Air Conditioning Questions and Answers

McKee Bros. has been providing exceptional service to the Providence, Rhode Island area for over 100 years. Our highly trained service technicians have the knowledge and expertise to address all of your air conditioning questions and help you solve any problems you may have. When you need air conditioning service in Rhode Island, contact McKee Bros. and receive service that is unmatched in our industry.

How does an air conditioner work?

Your air conditioner draws in air from your home and passes over an evaporator coil full of heat-absorbing refrigerant that is approximately 40°F cooler than the air in your home. As the air passes over the evaporator coil, it is cooled about 20°F before being recirculated back into your home. This process will continue until the air in your home reaches the desired temperature.

What does SEER mean?

SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” This is used to measure the efficiency of your air conditioner, and the higher the SEER, the more efficient your system. If you want to get technical, the measurement is the cooling output of a typical cooling season in Btu (British thermal units) divided by the total electrical energy input in watt-hours during the same time. Since 2005, the minimum SEER for residential air conditioners has been 13.

How often should I change my air filters?

You should be changing your air filters every one to three months depending on usage. Clogged or dirty filters will restrict airflow to your AC and makes your system work much harder to cool your home.

Why does my air conditioner freeze and how do I fix it?

There are three common reasons why an air conditioner may freeze up: poor airflow, refrigerant leaks, or low thermostat temperatures. Poor airflow can be caused by dirty air filters or undersized air ducts—if you’re changing your air filters regularly, there’s a good chance that it’s your ductwork, and you should contact an HVAC professional. When you suspect refrigerant leaks are the cause of your freezing problems, your best bet is to call an expert—your refrigerant level needs to be carefully balanced for your air conditioner to work properly. Finally, if you’re in the habit of setting the temperature on your thermostat much lower than 70°F, it can cause your air conditioner to freeze because your evaporator coils will be reaching temperatures below freezing.

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What size air conditioner do I need?

Since every home and environment is different, there is no set size that can be recommended for a particular household. To get an accurate assessment, an HVAC specialist should perform a load calculation for your home.

How often should I have my air conditioner serviced?

In order to have your air conditioner running at its peak, you’ll need to have it serviced once a year, before cooling season begins. That will give an HVAC expert a chance to perform a complete safety check, calibrate your thermostat, and identify any minor problems that need to be addressed.

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Why are there temperature inconsistencies in my home?

If the temperature from room to room is noticeably different, that can mean some problems for your air conditioner, including reduced efficiency and poorly sized ductwork. To locate the source of the problem, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your air conditioning system.

Why isn’t the air blowing out of my vents cold?

The two most common reasons why this problem occurs are frozen coils and dirty air filters. If it’s being caused by your filters, all you need to do is swap them out with clean filters and the problem should sort itself out. If it’s frozen coils, you’ll have to first establish why your coils are freezing and then attempt to defrost your equipment. If you need help with this task, an air conditioning specialist can help you diagnose the cause and advise you on your next steps.

How can I improve AC efficiency?

There are a couple things you can do to improve your air conditioner efficiency:

  • Plant shade trees
  • Keep the area around your condenser clear of shrubs, fallen leaves, and other debris
  • Turn up the temperature
  • Use a programmable thermostat
  • Replace your air filters every one to three months
  • Check for gaps in your ductwork and seal them
  • Have regular AC maintenance

Why do I need a programmable thermostat?

Installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. All you have to do is adjust the settings one time and then you’re set! The programmable thermostat will automatically manage the temperature in your home based on your settings. This can be incredibly beneficial if you set it to have lower temperatures during the day when you’re not home or at night when it’s cooler outside.

If you have an air conditioner question that wasn’t addressed here, give us a call! Our air conditioning experts can answer any questions you have about your equipment or our services.