They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to experts, it’s helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.

Understanding how your AC works and the common problems it faces will allow you to tackle simple problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you dollars on minor service calls, but understanding when to reach out to a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into catastrophic repairs.

Your Air conditioning unit is an important element 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 Northridge if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.

Here are some typical questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:

1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?

Cleaning your AC is a good way to make sure it works efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.

The most significant action 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 in your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it is supposed to in order to move air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still allowing air to flow efficiently through the system.

Replacement filters are available at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be bought from your local HVAC specialist. A good way to make sure you get the right filter is to look at your old one before you leave for the store, jotting 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 detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the seasoned professionals like the crew at Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating to do regular maintenance on your unit. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that require attention and look for worn-out parts and potential problems.

2. How Are the Coils on My Air Conditioner Cleaned?

In addition to making sure your indoor air conditioner equipment is working efficiently, it’s also a good idea to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the exterior unit of your AC is a simple 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 into the outside air. This brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can soak up more heat from the air inside your home. Cleaning the fins and the coils is a way to 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, as opposed to turning the thermostat off.

2) Take off the top of the outdoor AC so you can access the insides of the unit. Then, being careful not to pull hard on any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.

3) Put a cleaning solution on the fins, starting at the top and moving down. Commercial coil cleaners are sold and commonly found in both the canned aerosol spray from as well as in the form of foaming solutions that are applied with your garden hose.

4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most cleaners, it's recommended that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to dissolve the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray really hard, because that could harm the coils or fins!

5) Secure the top back on the unit and then wait for the unit to dry before turning it back on.

3. How Long Can Air Conditioners Work?

The life span of an air conditioner changes depending on the type of unit, its quality, how well it's maintained and how frequently it's used. That said, industry experts say you should start thinking about air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.

One of the best ways to get maximum value from your air conditioner is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating consists of cleaning and inspecting the machinery, as well as replacing the filter and mending any worn-out or broken parts. To keep your unit operating as long as it can, reach out to us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Northridge.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Should I Have?

Finding the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for keeping comfort and efficiency. Here are some points to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:

  • Square footage: The size of the space you need to cool is one of the key factors. More expansive spaces require more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which should reduce your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you reside in a hotter climate, you'll want a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler environment.
  • Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, in particular when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of people: More people in the house produce greater body heat, which could influence your cooling needs.
  • Existing HVAC system: The size and performance of your current system can provide a starting point for determining what you need.

Due to the fact the size of your air conditioner is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will definitely want a professional opinion. At Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating, we take the time to fully 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 Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Northridge.

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

While prices vary depending on the type of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new air conditioner generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good thing is that new air conditioners are crafted to be exceedingly efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.

The price tag of an air conditioner is influenced by several factors during the manufacturing process, such as the cost and availability of raw materials, manufacturing and labor costs in addition to federal regulations that can impact the design.

Note these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always helpful to get several quotes from trusted HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re thinking about air conditioning replacement in Northridge, reach out to Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating. 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. Why Do Air Conditioners Freeze Up?

An air conditioner freezing up can be due to many factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your AC is suffering from issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some frequent triggers for AC freezing up:

  • Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing easily through your AC system, it can't effectively 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 getting low on refrigerant, it may become too cold and freeze up. This is frequently the result of leaking in the refrigerant lines.
  • Cold outdoor temperatures: Running the air conditioner when it's really cold outside can cause the system to freeze. The majority of units aren't designed to work in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and problems with the relay or control board can all contribute to an AC unit freezing up.

Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Northridge.

At Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating, we strive to make your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our knowledgeable specialists are up-to-date on the latest industry training and trends, and work on on a wide variety of systems. That’s why community members make us the first choice for air conditioning repair in Northridge and the surrounding towns.

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

Contact Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating today at (818) 727-9993 to schedule an appointment or free estimate!