There is plenty to learn about an air conditioner. Whether your air conditioner is ten years old or brand new, knowing how to maintain it, use it, and repair it is all critical. At Comfort Solutions HVAC, we get numerous questions each week about air conditioners. Therefore, we are happy to present them here with the answers so that you have quick access to the right information when you need it.
In the middle of summer, the last thing you should find on your air conditioner is ice. If you see a frozen unit, coils, or pipes, the refrigerant in your air conditioner is low. Furthermore, your unit is not receiving ample air flow. If you see ice around your AC unit, contact a repair technician immediately.
Air conditioners have two primary functions: removing heat and removing moisture. The less humidity, the more comfortable your home’s interior. To do this, your air conditioner draws in the hot air through the filter, and then passes that air over a cooling coil, removing heat and moisture along the way. The result is cold air blown back into your home.
Air conditioners are not cheap to run, especially throughout the extended period of a hot summer. To save money, consider increasing the thermostat temperature by a few degrees. Also, upgrade your existing air conditioner to an Energy Star or high-efficiency option. For empty rooms, close the vents. Otherwise, you are paying to cool rooms that do not need cooling.
Preventing restricted air flow is the most critical maintenance to perform. Having an HVAC technician from Comfort Solutions HVAC come out for a tune up and inspection each year will prevent air flow issues. Furthermore, our maintenance appointments include:
- Cleaning out all dust and dirt from the entire unit – including intricate components.
- Changing your filter for cleaner indoor air.
- Inspecting refrigerant levels and looking for signs of leaks.
- Tuning up the system to operate more efficiently.
In addition to routine, professional maintenance, you must maintain your unit outdoors. This includes trimming all trees and bushes away from the air conditioner. Also, remove any weeds that might try to grow under the concrete foundation. Keep pets away, because urine can lead to costly damage too.
Replacing a filter depends on the unit and type of filter you are utilizing. Disposable, basic filters should be replaced monthly. Washable filters must be cleaned out once a month too. If you have a high-capacity filter, you might go three to six months without replacement. However, regular inspections to ensure the filter is not too filthy are important.
Many factors affect the specification and sizing of your system, including insulation, square footage, window configuration and surface, location and orientation of your home, duct arrangement and sizing, and many others. Comfort Solutions will perform an on-site heatload analysis to determine the best equipment combinations that will perfectly suit your family and your home’s needs.
Most HVAC products are covered against manufacturers defects for a period of 5 year on parts without registration. Comfort Solutions will register your new system for you extending the manufacturers warranty to ten years on parts. Comfort Solutions will cover the labor to replace defective parts for a minimum of one year all the way up to ten years. Maintenance related failures are not covered by the manufacturer or Comfort Solutions.
Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is derived based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the rating. Please call Comfort Solutions for more information.
Unfortunately there is no set time limit or expiration date on furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners. Most builder grade equipment (the type that comes with a new house) is designed to be cost competitive and not known for its quality. I would give it a range of 10-15 years at most. Many other factors play a role in how long a system last.
- Was the system sized correctly?
- Was it well maintained?
- Was it installed correctly?
If you have doubts about your system why not schedule a tune up and we’ll do a full system evaluation so you know where you stand and you’ll be ready for any extreme temperatures we may have.
Contact Comfort Solutions HVAC with any additional questions or to schedule your appointment for repair, maintenance, or to receive an in-home estimate. Call Comfort Solutions HVAC at 610-438-9300 for more information.