Here in North Carolina, the temperature can easily reach into the 90s during the summertime. In fact, the hottest temperature ever recorded in NC happened in August 1983 in Fayetteville. At that time, the mercury reached a blistering 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures soar, you can’t beat the comfort of indoor air conditioning. The worst time for your unit to quit is in the middle of a heat spell. However, if it does, you want dependable AC service repair done quickly.
The Most Common Cause of Air Conditioning Failure
Sometimes, when you are experiencing difficulties with your AC unit, it can be a simple fix. Clogged, dirty air filters are a very common cause in air conditioning breakdowns. Yet, how many homeowners neglect to regularly change their filters? If you can’t remember the last time you changed yours, then it’s probably time. Take a look at your filter periodically. Is it filled with dust? Then it’s time to change it.
Most dust particles are small enough to float in the air. As the air circulates throughout your home, air passes through your filter. When air passes through the filter, the dust particles become trapped. Over time, the dust accumulates and builds up, creating a barrier blocking the airflow. Once airflow becomes restricted, your AC unit must work harder to circulate air.
Unfortunately, dust is a part of life. It consists of dead hair and skin cells, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and dirt. A single person sheds between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells every hour. Simply by living you contribute to the formation of dust.
Dirty Air Filters Cause Many AC Problems
When your air conditioner struggles to maintain your indoor comfort, it requires more energy. Hence, you’ll be paying higher utility bills. The US Department of Energy estimates a dirty air filter results in increased energy consumption of between 5-15%.
Moreover, failure to change your air filter can also result in ice formation on the unit’s coils. Without sufficient warm air flowing past your evaporator coil, its temperature will drop below freezing. Then, moisture in the air will condense on the coils and freeze. Between a dirty air filter and ice, your AC unit will probably break down. You could be looking at an expensive compressor replacement.
How often you need to change your air filter is dependent on several factors. The number of people in your home is one of the biggest factors. With more people, there are more dead skin cells shed. Also, having a pet increases pet dander. Generally, industry experts recommend changing your air filter every 1-3 months.
What Kind of Air Filter Should I Buy?
There are two important considerations when purchasing an air filter for your air conditioning system: thickness and MERV. Your choice depends on your system and pocketbook.
AC air filters range in thickness from 1-5 inches. Generally, thicker air filters have larger pleats. Larger pleats have more surface area to catch dust and dirt. While thicker air filters do last longer, they are also more expensive. And not all systems can accommodate the thickest filter.
When purchasing a new filter, you’ll notice a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) established MERV ratings in 1987. These ratings offer a comparison of filters, telling consumers the size of the particles the air filter traps.
The rating system ranges from 16. A higher number means the filter can trap smaller particles. However, this doesn’t mean you should run out and buy a filter with a MERV rating of 16. While a higher MERV can trap more particles, it also restricts the airflow and is more expensive. Most residential units only need a filter with a MERV of between 8-13. Using a filter that’s too restrictive for your unit is just as bad as a clogged, dirty filter.
So, which thickness and MERV rated filter should you buy for your system? Call the experts at Aspire at 336-936-9111. We’ll make sure you get an air filter that provides good filtration without straining your system or your budget.
A Faulty Thermostat or Tripped Circuit Breaker Can Also Cause Problems
Sometimes, thermostat problems can mimic more serious issues with your AC system. Thermostats may cause short cycling, uneven cooling, or even failure to turn on. Over time, dirt can build up inside your thermostat. This can cause sensors to malfunction. Old age will also cause thermostats to fail. Typically, they last only about 10 years.
It’s easy to check your thermostat. First, make sure it’s set to the correct setting. Next check the batteries. After checking both these possibilities, try lowering the thermostat setting. You should hear a clicking sound and the air conditioning unit should turn on. If it doesn’t, the problem is either with the thermostat or with the wiring system.
A tripped circuit breaker or fuse will also prevent your AC unit from running. Sometimes, a clogged air filter may be the reason for the tripped breaker. If after changing the filter, your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it could be a sign of a more serious issue. Don’t try to fix the problem and don’t keep turning it back on. Do call your AC repairman to assess the problem.
Regular AC Maintenance Helps Prevents Breakdowns
One of the best ways to keep your AC running efficiently and avoid breakdowns is with regular maintenance. With routine service, a technician can fix minor problems before they develop into major problems. For example, a dirty evaporator coil and condenser coil prevent proper heat exchange and cause your unit to work harder. The increased stress may cause your compressor to fail.
Your electrical wiring is another place where problems can arise. Moisture from condensation can cause corrosion on your electrical wiring. Over time wires can also become frayed or disconnected. Having a technician examine your system annually will uncover these problems.
Finally, routine maintenance can extend the life of your unit. You can expect a poorly-maintained AC unit to last only about 10 years. On the other hand, if you regularly service your unit, it could last 20 years. It’s obvious that having a technician inspect your HVAC system regularly will save money in the long run. Our NATE-certified technicians can detect small problems, before they become major issues.
At Aspire Heating & Cooling, our service plan complies with Energy Star Recommendations and the American National Standards Institute. When we service your unit, we’ll check all the major components. Our technicians are thorough and efficient, assuring you of indoor comfort.
How to Tell When Your AC Unit May Need Replacing
Usually, AC units will give you clues that they need some attention. A lack of cool air is an obvious sign your air conditioning needs repair or replacement. However, any strange noises, odors, weak airflow, or poor indoor air quality also need investigation. These are signs that your unit isn’t functioning correctly. Moreover, a sudden rise in your utility bills or frequent repairs may indicate it’s time for a new unit.
Additionally, if your unit is approaching 15 years of age, you should start shopping for a new unit. The typical lifespan of a well-maintained HVAC unit is 15 to 20 years. You may want to replace your unit before it ceases to work. Older units may also use Freon, which is becoming quite expensive due to its ban. As of January 1, 2020, manufacturers can no longer use or produce Freon due to its ozone-depleting properties.
What If I Need A New Unit?
Sometimes, upon inspection, our technicians may recommend buying a new unit. Perhaps the repair is extremely expensive. Or maybe your unit is too old and not worth repairing. Often, replacing your old unit with a new efficient model can save your money.
However, new air conditioning units are expensive. That’s why we’ve partnered with Wells Fargo and Microf. We have affordable financing options whatever your situation. With convenient monthly payments available, you can stay cool all summer.
With a full range of modern cooling systems, including heat pumps and ductless options, we can meet your particular needs. We can customize your system to meet your unique household and lifestyle requirements, backed by our 100% Guarantee. As a Trane authorized dealer, we offer some of the strongest warranties and guarantees in the industry.
Why We Are a Trane Authorized Dealer
For over 100 years, Trane has been building products that are efficient and long-lasting. Trane puts every product through a grueling testing process. This testing process guarantees reliable units to keep you comfortable in even the most extreme climates.
Trane is an innovative company with 1500 heating and cooling patents. Striving to provide the best possible products, they design each system to operate with maximum efficiency. Plus, Trane backs its products with some of the strongest warranties in the industry. It’s no wonder the company has a 93% customer satisfaction rating.
As a Trane Factory Authorized Dealer, our technicians undergo rigorous training. Our technicians are frequently updated and follow exacting procedures. When we install a Trane system in your home, it’s backed by a full 10-year warranty.
We Have NATE-Certified Technicians
Founded in 1997, the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is an organization providing certification for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s the result of industry leaders wanting consumers to feel confident when choosing an HVAC technician. To achieve certification, applicants must pass a nationally recognized test representing a working knowledge of heating and cooling systems.
When consumers choose a NATE-certified technician, they know they are getting the best service possible. There are multiple benefits from using NATE-certified technicians, including fewer callbacks and fast, efficient service. This is one of the factors that allow us to maintain an excellent reputation for our reliability and quality work. Our technicians use state-of-the-art technology, and we have a full inventory of replacement parts. Whether you need servicing, repair, or installation, we’ll provide solutions unique to your situation.
Who to Call When You Need AC Service Repair
With hot, scorching days ahead on the horizon, you don’t want to be without your air conditioning system. It’s better to call for service before you find yourself sweating because your system failed. If you’re a homeowner in the Winston-Salem area, trust Aspire Heating & Cooling for all your HVAC needs. We perform AC service repair on any make or model unit, even if you purchased it elsewhere.
We’re a veteran-owned heating and cooling company serving Mocksville, Clemmons, Advance and Bermuda Run in addition to Winston-Salem. With honest pricing and reliable solutions, we get the job done on time and at a great value. Plus, we service and install more than just AC units. Gas furnaces, geothermal units, heat pumps, and ductless systems are our specialty. And if you’re interested in improving your indoor air quality, we have several different types of solutions available.
So, call us at 336-936-9111 to set up an air conditioning service appointment. Although we’re available 24 hours, 7 days a week, don’t wait until you need a repair.