They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to experts, 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 can empower you to tackle little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you money on minor service calls, but realizing when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is an important 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 Libertyville if you're uncertain about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.
Here are some frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Should I Clean My Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is an effective way to make sure it works efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant step you can take on your own is to swap out the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter traps dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating in your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are available 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 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 wanting to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at TopTec to do routine maintenance on your unit. They’ll inspect 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 certain that your indoor AC unit is operating efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your air conditioner is a simple way to improve 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 brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Washing 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 the power switch off, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the insides of the unit. Then, taking care not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, starting 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 cleaners, it's suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to attack the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Take care 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 coils and fins to dry before turning the power 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 thinking about air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get the most mileage out of your HVAC is through AC conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from TopTec features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new 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 Libertyville.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Picking out the correct sized air conditioner for your home is critical for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to consider when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The total area 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 retain cool air better, which should decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler environment.
- Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house produce more body heat, which could affect your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a starting point for identifying what you need.
Because the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At TopTec, we take the time to completely 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 TopTec is known for superb air conditioning installation in Libertyville.
5. What Does My Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the type 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 developed 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 as well as federal regulations that can impact the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re interested in air conditioning replacement in Libertyville, get in touch with TopTec. We can provide you with a no-cost estimate, describe 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 due to a variety of 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 triggers for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't effectively absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged air filter, something stopping air from flowing through the return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is running low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is often because of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Operating an 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 lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
TopTec is your Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Libertyville.
At TopTec, we strive to make your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our skilled 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 Libertyville and nearby cities.
If you’re wanting 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 Libertyville. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact TopTec today at 847-362-0262 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!