AC UNITS FAQ
JUL 31, 2017
Whether you are a new homeowner or an old pro, AC units are impacted by so many different variables that almost everyone has some question about the care and maintenance of them. In this article, we give answers to some of the most common questions we hear about AC unit repair and more.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO REPLACE MY AC UNIT?
With proper care and maintenance, most homeowners should expect their AC unit to last for 15-20 years. Depending on other factors like the AC unit’s condition, efficiency and size, some owners may opt to replace their AC unit even sooner because of their expected savings on energy bills or another advantage.
Additionally, some major AC unit repairs can be expensive, meaning that the benefits of getting a new AC unit altogether would outweigh paying less money to get the old one in working order again. Talk to your AC unit repair professional about the specific information you need to make a confident decision about whether to replace or repair an AC unit.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH SIZE AC UNIT I NEED?
You will want to consult with a professional technician to determine the precise size of the AC unit your home needs. Multiple factors like climate, square footage, layout and more can impact which size you need because of how they impact the workload of the AC unit. Additionally, the efficiency of your home’s insulation will need to be taken into account.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY AC UNIT MORE EFFICIENT?
Assuming you have the correct size for your AC unit and that your ductwork is laid properly, the biggest thing you can do to have an impact on the AC unit’s efficiency is to make sure that regular maintenance is conducted. At least twice a year, enlist a professional to do a routine checkup to alert you of any potential problems before they become big problems. This routine check should also include a thorough cleaning of condensing unit coils, oiling of the fan motors, a check of the AC unit’s belts and a check of the AC unit’s amp drawer.
During these checkups, your AC repairman will also be able to talk to you about other ways you can make your AC unit more efficient depending on your home’s layout, the type of unit you have and other factors.
HOW SHOULD I SET THE THERMOSTAT FOR MY AC UNIT?
In the summer time, decide on a temperature that you are comfortable with (most people opt for 77-79 as that feels so cool compared to the 100 degree heat outside in Phoenix). Go ahead and set the thermostat 3-5 degrees warmer than that when you are out of the house. It should not take too long for the AC unit to cool your house back down a few degrees when you are home and having it up even just a little bit for that amount of time can save you big money on utility bills — especially if you, like most people, tend to be out of the house during the hottest part of the day. Additionally, set the fan setting on your thermostat to “auto” rather than “on” to increase energy efficiency even more.
In the winter time, the AC unit catches a well-deserved break and most homeowners use their heaters very little. Keep the thermostat low when you are not at home, and adjust as needed for your comfort when you are — though it probably will not be much.
If you do not have one already, consider in investing in a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat to help you stick to the settings for your AC unit.
WHY IS MY AC UNIT MAKING THAT FUNNY NOISE?
Depending on if your AC unit is buzzing, clanking, screeching or humming, noises coming from it can have multiple sources. Read this recent article about noises that AC units make and figure out your plan of action accordingly.
WHAT KIND OF FILTER DO I NEED FOR MY AC UNIT?
Filters are critical to the air quality in your home as well as to the overall health of your AC unit. To determine which type of filter you need, take into account size, whether or not anyone in your family has allergies, the air quality and the number of pollutants around the home as well as whether or not you have pets. Assess the efficiency of the air filters in question-based on their MERV ratings.
Additionally, remember to change the air filter frequently. Most people know that it needs to be changed every one to three months, but a lot of people do not realize that things like extra AC unit use (like in the summertime) and monsoon season can make it necessary to change them even more frequently. Make a point of checking even more regularly during these times of year and remember that any time the filter is visibly dirty, it needs to be changed.
WHAT KIND OF AC UNIT REPAIR CAN I DO ON MY OWN?
Because AC unit problems can be so common, especially in the summer in warm climates like Phoenix, we are frequently asked about what kinds of repairs homeowners should consider doing on their own. The truth is, it is highly dependent on the person and their comfort level. The AC unit is such an important and expensive system that it should not be left to someone who is not confident in their abilities to handle the task at hand. In addition to regularly changing of the filters, most homeowners also find they are up to handling simple troubleshooting and small fixes like cleaning dirty condenser coils or thawing frozen coils.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY AC UNIT BE PROFESSIONALLY SERVICED?
Ideally, a professional technician will service your AC unit twice per year, typically right at the end of spring or beginning of summer, then again in the late fall just before we get ready to stop using our AC units in Phoenix.
HOW DO I FIND A REPUTABLE COMPANY TO HANDLE AC UNIT REPAIR?
Are there any questions we missed? Give us a call or drop us a line to ask us anything regarding AC units and AC unit repair. Our decades’ of experience has given us more knowledge about AC units than you can imagine!