They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly accurate when talking about your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.
Understanding how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will enable you to deal with easy problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but knowing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.
Your Air conditioner is an important 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 Florissant if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioning system’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 your AC is an effective way to make sure it runs 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 particulates 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 removes the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters can be purchased at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the right filter is to look at your old one before you go shopping, taking care to write down the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also helpful to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are hoping to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at B & B Heating & 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 issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor AC unit is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your AC 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 to the outdoors. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can soak up more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleaning the fins and the coils is a way to help them release heat more effectively.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut off 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 access the interior of the unit. Then, taking care not to stress any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as in the form of foaming solutions that are applied with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most cleaners, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a small period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful 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 coils and fins to dry before turning it back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner can vary based 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 make the most of your system is through regular conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from B & B Heating & Cooling consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and fixing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Florissant.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Choosing the proper size of air conditioner for your home is vital for keeping 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 need to cool is one of the biggest factors. More expansive spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve 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 a person living in a cooler place.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of people: More people in the house create additional body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a place to start for determining what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At B & B 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 insulation level and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why B & B Heating & Cooling is known for superb air conditioning installation in Florissant.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique needs, 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 designed to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The cost of an air conditioner is affected 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 several quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Florissant, reach out to B & B Heating & Cooling. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a no-cost 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 air conditioner freezing up can be caused by a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the AC'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 common causes of AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged 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 get too cold and freeze up. This is usually a consequence of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Running your air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to operate in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
B & B Heating & Cooling is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Florissant.
At B & B Heating & Cooling, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our qualified specialists 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Florissant and the surrounding areas.
If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Florissant. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact B & B Heating & Cooling today at 314-325-7552 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!