side.
3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, beginning at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are sold and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as in the form of 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 suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to loosen the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Take care 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 often it's maintained and how often it's used. That said, 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 air conditioner is through AC conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new 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 Lake Forest.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the proper size of air conditioner for your home is vital for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some points 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. Larger spaces necessitate 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 want a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler environment.
- Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house means more body heat, which can influence your cooling needs.
- Current HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a jumping off point for determining what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 commitment to customer service is why 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Lake Forest.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices vary depending on the brand 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 thing is that new air conditioners are developed to be exceptionally 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 as well as federal regulations that necessitate changes to the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always a good idea to get numerous quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Lake Forest, get in touch with 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning. 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?
An AC freezing up can be caused by a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common triggers for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged air filter, something stopping air from flowing through the return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it could become too cold and freeze up. This is frequently a consequence of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Running an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to operate in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Lake Forest.
At 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, we strive to make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our skilled technicians 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 first choice for air conditioning repair in Lake Forest and the surrounding towns.
If you’re looking 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 Lake Forest. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning today at 949-204-0859 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!