They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely true when discussing your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Learning how your AC works and the common problems it faces can empower you to deal with simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but realizing when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex 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 Chadron if you're uncertain about any aspect of your air conditioner'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 conditioner is a smart way to make sure it operates efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant thing you can do 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 contaminants from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it is supposed to in order to force air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered from your local HVAC specialist. 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 thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at MPC Heating & Cooling to do regular maintenance on your unit. They’ll examine 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 sure your indoor air conditioning unit is operating efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your air conditioner is a simple way to boost its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.
The coils, which have extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in 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 easily.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut down 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 enter the inside of the unit. Then, being cautious not to strain any cords or attachments, safely put 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 available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as brands 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 loosen the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious 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 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 much it's used. That said, 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 HVAC is through AC conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from MPC Heating & Cooling includes cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as putting in a new filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Chadron.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Choosing the proper size of air conditioner for your home is critical for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to consider 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. More expansive spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living 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 can let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house produce greater body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and performance of your current system can provide a place to start for determining what you need.
Because the size of your air conditioner is so important to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At MPC Heating & Cooling, we take the time to thoroughly 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 MPC Heating & Cooling is known for superb air conditioning installation in Chadron.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the brand 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 exceptionally efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price 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 require modifications to the design.
Know these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always a good idea to get several quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re interested in air conditioning replacement in Chadron, reach out to MPC Heating & Cooling. We will provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain the procedure and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
Air conditioning freezing up can be caused by multiple factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent reasons for AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly 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 starting to get low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Frigid outdoor temperatures: Using the air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to function in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
MPC Heating & Cooling is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Chadron.
At MPC Heating & Cooling, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our qualified 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 first choice for air conditioning repair in Chadron and neighboring 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 Chadron. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone MPC Heating & Cooling today at 308-832-4321 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!