South Island Mechanical logo

AC Repair & Servicing: Top Questions Answered

AC repair and servicing

A Guide For All Your AC Repair Questions and Needs

So your AC is on the fritz again? Maybe it’s time for your air conditioner to get a tune-up. Or perhaps it’s finally time to install a new air conditioning system?

How can you make the best decisions when it comes to choosing, repairing and/or servicing your AC in Victoria and across Vancouver Island?

Your air conditioning system is an investment that you want to last for a long time, whether for your home or business. And to make sure it lasts a long time, you need to keep up with AC repairs and maintenance. To help, here are some of the more popular AC repair and service questions we get here at South Island Mechanical.

What size air conditioner do I need?

Installing the correct size air conditioning unit for your home or business can significantly impact your comfort as well as your energy bills. Make sure you choose the proper size air conditioner for the space you want to cool. To help, here is a list of BTUs to square feet as recommended by Learn Metrics. 

  • 150 – 250 sq. feet: 6,000 BTUs
  • 250 – 300 sq. feet: 7,000 BTUs
  • 300 – 350 sq. feet: 8,000 BTUs
  • 350 – 400 sq. feet: 9,000 BTUs

How do I clean the air conditioner filter?

The cleanliness of your air filter makes a big difference in how your air conditioning unit operates. HGTV provides a step-by-step guide that shows the recommended methods for cleaning your air conditioner filter.

  1. Turn the unit off – you don’t want dirty air circulating throughout your house while cleaning the filter.
  2. Remove the filter – don’t forget to remove any other filters the unit may have stored in other vents.
  3. Vacuum the filter – this reduces the amount of dusty buildup.
  4. Use a microfiber cloth – to clean any dust along the frame.
  5. Wash the filter gently and thoroughly – if your filter needs a deep clean, soak it in 1 part white vinegar and 1 part warm water for an hour, and then rinse it with gentle pressure. Ensure your filter dries entirely after washing it.
  6. Reinstall the dry filter – check for any signs of damage or areas that were not cleaned thoroughly. If it’s in good condition, place it back in the unit.

Why is my air conditioning blowing hot air?

According to Anytime HVAC, warm air blowing from ACs happens when the cooling mechanism is shut down while the fan is running. Here is a list of causes that could be contributing to the issue.

  • Thermostat issues: Ensure the thermostat is set to COOL and the fan is set to AUTO. And, of course, the set temperature is lower than the air temperature.
  • A clogged filter: Keeping your air filter clean is essential, so you should change it when required. When an air filter is clogged with dust and debris, it can completely block air from entering the system. When that happens, the coils can’t remove heat, so your system’s fan just blows heat back into your space.
  • Return vents closed or blocked: Is it possible that vents were closed over the winter and never reopened? Or do you have furniture or other obstructions blocking them? Take a walk around your home or office area and make sure all registers and returns are open and allowing air to flow freely.
  • Disconnected or leaky ducts: If a duct is damaged or completely disconnected, return air may not be making it back to the unit. Cooled supply air may be getting wasted internally, causing the AC to blow warm air.
  • Loss of power to the outdoor unit: Many air conditioning systems have an indoor evaporator/air handler unit and an outdoor condensing unit. If the condenser unit loses power, the fan will still blow air into your space, but there will be no cooling.
  • Dirty condenser coils: The condenser coil is responsible for releasing heat to the outside of your building. If it gets caked with dirt, that impedes the operation of the coils, and your system can’t cool effectively, so the AC ends up blowing warm air.
  • Refrigerant leak: Refrigerant is what flows through your air conditioning system to make the cooling happen. If there is a leak in your refrigerant line or coils, your system loses cooling power. This can either occur slowly over time or all at once, but it will eventually cause your AC to blow warm air.

Do air conditioners dehumidify?

The secondary benefit to air conditioners, after their main job of cooling the air temperature, is to dehumidify the space in which they are cooling. After all, it’s in the name: an air conditioner…conditions the air.

Why do air conditioners freeze up?

When internal moving parts of an air conditioner get broken or clogged, they can cause a pressure drop. If this happens, the refrigerant expands too much and becomes too cold, which causes your AC to start to freeze.

These tips will help keep your air conditioner from freezing or prolong it from happening, at the very least.

  1. Check for refrigerant leaks with your HVAC technician
  2. Check and change your air filter
  3. Ensure the blower fan is working properly
  4. Check your condensate drain line
  5. Check your vents

How do I fix the air conditioner when it’s leaking water outside?

Clear condensate drain line clogs using a wet/dry vacuum at the outdoor exit of the drain or by inserting a long wire brush down into the opening. Contact an HVAC expert to help you remove clogs and restore proper drainage if you find damage to the drain line that needs to be replaced.

Does air conditioning use gas or electricity?

Some models of air conditioners run on gas, but traditionally, most are powered by electricity, ideally from an indoor power source.

Contact the A/C Repair & Maintenance Specialists at South Island Mechanical

South Island Mechanical is a one-stop shop for all your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) needs. As A/C pros, they are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your air conditioning systems, heating, cooling, water filtration systems, fireplaces and anything in between. Contact them today for A/C maintenance, repair or installation in Victoria and across Vancouver Island.