They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to professionals, 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 common problems it faces will allow you to tackle simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but understanding when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.
Your AC is an important element of your home comfort. Because of that, you should always err on the side of caution and call a NATE-certified technician for air conditioning repair in McKinney and Frisco if you're not sure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.
Here are some frequent 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 works efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective step you can take on your own is to change 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 in your home. If your AC filter becomes plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most popular 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 leave 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 detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Bell Mechanical Services to do routine maintenance on your unit. 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 ensuring your indoor air conditioning unit is functioning efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your AC is a simple way to improve 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 cooler air outside. This cools 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 easily.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, turn off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to disconnect it completely from power, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.
2) Remove the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the interior of the unit. Then, being cautious not to stress any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.
3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and working 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 sprayed on with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most products, it's suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to dissolve the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray very 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 frequently it's used. However, pros say you should start looking into air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get maximum value from your HVAC is through regular conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Bell Mechanical Services includes 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, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in McKinney and Frisco.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner is right for your home:
- Square footage: The amount of space you need to cool is one of the most important factors. Bigger spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which can decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll want a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler place.
- Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house means greater body heat, which can influence your cooling needs.
- Present HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a place to start for determining what you need.
Given that the size of your AC is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will probably want a professional opinion. At Bell Mechanical Services, 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 focus on customer service is why Bell Mechanical Services is known for excellent air conditioning installation in McKinney and Frisco.
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. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement 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 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.
Realize these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always helpful to get at least a few quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in McKinney and Frisco, get in touch with Bell Mechanical Services. We will schedule an appointment to 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?
An air conditioner freezing up can be brought on by a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some common triggers for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't properly 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 running low on refrigerant, it could grow too cold and freeze up. This is often a consequence of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Running your air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to operate 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.
Bell Mechanical Services is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in McKinney and Frisco.
At Bell Mechanical Services, we will make your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our experienced 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 first choice for air conditioning repair in McKinney and Frisco and the surrounding cities.
If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-rate air conditioning installation in McKinney and Frisco. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Bell Mechanical Services today at 888-863-0560 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!