They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.

Understanding how your AC works and the typical problems it faces can empower you to fix little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but realizing when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.

Your Air conditioner is a fundamental 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 air conditioner's operation or maintenance.

Here are several frequent questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:

1. How Should I Clean My Air Conditioner?

Cleaning an air conditioner is an effective way to make sure it runs efficiently, and potentially 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 plugged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow easily through the system.

Replacement filters are available at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered from your local HVAC expert. A good way to make sure you get the proper 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 seasoned professionals like the crew at Gilray Heating and Cooling to do regular maintenance on your system. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.

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

In addition to making certain that 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 AC is a simple way to boost 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 to the outdoors. This brings down 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 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, instead of turning the thermostat off.

2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the inside of the unit. Then, being cautious not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.

3) Apply 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 products 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 small period of time to attack the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Take care not to spray too hard, because that could ruin 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 Can Air Conditioners Work?

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. Having said that, 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 air conditioner is through AC conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Gilray Heating and Cooling features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating a long time, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Wausau.

4. What's the Right Size of Air Conditioner?

Selecting the correct sized air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to consider 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 biggest factors. Larger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which could reduce 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 environment.
  • Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of people: More people in the house means additional body heat, which could affect your cooling needs.
  • Present HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a starting point for determining what you need.

Because the size of your cooling system is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely 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 factors such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Gilray Heating and Cooling is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Wausau.

5. What Is the Cost of a New Air Conditioner?

While prices differ depending on the size of the unit and your home’s unique requirements, a new air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are developed to be exceedingly efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.

The cost 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 can impact the design.

Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always helpful to get at least a few quotes from trustworthy HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re contemplating air conditioning replacement in Wausau, contact Gilray Heating and Cooling. We will provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain the procedure and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.

6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

An AC freezing up can be due to a number of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some frequent triggers for AC freezing up:

  • Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't adequately 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 running low on refrigerant, it may get too cold and freeze up. This is often the result of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
  • Cold outdoor temperatures: Running your air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to operate in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.

Gilray Heating and Cooling is your Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Wausau.

At Gilray Heating and Cooling, we strive to make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our knowledgeable professionals 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 nearby towns.

If you’re wanting to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-rate 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 free estimate!