They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly true when it comes to your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to specialists, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Knowing how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will allow you to deal with little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but understanding when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your AC is an essential 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 Rio Grande Valley 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 your AC is an effective way to make sure it runs efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most important thing you can do on your own is to swap out the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those impurities from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, 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 easily through the system.
Replacement filters are sold at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased from your local HVAC specialist. A good way to make sure you get the right 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 helpful 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 Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. 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 problems.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor air conditioner equipment is working efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your air conditioner is a quick way to increase 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 soak up more heat from the air within your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils can 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, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift 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 move the top to the side.
3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, first 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 sprayed on with an attachment to your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most brands, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a brief period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray very hard, because that could harm the coils or fins!
5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the components 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 often it's used. That said, industry experts say you should start looking into air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get the most mileage out of your system is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. consists of 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 Rio Grande Valley.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Picking out the correct sized air conditioner for your home is critical 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 biggest factors. Bigger spaces require more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which should minimize your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll want a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler climate.
- Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of people: More people in the house means additional body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a starting point for determining what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so important to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C., we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other factors such as your home’s design and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Rio Grande Valley.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices vary depending on the kind 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 extremely 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 in addition to federal regulations that require modifications to the design.
Note these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Rio Grande Valley, reach out to Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C.. We will provide you with a complimentary estimate, make sure you understand the process and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.
6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?
Air conditioning freezing up can be a consequence of a number of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability 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 frequent reasons for AC freezing up:
- Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't effectively 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 can get too cold and freeze up. This is frequently because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Using the air conditioner when it's very 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.
Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Rio Grande Valley.
At Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C., we strive to make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our skilled technicians 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 Rio Grande Valley and nearby areas.
If you’re wanting to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Rio Grande Valley. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Contact Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. today at 956-630-3522 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!