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

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

Your AC is an essential part 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 Port Orchard if you're unsure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.

Here are a few of the common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:

1. What Is the Best Way to Clean an Air Conditioner?

Cleaning an air conditioning system is a good way to make sure it runs efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.

The most significant thing you can do 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 inside your home. If your AC filter becomes choked with debris, the air conditioner has to work harder than it really should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow freely through the system.

Replacement filters can be purchased at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered 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 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 trying to buy something similar.

For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Air Masters Heating & Cooling to do regular maintenance on your unit. They’ll examine your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.

2. How Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?

In addition to making certain that your indoor air conditioning unit is working efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your cooling system is a quick way to increase 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 lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can take in more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleansing 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 disconnect it completely from power, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.

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

3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and then working your way down. Commercial coil cleaners are sold 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 brands, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to dissolve the grime and then softly spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful 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 unit to dry before turning the power back on.

3. How Long Can Air Conditioners Work?

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, experts say you should start getting ready for 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 regular conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Air Masters Heating & Cooling consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as changing out the dirty filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as possible, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Port Orchard.

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

Finding the proper size of air conditioner for your home is critical for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to think about when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:

  • Square footage: The size of the space you want to cool is one of the biggest factors. Bigger spaces demand more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which can reduce your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler environment.
  • Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of people: More people in the house produce more body heat, which could affect your cooling needs.
  • Existing HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a starting point for identifying what you need.

Because the size of your AC is so critical to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Air Masters Heating & Cooling, we take the time to thoroughly 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 commitment to customer service is why Air Masters Heating & Cooling is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Port Orchard.

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

While prices differ depending on the brand 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. The good news is that new air conditioners are crafted to be exceptionally efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.

The price tag 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 in addition to federal regulations that can impact the design.

Realize 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 contemplating air conditioning replacement in Port Orchard, contact Air Masters Heating & Cooling. We will provide you with a complimentary estimate, describe 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 a consequence of a number of factors, all of which boil down to the failure of your system to efficiently transfer heat. If your air conditioner is suffering from 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:

  • Inadequate airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, blocked return air ducts or a failing fan.
  • Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it may grow too cold and freeze up. This is often because of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
  • Frosty outdoor temperatures: Running your air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to operate in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Broken thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.

Air Masters Heating & Cooling is your Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Port Orchard.

At Air Masters Heating & Cooling, we will make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our experienced specialists are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and are knowledgeable on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us their first call for air conditioning repair in Port Orchard and the surrounding cities.

If you’re seeking to upgrade or its time for a new unit, we’ve got you covered there too, with our first-rate air conditioning installation in Port Orchard. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!

Contact Air Masters Heating & Cooling today at 360-205-7115 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!