They say knowledge is power, and that’s undoubtedly the truth when talking about 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 everyday AC issues.

Understanding how your AC works and the common problems it faces can empower you to fix little problems without needing to call an HVAC specialist every time. This not only saves you cash on minor service calls, but understanding when to call a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into major repairs.

Your Air conditioner is an essential element of your home comfort. Because of that, you should always err on the side of caution and call a NATE-certified technician for air conditioning repair in Long Island if you're not sure about any aspect of your air conditioner's operation or maintenance.

Here are a few of the common questions people ask our experts about their air conditioners:

1. How Should I Clean My Air Conditioner?

Cleaning your AC is a smart way to make sure it runs efficiently, and very well could extend the life of your unit.

The most effective action you can take on your own is to change the air filter in your air conditioner. The filter catches 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 should in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still permitting air to flow easily through the system.

Replacement filters are sold 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 proper filter is to look at your old one before you leave for the store, noting the size of the filter. If you’re not familiar with filters, it’s also a good idea to note the filtration level of the current filter if you are wanting to buy something similar.

For detailed service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Airmax Long Island to do regular maintenance on your system. They’ll inspect your system, clean or lubricate parts that need it and look for worn-out parts and potential issues.

2. How Should I Clean the Air Conditioner Coils?

In addition to making certain that your indoor air conditioning unit is operating efficiently, it’s important to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outside unit of your AC is a quick way to boost 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 brings down the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back into your home so it can soak up more heat from the air in your home's interior. Cleansing 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 down power to the outdoor unit. It’s best to flip off the the on/off switch, 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, taking care not to strain any cords or attachments, safely put the top to the side.

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

4) Follow directions on the product to apply. For most products, it's advised that you spray the product on, let the cleaner soak in for a short period of time to attack the grime and then gently spray it off with a garden hose. Be careful not to spray too 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 the unit back on.

3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

The life span of an air conditioner can vary based on the type of unit, its quality, how well it's maintained and how frequently it's used. However, experts say you should start getting ready for air conditioner replacement after about 12-15 years.

One of the best ways to make the most of your air conditioner is through regularly scheduled conditioner maintenance. Maintenance service from Airmax Long Island 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 a long time, call us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Long Island.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Should I Have?

Picking out the proper size of air conditioner for your home is vital for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some factors to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner you need for your home:

  • Square footage: The total area of the space you want to cool is one of the most important factors. Bigger spaces necessitate more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, which could decrease your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to a person living in a cooler environment.
  • Number of windows: Windows can let in heat, especially when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of residents: More people in the house create additional body heat, which may affect your cooling needs.
  • Present HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a jumping off point for identifying what you need.

Given that the size of your cooling system is so essential to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Airmax Long Island, we take the time to fully understand your family’s lifestyle, comfort needs and the many other variables such as your home’s insulation level and size. This attention to detail and focus on customer service is why Airmax Long Island is known for excellent air conditioning installation in Long Island.

5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?

While prices vary depending on the kind of the unit and your home’s unique specifications, a new air conditioning system generally costs between $5,000 and $12,500 to purchase and install. The good news 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 affected 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 necessitate changes to the design.

Note these are average costs and prices can fluctuate. It's always smart to get at least a few quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a decision. If you’re considering air conditioning replacement in Long Island, reach out to Airmax Long Island. We will schedule an appointment to provide you with a no-cost estimate, explain the plan and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.

6. Why Is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

An AC freezing up can be caused by a number of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is having issues causing it to freeze up, it is very likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some frequent causes of AC freezing up:

  • Insufficient airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't sufficiently absorb heat. This could be due to a dirty air filter, obstructed return air ducts or a failing fan.
  • Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is running low on refrigerant, it can grow too cold and freeze up. This is usually because of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
  • Cold outdoor temperatures: Using your air conditioner when it's too cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Many units aren't designed to perform in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Malfunctioning thermostats, damaged blower motors and issues with the relay or control board can all play a role in an AC unit freezing up.

Airmax Long Island is the Trustworthy Source for Air Conditioning Service in Long Island.

At Airmax Long Island, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and pleasant place. Our experienced 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 Long Island and neighboring areas.

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

Contact Airmax Long Island today at 631-737-5566 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!