They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly accurate when discussing your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to specialists, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve everyday AC issues.
Knowing how your AC works and the common problems it faces will enable you to handle 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 conditioning unit is an essential 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 Tucson if you're unsure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.
Here are some common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is a good way to make sure it works efficiently, and potentially could extend the life of your unit.
The most important 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 contaminants from the air circulating inside your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow freely through the system.
Replacement filters can be purchased at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the correct filter is to look at your old one before you leave 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 trying to buy something similar.
For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at Ambient Air to do routine maintenance on your system. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential trouble.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making certain that your indoor AC unit is working efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your air conditioner is a quick 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 cools the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can take in more heat from the air inside your home. Cleansing 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, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the inside of the unit. Then, being careful 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 then working your way 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 your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most brands, it's recommended that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to loosen the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray too 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 the unit back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how often it's used. That said, pros say you should start thinking about air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get maximum value from your HVAC is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Ambient Air 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, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Tucson.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Choosing the right size of air conditioner for your home is vital for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to consider when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you have to cool is one of the biggest factors. Larger spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which can minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler place.
- Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house means greater body heat, which can influence your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a place to start for deciding what you need.
Because the size of your cooling system is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Ambient Air, 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 Ambient Air is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Tucson.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the size 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 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 along with federal regulations that require modifications to the design.
Know these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always a good idea to get several quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Tucson, contact Ambient Air. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a free estimate, make sure you understand the process 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 number of factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common causes of AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't adequately absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, blocked return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it may get 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. Most units aren't designed to operate in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Ambient Air is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Tucson.
At Ambient Air, we will make your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our experienced technicians 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Tucson and neighboring towns.
If you’re planning to upgrade or its time for a new air conditioner, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-rate air conditioning installation in Tucson. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Ambient Air today at 520-357-4912 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!