They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly accurate when it comes to your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.
Knowing how your AC works and the frequent problems it faces will allow you to fix 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 reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.
Your Air conditioning unit 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 specialist for air conditioning repair in Cedar Rapids if you're unsure about any aspect of your air conditioning system’s operation or maintenance.
Here are a few of the typical questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:
1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?
Cleaning an air conditioner is a good way to make sure it runs efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.
The most effective step you can take on your own is to replace the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter captures dust, pollen, pet hair and other debris, and removes those particulates from the air circulating throughout 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 catches the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow easily through the system.
Replacement filters are sold 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 right filter is to look at your old one before you head out for the store, jotting down the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also helpful to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are wanting to buy something similar.
For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at Ilten's to do regular maintenance on your system. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention and look for worn-out parts and potential trouble.
2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?
In addition to making certain that your indoor AC unit is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor 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 into the outside air. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can take in more heat from the air in your home's interior. Washing the fins and the coils is a way to help them release heat more effectively.
To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:
1) First, turn off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip the power switch off, rather than turning the thermostat off.
2) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the insides of the unit. Then, taking care not to strain any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.
3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and moving 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 sprayed on with an attachment to 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 attack the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray too hard, because that could harm 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 changes depending on the type of unit, its quality, how often it's maintained and how often it's used. However, pros 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 HVAC is through regular conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Ilten's 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, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Cedar Rapids.
4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Selecting the correct sized air conditioner for your home is crucial for achieving 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 total area of the space you need to cool is one of the biggest factors. Bigger spaces demand more cooling power.
- Home insulation: Well-insulated homes hold cool air better, which should decrease your cooling needs.
- Climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you'll need a more powerful air conditioner compared to a homeowner living in a cooler place.
- Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
- Number of residents: More people in the house create more body heat, which could impact your cooling needs.
- Current HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a place to start for identifying what you need.
Because the size of your AC is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Ilten's, we take the time to thoroughly understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other factors such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and dedication to customer service is why Ilten's is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Cedar Rapids.
5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?
While prices differ depending on the type 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. The good thing is that new air conditioners are crafted to be exceptionally efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.
The cost 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.
Realize these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always helpful to get numerous quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Cedar Rapids, reach out to Ilten's. We can provide you with a free estimate, describe 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 a consequence of 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 most likely time for air conditioning repair.
Here are some typical triggers for AC freezing up:
- Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing correctly through your AC system, it can't effectively absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged air filter, obstructed 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 frequently because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
- Very Chilly outdoor temperatures: Operating the air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to perform in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
- Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.
Ilten's is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Cedar Rapids.
At Ilten's, we strive to make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our experienced specialists 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 their first call for air conditioning repair in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding cities.
If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a replacement, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-class air conditioning installation in Cedar Rapids. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!
Phone Ilten's today at 319-208-2351 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!