They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely true when discussing your air conditioner. While complex repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Learning how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will allow you to tackle 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 a fundamental component 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 Des Moines 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 an air conditioning system is an effective way to make sure it operates efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.
The most significant action you can take on your own is to replace the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches 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 is supposed to in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter catches the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow efficiently through the system.
Replacement filters are available at most leading home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be purchased from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the correct 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 thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling to do scheduled maintenance on your unit. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making sure your indoor air conditioner equipment is working 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 increase 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 cools the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can take in more heat from the air within 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 access the insides of the unit. Then, being cautious not to stress any cords or attachments, safely put 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 products foaming solutions that are applied with your garden hose.
4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most cleaners, it's suggested that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to attack the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray really 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 Do Air Conditioners Last?
The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, how well it's maintained and how often it's used. Having said that, industry experts say you should start thinking about air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.
One of the best ways to get the most mileage out of your HVAC is through regular conditioner maintenance. Tuneups from Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling features cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Des Moines.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Finding the correct sized air conditioner for your home is critical for achieving comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to think about when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:
- Square footage: The total area of the space you want to cool is one of the key factors. Bigger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which should decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler environment.
- Number of windows: Windows often let in heat, in particular 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.
- Current HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a jumping off point for deciding what you need.
Due to the fact the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other considerations such as your home’s layout and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling is known for superb air conditioning installation in Des Moines.
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 conditioning system 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 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 along with 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 at least a few quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a choice. If you’re interested in air conditioning replacement in Des Moines, contact Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a complimentary estimate, make sure you understand the plan 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 multiple factors, all of which boil down to the system's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some frequent reasons for AC freezing up:
- Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a plugged 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 can grow too cold and freeze up. This is usually a consequence 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 function in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.
Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Des Moines.
At Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and enjoyable 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 premier choice for air conditioning repair in Des Moines and the surrounding cities.
If you’re planning to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our top-notch air conditioning installation in Des Moines. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Call Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling today at 515-207-6569 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!