They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly true when it comes to your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve everyday AC issues.
Learning how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will enable you to deal with 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 call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your AC is a fundamental part 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 Manassas if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are a few of the common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioning system is a good way to make sure it runs efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most important 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 throughout 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 removes the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow freely through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought from your local HVAC expert. A good way to make sure you get the correct filter is to look at your old one before you head out for the store, noting 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 comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Air-Right Energy Design to do scheduled maintenance on your system. They’ll look over 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 ensuring your indoor air conditioning unit is working efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your air conditioner is an easy way to improve its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which are attached to 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 in your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils can help them release heat more efficiently.
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, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the inside of the unit. Then, taking care not to strain any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, beginning at the top and then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are on the market and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as products 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 short period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful 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 it back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, how often it's maintained and how often it's used. However, pros say you should start getting ready for air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to make the most of your air conditioner is through AC conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Air-Right Energy Design features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new filter and fixing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Manassas.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the right size of air conditioner for your home is vital for maintaining 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 want to cool is one of the key factors. Bigger 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 residents: More people in the house create additional body heat, which can impact your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a jumping off point for determining what you need.
Given that the size of your cooling system is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Air-Right Energy Design, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other factors such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Air-Right Energy Design is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Manassas.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the type of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, 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 crafted 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 in addition to federal regulations that can impact the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always smart to get numerous quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Manassas, contact Air-Right Energy Design. We can provide you with a free 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 caused by a number of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent 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, something stopping air from flowing through the return air ducts or a failing fan.
- Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is getting low on refrigerant, it can become too cold and freeze up. This is often because of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Operating an air conditioner when it's too 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: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.
Air-Right Energy Design is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Manassas.
At Air-Right Energy Design, we will make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our experienced professionals 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 the premier choice for air conditioning repair in Manassas and the surrounding towns.
If you’re looking 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 Manassas. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Air-Right Energy Design today at 703-260-1148 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!