Air Conditioner

Common Air Condition Issues And How To Avoid Them

If your air conditioner is not getting your home as cool as you would like, there are a couple of reasons. First, you may need to change your filter. Second, you may need to clean out the outdoor condenser. If these two things don’t work, you may need to call a professional for service. If it is extremely hot outside, you may not need service. It might just be too hot outside for your AC to keep up with the heat.

#1 The AC Filter

All air conditioners have a filter. It is located inside the home, often behind a grill in the hallway. The filter is responsible for the air to filter correctly and to keep the coils from getting dirty. How often you need to change your filter would depend on the size. A 1-inch filter should be changed every month. A 2-inch filter should be changed every two months. If you have a 4-inch or 5-inch filter, it should be changed every 6 to 12 months. You may need to change your filter more often if you have pets in the home, if your house gets dusty quickly, if you don’t vacuum regularly, or if you have a dirt driveway or live on a dirt road. It is best to buy a year’s worth of filters so that you always have one on hand.

#2 Cleaning the Outdoor Condenser

It is essential that you clean your outdoor condenser often. If it is dirty, grass clippings, or leaves on the side of the condenser, turn off the power and spray the condenser with a hose. You should also make sure that no bushes or weeds are growing too close to the condenser. If you are planning to plant bushes, they need to be between 24 and 36-inches away from the outdoor unit. If you have existing bushes, they should be trimmed 12 to 18 inches back. If the unit cannot breathe properly, it will result in air conditioner problems. When trimming the weeds and bushes, be careful with the weed eater. You could end up cutting a wire or pipe which can cause serious issues.

#3 Frost During the Summer

If there is frost on the indoor or outdoor pipes, it means that your system is frozen, and it won’t cool your home correctly. To solve the problem, the AC system needs to be thawed. The best way to do this is to turn off the air conditioner and switch the setting to the fan mode. This will force warm air through the pipes to allow them to thaw, and it can take up to two hours.
If you turn the AC back on and it freezes again in a day or two, you should call a professional. It will keep happening until the issue causing the freezing is resolved. You can try changing the filter, but if this doesn’t work, you need to call a professional.

#4 Don’t Set the Thermostat Below 70 Degrees

It is a bad idea to set your thermostat below 70 degrees, says our contractor James Smith from Las Vegas AC Repair. It won’t cool the house down any faster, and it can cause the system to freeze up, which will cause problems.

It is important that you understand that there is a 20-degree difference between the temperature indoors and outdoors. For example, when it is 92 degrees outside, you can set the thermostat to 72 degrees. If it is 102 degrees outside, you may need to set your system lower than 70 to get your home cool.

#5 Leaking Water

If there is water leaking from an outdoor pipe or over the bathtub, it is a sign that the condensate drain is not working effectively, and the water is draining through the emergency drain system. This type of repair is not a DIY project. You will need to call a professional to fix the problem and get the drains working properly.

#6 The Thermostat

If you have a programmable thermostat, you should not set it to turn down more than five degrees when you aren’t home. When you get home and need the house to be cool, it will use too much energy to get the house to the desired temperature. This defeats the purpose of turning it down to save energy.

#7 Freon

Your air conditioning system doesn’t need to be filled with Freon regularly the way that your car needs gas and oil. The only time you would need Freon is if there is a leak. Some leaks are small and hard to see, and some are easy to detect. A Freon leak is something that should only be repaired by a professional. The leak could be in the indoor unit, the outdoor unit, or in the copper lines that connect the two. A tech may tell you that the leak can be repaired; however, some leaks cannot be repaired.

#8 Home Repair

If you are having repairs done on your homes, such as a roof repair or installation, let the contractor know that you have an air conditioning system. You should also tell them that if they puncture a refrigerant line, they would be responsible for the repairs.

Air Conditioner

Is It Time To Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Like most homeowners, you probably want to know why your heating or air conditioning is not working. You want to know the facts so you can make an informed decision. You want the truth, right?

Of course, one of the first things that need to be considered is how much the repairs will cost. Give us a call and schedule a visit for diagnostic service. We will dispatch a service technician to your home along with the meters, tools, and other equipment needed to diagnose problems with your air conditioner or heating system, and we’ll give you the costs for any repairs that need to be done.

Once you know how much a repair will cost, we’ll then be able to help you decide if it’s best to replace or repair your HVAC equipment based on the following criteria:

1. How much the repair will cost

2. The age, efficiency, and condition of your current equipment

3. How long you plan on staying in the home

With this information, you’ll be better prepared to determine if repairing your equipment is a cost-effective option. After all, paying more for repairs than the value left in your equipment might not be your best option.

Maybe you’ve already had a heating and cooling company tell you that it’s time to replace your HVAC equipment rather than have it repaired. But, you’re still not sure if you should actually go with that recommendation.

Give us a call and ask for our easy “2nd Opinion Service.” We offer this service as a courtesy, so it’s free of charge and will give you the added benefit of providing peace of mind when you know that you have the most accurate information needed in order to make an informed decision. Sometimes, we come up with the same diagnosis and recommendation as to the first company. Other times our recommendation is different. Either way, you’ll receive an estimate for repair costs from one of our experienced technicians. Our technician will also be able to provide you with the approximate age of your current system, the approximate efficiency of the system, and the system’s overall condition, as well as other helpful information. Armed with this information as well as our easy to use Repair or Replace scorecard, we’ll be able to help you decide if replacement or repairs are in your best interest.

There are many times when we have been able to help our customers save a great deal of money simply because they were informed about their options and they figured out that equipment replacement wasn’t the best choice.

*We offer our second opinion service free of charge when another company recommends that you replace your equipment. If it is determined that repairs are the best choice, our service technician will be equipped to make the necessary repairs at a price quoted.

How long can I expect my A/C to last?

The answer to this question will vary depending on a variety of things, some of which are under your control while some are not, such as an act of nature. In northern climates, air conditioners might last between 13 and 15 years. However, In Texas, you might be looking at 12 to 13 years as the average lifespan for an air conditioner. Typically, the systems that are regularly maintained and serviced will last longer. Systems that aren’t properly maintained might experience failure much sooner than normal.

What can I do to help prolong the life of my equipment?

All manufacturers recommend annual maintenance by an HVAC professional. If regular maintenance is not adhered to, the manufacturer might refuse to cover the warranty, considering the lack of maintenance to be abuse or neglect of the equipment. Learn more about air conditioning and heating maintenance.