They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly accurate when talking about your air conditioner. While complicated repairs are best left to professionals, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your air conditioner and how to solve ordinary AC issues.

Learning how your AC works and the common problems it faces will enable 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 realizing when to contact a professional can help prevent small issues from escalating into complex repairs.

Your AC is an important component 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 Omaha if you're not sure about any aspect of your AC's operation or maintenance.

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

1. How Do I Clean an Air Conditioner?

Cleaning an air conditioning system is a good way to make sure it runs efficiently, and possibly could extend the life of your unit.

The most important 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 impurities from the air circulating throughout your home. If your AC filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder than it ought to in order to pull air through the filter. A clean filter traps the airborne debris while still enabling air to flow efficiently through the system.

Replacement filters can be purchased at most major home improvement stores, hardware stores or can be ordered from your local HVAC professional. A good way to make sure you get the correct 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 trying to buy something similar.

For comprehensive service of your air conditioner, contact the experienced professionals like the crew at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning to do regular maintenance on your AC. They’ll look over your system, clean or lubricate parts that need cleaning and look for worn-out parts and potential trouble.

2. How Do I Clean Air Conditioner Coils?

In addition to ensuring your indoor air conditioner equipment is working efficiently, it’s necessary to tend to your outdoor unit. Cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit of your air conditioner is an easy way to boost its efficiency and can extend the life of your entire system.

The coils, which have extensions called fins, are used to release heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, which then goes back in your home so it can take in more heat from the air inside your home. Washing the fins and the coils can 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) Lift off the top of the outdoor AC so you can reach the interior of the unit. Then, taking care not to strain any cords or attachments, safely move the top to the side.

3) Spray a cleaning solution on the fins, first 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 sprayed on with an attachment to 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 brief period of time to dissolve the grime and then carefully spray it off with a garden hose. Be cautious not to spray too hard, because that could damage the coils or fins!

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

3. How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

The life span of an air conditioner depends on the type of unit, its quality, if maintained and how much it's used. However, pros 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 regular conditioner maintenance. Routine checkups from Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning features 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, contact us today to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Omaha.

4. What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Selecting the right size of air conditioner for your home is crucial for maintaining comfort and efficiency. Here are some elements to take into account when deciding what size air conditioner to buy for your home:

  • Square footage: The size of the space you need to cool is one of the biggest factors. Larger spaces require more cooling power.
  • Home insulation: Well-insulated homes preserve cool air better, which could minimize your cooling needs.
  • Climate: If you are living in a hotter climate, you'll require a more powerful air conditioner compared to someone living in a cooler place.
  • Number of windows: Windows frequently let in heat, particularly when they're south-facing or not well-insulated.
  • Number of residents: More people in the house means greater body heat, which may impact your cooling needs.
  • Present HVAC system: The size and productivity of your current system can provide a jumping off point for determining what you need.

Due to the fact the size of your cooling system is so important to your home’s comfort, you will likely want a professional opinion. At Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 commitment to customer service is why Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning is known for exceptional air conditioning installation in Omaha.

5. How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost?

While prices differ depending on the type 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. On the plus side, a benefit of air conditioning replacement is that new air conditioners are developed to be extremely efficient, so they do more with less power when compared to older units.

The cost 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 as well as federal regulations that require modifications to the design.

Realize these are average costs and prices can differ. It's always a good idea to get several quotes from reliable HVAC companies before making a purchase. If you’re interested in air conditioning replacement in Omaha, reach out to Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning. We will provide you with a complimentary estimate, explain the process and help connect you with available rebates or discounts.

6. What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

An air conditioner freezing up can be brought on by a variety of factors, all of which boil down to the AC's inability to efficiently transfer heat. If your unit is experiencing issues causing it to freeze up, it is most likely time for air conditioning repair.

Here are some typical reasons for AC freezing up:

  • Poor airflow: If the air isn't flowing properly through your AC system, it can't properly absorb heat. This could be due to a clogged air filter, blocked return air ducts or a failing fan.
  • Low refrigerant levels: If your air conditioner is starting to get low on refrigerant, it could become too cold and freeze up. This is frequently a consequence of leaks in the refrigerant lines.
  • Frigid outdoor temperatures: Operating an air conditioner when it's very cold outside can cause the system to freeze. Most units aren't designed to perform in temperatures of less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Mechanical failures: Faulty thermostats, damaged blower motors and trouble with the relay or control board can all result in an AC unit freezing up.

Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning is the Respected Source for Air Conditioning Service in Omaha.

At Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning, we are focusing on making your home a comfortable and enjoyable place. Our skilled professionals 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 Omaha and nearby cities.

If you’re looking 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 Omaha. No matter what, we can help you solve your cooling issues!

Contact Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning today at 402-509-5940 to schedule an appointment or complimentary estimate!