They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely true when talking about your air conditioner. While complex 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 can empower you to fix 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 reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit is a fundamental component 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 Kearney if you're unsure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.
Here are a few of the frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning your AC is a smart way to make sure it works efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant action you can take on your own is to replace the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those particulates 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 freely through the system.
Replacement filters can be purchased at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought 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 smart 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 skilled professionals like the crew at Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning to do scheduled maintenance on your AC. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it 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 necessary 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 include extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. This brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back inside your home so it can take in more heat from the air inside your home. Washing the fins and the coils can help them release heat more easily.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, shut off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to disconnect it completely from power, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the interior of the unit. Then, being cautious not to strain any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are on the market 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 advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to attack the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray very hard, because that could damage the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the unit to dry before turning the unit 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 much it's used. However, 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 air conditioner is through AC conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning includes 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, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Kearney.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Finding the correct sized air conditioner for your home is vital for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you need to cool is one of the most important factors. Bigger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which could minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler environment.
- Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house means more body heat, which could affect your cooling needs.
- Current HVAC system: The size and effectiveness of your current system can provide a jumping off point for deciding what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 focus on customer service is why Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Kearney.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique needs, a new air conditioning system generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement is that new air conditioners are developed to be exceedingly 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 can impact the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always helpful to get several quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Kearney, get in touch with Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning. We will schedule an appointment to 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 unit is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent causes of AC freezing up:
- Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't sufficiently absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged 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 could become too cold and freeze up. This is often a consequence of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Operating an air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to work in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Kearney.
At Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning, we strive to make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our qualified technicians 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 Kearney and neighboring cities.
If you’re seeking 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 Kearney. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning today at 308-624-3485 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!