They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve general AC issues.
Knowing how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will allow you to deal with easy problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you money on minor service calls, but knowing when to contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is an important 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 Sacramento if you're not sure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.
Here are some common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. What Is the Best Way to Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning your AC is an effective way to make sure it operates efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective action you can take 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 impurities from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it is supposed to in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought 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 go shopping, noting 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 thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Bishop’s HVAC 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 Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioner equipment is functioning efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your cooling system is an easy way to boost 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 into the cooler air outside. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils is a way to 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 off the the on/off switch, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the interior of the unit. Then, taking care not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, beginning at the top and working 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 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 dissolve the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray really 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 Can Air Conditioners Work?
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. That said, industry experts say you should start getting ready for air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get maximum value from your system is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Bishop’s HVAC includes cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Sacramento.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Should I Have?
Selecting the proper size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to think about when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you want to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler environment.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house means additional body heat, which could impact your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and productivity 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 important to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Bishop’s HVAC, we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other considerations such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why Bishop’s HVAC is known for superb air conditioning installation in Sacramento.
5. What Is the Cost of a New Air Conditioner?
While prices fluctuate depending on the type 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. The good news is that new air conditioners are crafted to be exceedingly 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 require modifications to the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always helpful to get several quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Sacramento, reach out to Bishop’s HVAC. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain the process and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze Up?
Air conditioning freezing up can be caused by many factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common causes of AC freezing up:
- Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't effectively absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it may become too cold and freeze up. This is usually because of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Running an 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 trouble with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
Bishop’s HVAC is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Sacramento.
At Bishop’s HVAC, we strive to make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our skilled 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 Sacramento and nearby cities.
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 Sacramento. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Bishop’s HVAC today at 916-591-6889 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!