Common Questions About Your Air Conditioner
With average highs above 100 degrees from May through September, the people of Phoenix are at no shortage of questions when it comes to air conditioning repair. Let’s take a look at some of the best answers to the most common questions your asking.
How Often Should I Change My Air Conditioning Filter?
Manufacturers usually recommend that your filter be changed every 30 to 60 days, but most residential homeowners can get away with replacing their filter every 90 days. If you have pets or suffer allergies, you’ll likely benefit from changing it more often.
Don’t neglect changing the filter. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your air conditioner running efficiently and prevent more costly damage.
How Do I Change My Air Conditioning Filter?
Changing your AC Filter is definitely not the sort of home maintenance task you need to pay anyone for. It’s super simple, quick, and cost effective to change your own filter. Here are the basics:
Make sure that you have the correct size air filter. Check the old one or read up in your owner’s manual. Using an improperly sized air filter will inhibit your air conditioner’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Remove the old filter, being careful not to scatter dust everywhere.
Use a cloth to wipe any accumulated dust from the surfaces and filter area.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for inserting the new filter. Don’t worry, it’s way simpler than you think and doesn’t require any special tools.
Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?
As warm air blows over your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, beads of moisture called condensation form around the coil. This is exactly the same thing that happens when you leave a glass of iced tea sitting out on a warm Phoenix summer day. As the condensation drips off of the coils, it gets whisked away down a drain pipe.
At least, that’s what happens when everything is working right. If your indoor unit is leaking into your home, then a number of issues may need to be diagnosed:
Low Refrigerant or Dirty Air Filter. Either of these conditions will cause air pressure in the system to drop, which leads to moisture forming around the coils faster than it can be drained. The overflow is now dripping down into your home. If replacing the filter doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to call a professional air conditioning repair service in Phoenix to check the refrigerant level.
Clogged Drain Line. Even if nothing is creating extra condensate, then a clog in the drain line will cause excess water to back up until it starts leaking into your home. Clearing up the clog should take care of the issue.
Damaged Drain Pan. The drain pan is what collects the condensation before sending it down the drain line. If your AC is more than a decade old, the pan may have been rusted through or cracked, thus allowing moisture to drip into your home before it can be shuttled away down the drain.
How Long Will My Air Conditioner Last?
A well-maintained air conditioning unit should last you about 15 years. Some may even last up to 20. If you neglect your regular maintenance, such as failing to change your filters and clean the outside unit, then you will probably start to encounter difficulties around year seven or so. Regular upkeep is key to keeping any home appliance running smoothly, and a new AC unit is such a hefty investment that it’s worth spending a little bit of money on annual tune ups.
How Do I Know If I Need to Replace My Air Conditioner?
There are a few signs to look out for to determine when it might be time to put your current unit out to pasture.
Repair Cost. If your air conditioning has stopped working, get a reliable AC repair service technician to give you an estimate on what it would take to get your unit up and running again. If you are looking at $3000 or more, you are probably better off buying a new unit.
Age. As mentioned previously, most units will last you 15 – 20 years. Depending on how well-maintained you’ve kept your air conditioning, you may need to start considering a replacement around 10 years though. Age is just one of many factors to consider, so it should never be a sole determiner.
Utility Bills. As your AC unit ages, it will run less efficiently. Comparing your current electric bills to those from a few years ago may provide some insight into how well your air conditioner is keeping up with the heat of Phoenix. While you’ll still want a technician to provide an estimate for replacement, analyzing energy bills could help you calculate the costs of running an inefficient system.
Refrigerant Leaks. Leaking freon is not only an environmental and health concern, but it can also lead to compressor damage. Freon isn’t cheap either, so if you opt out of fixing the leak, the price you pay over a few years of recharging the refrigerant might make it more economical to invest in a new unit.
Call Sunrise Mechanical for Air Conditioning Repair Service in Phoenix
Have other questions about your air conditioning? Wondering if you’re better off repairing or replacing your unit? Give Sunrise Mechanical Inc a call today and let one of our professional technicians find the best HVAC solutions to meet your needs.