They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly accurate when talking about your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to specialists, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve general AC issues.

Learning how your AC works and the common problems it faces can empower you to deal with easy problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but realizing when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.

Your Air conditioning unit is an important 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 McKinney and Frisco if you're not sure about any aspect of your AC'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 your AC is a good way to make sure it runs efficiently, and very well 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 captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those contaminants from the air circulating in your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow freely through the system.

Replacement filters are sold at most popular home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased from your local HVAC specialist. A good way to make sure you get the proper filter is to look at your old one before you head out for the store, noting 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 detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Bell Mechanical Services to do routine maintenance on your system. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.

2. How Are the Coils on My Air Conditioner Cleaned?

In addition to ensuring 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 cooling system is a simple way to boost its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.

The coils, which are attached to 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 inside your home. Cleansing 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, rather than turning the thermostat off.

2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the insides of the unit. Then, being cautious not to stress any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.

3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as in the form of foaming solutions that are sprayed on 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 small period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray really 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 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, how well it's maintained and how much it's used. Having said that, 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 air conditioner is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Bell Mechanical Services 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 a long time, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in McKinney and Frisco.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Choosing the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:

  • Square footage: The amount of space you have to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces demand more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which can minimize your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler place.
  • Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, particularly 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.
  • Existing HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a jumping off point for deciding what you need.

Because the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely 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 variables such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and commitment to customer service is why Bell Mechanical Services is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in McKinney and Frisco.

5. What Does My Air Conditioner Cost?

While prices fluctuate depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, 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 crafted 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 necessitate changes to the design.

Note these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always a good idea to get several quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in McKinney and Frisco, contact Bell Mechanical Services. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a free estimate, explain the plan 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 variety of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is more than likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some frequent triggers for AC freezing up:

  • Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't sufficiently absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
  • Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it could grow too cold and freeze up. This is usually the result of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
  • Frosty outdoor temperatures: Running the air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to operate in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.

Bell Mechanical Services is your Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in McKinney and Frisco.

At Bell Mechanical Services, we will make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our knowledgeable professionals are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and work on on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the premier choice for air conditioning repair in McKinney and Frisco and neighboring towns.

If you’re looking to upgrade or its time for a new air conditioner, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in McKinney and Frisco. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!

Contact Bell Mechanical Services today at 888-863-0560 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!