They say knowledge is power, and that’s definitely the truth when it comes to your air conditioner. While challenging repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a practical understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve common AC issues.

Knowing how your AC works and the typical problems it faces will enable you to handle easy problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but understanding when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.

Your Air conditioning unit is an important component 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 Richmond if you're not sure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.

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

1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?

Cleaning an air conditioner is a smart way to make sure it operates efficiently, and very well 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 inside your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it should in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter removes the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow efficiently 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 correct filter is to look at your old one before you head out for the store, taking care to write 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 hoping to buy something similar.

For thorough service of your air conditioner, contact the skilled professionals like the crew at Refrigeration Systems Ltd. to do scheduled maintenance on your AC. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.

2. How Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?

In addition to ensuring 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 to the outdoors. This cools the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can absorb more heat from the air inside your home. Cleansing the fins and the coils will help them release heat more effectively.

To clean your air conditioner’s fins and coil:

1) First, shut off power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip the power switch off, instead of turning the thermostat off.

2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can enter the inside of the unit. Then, being cautious not to stress any cords or attachments, safely set the top to the side.

3) Apply a cleaning solution on the fins, first at the top and working down. Commercial coil cleaners are available and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as products foaming solutions that are sprayed on 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 brief period of time to loosen the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious 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. What Is the Average Lifespan of My Air Conditioner?

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. Having said that, pros 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 HVAC is through AC conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Refrigeration Systems Ltd. includes cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and repairing any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Richmond.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Should I Have?

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

  • Square footage: The amount of space you need to cool is one of the most important factors. More expansive spaces require more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which could reduce your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you reside 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 can let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of residents: More people in the house create more body heat, which may influence your cooling needs.
  • Present HVAC system: The size and capability of your current system can provide a place to start for identifying what you need.

Due to the fact the size of your AC is so important to your home’s comfort, you will almost certainly want a professional opinion. At Refrigeration Systems Ltd., we take the time to completely 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 dedication to customer service is why Refrigeration Systems Ltd. is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Richmond.

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

While prices differ depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new AC generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement is that new air conditioners are designed to be exceptionally efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.

The price 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 along with federal regulations that require modifications to the design.

Realize these are average costs and prices can vary. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re interested in air conditioning replacement in Richmond, contact Refrigeration Systems Ltd.. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a free estimate, describe the plan and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.

6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

An AC freezing up can be caused by many 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 more than likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some typical causes of AC freezing up:

  • Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't sufficiently 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 because of leakages in the refrigerant lines.
  • Frigid outdoor temperatures: Operating your air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to function in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.

Refrigeration Systems Ltd. is the Trusted Source for Air Conditioning Service in Richmond.

At Refrigeration Systems Ltd., we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our knowledgeable 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 the premier choice for air conditioning repair in Richmond and neighboring cities.

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

Call Refrigeration Systems Ltd. today at 778-693-2532 to schedule an appointment or no-cost estimate!