They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when discussing your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.
Understanding 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 money on minor service calls, but realizing when to contact 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 specialist for air conditioning repair in Fort Lauderdale if you're uncertain about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are several frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioning system is an effective way to make sure it works efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant 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 in your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it ought to in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most popular 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 head out for the store, jotting 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 wanting to buy something similar.
For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at Solar Air Inc. to do routine maintenance on your AC. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.
2. How Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to ensuring your indoor AC unit is functioning efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your AC is an easy way to improve 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 cooler air outside. 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 in your home's interior. Cleaning the fins and the coils will 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 flip the power switch off, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the interior of the unit. Then, being careful not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, starting 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 an attachment to 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 small period of time to dissolve the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Take care 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 coils and fins to dry before turning the power back on.
3. What Is the Average Lifespan of My Air Conditioner?
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, pros say you should start looking into air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to make the most of your air conditioner is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Solar Air Inc. consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating a long time, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Fort Lauderdale.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Picking out the correct sized air conditioner for your home is crucial for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to think about when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you need to cool is one of the key factors. Larger spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which should reduce your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of occupants: More people in the house create greater body heat, which can affect your cooling needs.
- Present 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 critical to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Solar Air Inc., we take the time to thoroughly 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 Solar Air Inc. is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Fort Lauderdale.
5. What Is the Cost of a New Air Conditioner?
While prices fluctuate depending on the type of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news 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 in addition to federal regulations that can impact the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always smart to get numerous quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Fort Lauderdale, get in touch with Solar Air Inc.. We will provide you with a complimentary estimate, explain the plan and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?
Air conditioning freezing up can be due to a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common causes of AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't effectively 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 grow too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Cold outdoor temperatures: Using an air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to perform in temperatures lower 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.
Solar Air Inc. is your Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Fort Lauderdale.
At Solar Air Inc., we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our experienced specialists 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 Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding cities.
If you’re planning 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 Fort Lauderdale. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Solar Air Inc. today at 954-320-7398 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!