They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly true when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Learning how your AC works and the common 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 money on minor service calls, but realizing when to contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your AC is a fundamental element 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 York 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 an air conditioner is a smart way to make sure it operates efficiently, and potentially could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective action you can take on your own is to change the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter traps dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those contaminants from the air circulating in your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow freely through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most major 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 go shopping, jotting down the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also a smart 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 experienced professionals like the crew at Strine's to do scheduled maintenance on your AC. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention 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 air conditioning unit is working efficiently, it’s necessary to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your cooling system is a simple 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 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 within your home. 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) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the interior of the unit. Then, being cautious not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as brands foaming solutions that are sprayed on 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 brief period of time to attack the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray too hard, because that could harm 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 well 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 get maximum value from your system is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Strine's includes cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in York.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the proper size of air conditioner for your home is vital for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The size of the space you have to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which should reduce your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler place.
- Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house means more body heat, which may impact your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a place to start for identifying what you need.
Due to the fact the size of your air conditioner is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Strine's, we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other considerations such as your home’s design and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Strine's is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in York.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the type of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are crafted to be exceedingly efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price 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 can impact the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always helpful to get numerous quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in York, reach out to Strine's. We can provide you with a free estimate, explain 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 brought on by multiple 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 typical reasons for AC freezing up:
- Poor 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 running low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is often a consequence of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Operating the air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to work in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Strine's is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in York.
At Strine's, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and pleasant 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 premier choice for air conditioning repair in York 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 top-notch air conditioning installation in York. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Strine's today at 717-383-4479 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!