Answers to Common Air Conditioner Questions

Air conditioners are truly one of the greatest modern conveniences. Being able to retreat from the sweltering summer heat into a cool and comfortable building is hard to beat. That said, these wonderful devices are not always straightforward to own and operate.

In this article, we hope to clarify some of the questions our HVAC experts frequently encounter so that you can make informed decisions and get the most out of your air conditioner.

How Do I Choose the Right AC Unit?

With so many options available on the market, buying a new air conditioner is not always straightforward. There are several things to consider when shopping for a new AC unit, such as the size of your property, budget, and energy efficiency goals.

The layout of your property can have a significant impact on the performance of your air conditioner. For instance, your windows, insulation, and building materials can factor into how powerful your AC should be to ensure optimal cooling.

Once you have determined your needs, you can begin to shop for a unit that matches your budget and energy requirements. These days, central air conditioners and ductless units tend to be the most popular options, but window units can be a good choice if you want to save money upfront.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing an air conditioner. If you are still unsure about what would be best for your needs, having a qualified HVAC contractor assess your property and discuss your options is a good idea.

How Do I Know When My Air Conditioner Needs Repairs?

After finding your ideal air conditioner, it is important to keep it running optimally. Many problems with your AC will be immediately obvious, but others can go unnoticed for quite some time. For example, it is easy to notice that your AC will not turn on, but it can take several months to realize a faulty unit is inflating your utility bills.

With this in mind, there are some warning signs that you can watch out for, and it is always a good idea to have your air conditioner serviced by a certified technician at least once a year.

  • Emitting warm air
  • Poor airflow
  • Water or refrigerant leaking
  • Strange noises
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Rising energy bills

Can I Use My Air Conditioner Too Much?

When the dog days of summer arrive, it can be tempting to leave your air conditioner running at all times. Although pretty much any modern air conditioner will be able to operate for 24 hours without overheating or harming the unit, it should be easy to see how this could quickly inflate your monthly utility bill.

Installing a programmable thermostat is a smart idea, as it will ensure that your AC only turns on when your property becomes warmer than your desired temperature. It is also worth noting that if your air conditioner has to run constantly in order to keep your space cool, then your unit may be underpowered or experiencing issues.

In most scenarios, your air conditioner will only have to run for about 15-20 minutes at a time to keep your property cool. Any more or less than this, there is a good chance that you do not have the right system for your building.

How Do I Prepare My Air Conditioner for the Season?

Few things are more satisfying than turning on your air conditioner on the first hot day of the year, but you can avoid many issues throughout the season by taking a few steps beforehand. By performing these maintenance tasks—or hiring a licensed technician to do them if you are not comfortable—you can ensure that your AC provides comfortable air all summer long.

  • Replace old filters
  • Clean condenser coils
  • Check coolant lines for leaks and proper insulation
  • Ensure your thermostat is accurate
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Check for proper airflow
  • Test the unit

How Long Will My AC Unit Last?

If you take good care of your air conditioner, you can expect it to serve you well for about 10-15 years. As we have already touched on, annual maintenance is important for getting the most out of your air conditioner and preventing premature failure. How often you use your AC and other factors can play a role in the longevity of your unit, but you will never regret taking proper care of your system.

It is also important to recognize when to replace your air conditioner rather than trying to perform repairs with diminishing returns. The age of your unit is always going to be a factor, so if you have made several major repairs in the past, it might be time to consider a replacement. If you find that your outdated air conditioner is hard on the environment or your wallet, then it is also a sign that you should get a modern unit.

What Is the Best Location for My Air Conditioner?

There are a few things to consider when installing a new air conditioner, some of which will come down to personal preference.

Depending on the style of AC unit you opt for, you may require an indoor and outdoor component. Some property owners find that their air conditioner detracts from the appearance of their building and try to find a place that will not draw attention.

It is also a good idea to plan around environmental hazards, such as direct sunlight or areas that collect rainwater. Air conditioners can often generate a lot of noise as well, so if this might be a problem for you, it is a good idea to place your unit away from the areas you spend most of your time.

Learn More from Your Local Air Conditioning Experts

If you have more questions or would like assistance from qualified air conditioning technicians, then look no further than Master Tech Heating & Cooling. You can get in touch with us at or by calling (613) 295-0913 to speak with one of our experts.