They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly accurate when discussing 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.
Knowing how your AC works and the typical problems it faces can empower you to tackle little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you money on minor service calls, but realizing when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.
Your AC is an important component 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 Wausau if you're unsure about any aspect of your AC'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 an effective way to make sure it operates efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most important step you can take on your own is to change 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 throughout 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 ordered from your local HVAC expert. A good way to make sure you get the right 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 good idea to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are hoping to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Gilray Heating and Cooling to do scheduled 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 Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making certain that your indoor air conditioner equipment is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your AC 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 lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can take in more heat from the air within your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils can help them release heat more efficiently.
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, instead of turning the thermostat off.
2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the inside of the unit. Then, being cautious not to strain 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 available 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 recommended that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray too 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 it back on.
3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner changes depending on the type of unit, its quality, how often it's maintained and how much it's used. That said, industry 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. Tuneups from Gilray Heating and Cooling consists of 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 as long as possible, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Wausau.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the proper size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to consider 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 key factors. More expansive spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which should reduce 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 environment.
- 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 produce more body heat, which can affect your cooling needs.
- Existing HVAC system: The size and performance of your current system can provide a place to start for identifying what you need.
Given that the size of your cooling system is so important to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Gilray Heating and Cooling, we take the time to completely understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why Gilray Heating and Cooling is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Wausau.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices fluctuate depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new AC 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 extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The price of an air conditioner is impacted by several factors during the manufacturing process, such as the cost and availability of raw materials, manufacturing and labor costs along with federal regulations that can impact the design.
Realize these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Wausau, reach out to Gilray Heating and Cooling. We can provide you with a complimentary estimate, explain the procedure 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 many factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical causes of AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't effectively absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty 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 may become too cold and freeze up. This is usually because of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
- Frosty outdoor temperatures: Running an air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most 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 trouble with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Gilray Heating and Cooling is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Wausau.
At Gilray Heating and Cooling, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and soothing place. Our skilled specialists 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 Wausau and the surrounding towns.
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 Wausau. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Gilray Heating and Cooling today at 715-301-0727 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!