Questions About Cooling? Read Through Our Air Conditioning FAQs

The knowledgeable technicians here at Sabre know the ins and outs of cooling systems like the backs of our hands. From residential and commercial air conditioners to heat pumps and ductless systems, we do it all. That’s why homeowners in the Twin Cities area turn to us for expert answers to their top cooling questions:

When properly cared for, air conditioners can last 15 years or more. That means scheduling routine maintenance to have a professional cleaning and inspection performed. Without maintenance, A/Cs often fail in 10 years or less as their parts get bogged down with debris and stop working.
It’s best to set your air conditioner to the highest temperature possible where your family still feels comfortable. This is often between 73 and 76 degrees. Once you find a comfortable temperature, leave your thermostat set to that temperature and leave the fan ON to maintain it.
Before you call for service, try these tips from our pros:

  • Check your thermostat and make sure it’s set to COOL at a temperature lower than the room temperature.
  • Lower the temperature a few degrees to see if that makes the A/C kick in.
  • Make sure the fan is set to ON for continuous airflow. When set to AUTO, the blower only runs when the air conditioner is running.
  • If you have low airflow coming from your registers, check to see if your air filter needs to be replaced.
  • Check all your air registers to make sure they’re open and clear.
  • Make sure your electrical breaker panel doesn’t have a blown fuse for either your indoor or outdoor units.

Can’t figure it out? No problem! Call 763-473-2267 for routine and emergency repair service. Our pros are here to help.

No! We can’t say this enough—bigger air conditioners do not mean a cooler home. If you buy an air conditioner that’s too big for your home, you’ll waste money and likely face an early replacement because your home doesn’t have enough square footage for it to run efficiently. Trust a professional to measure your home and listen to your comfort needs before finding an air conditioner that fits perfectly.
The answer is once a year. Without regular professional maintenance, your system collects dirt and debris, loses efficiency, increases your energy bills, and faces a heightened risk of breakdowns since it isn’t running correctly. Annual maintenance is an affordable service that can make all the difference in your system’s lifespan. Ask your Sabre technician about our Sabre Blue Maintenance Program at your next appointment.
Keep an eye out for these common signs:

  • Crashing, banging, and metal grinding noises
  • Rotten egg, must and mold, and electrical/burning smells
  • Higher energy bills without changing your cooling routine
  • Warm air temperatures even when you turn the thermostat cooler
You should never need to have your air conditioner recharged with refrigerant because it’s a closed system. The only time A/Cs do get recharged is if there’s a leak. In that case, a professional will help you determine how extensive the leak is and if you’re better off replacing your system with a new energy-efficient unit that doesn’t use R-22 (Freon), which is being phased out. Learn more about why R-22 is disappearing in our recent blog.
If you notice ice forming on your air conditioner, turn your system off right away to let it defrost. Your system may thaw and return to normal on its own. If it doesn’t, call your HVAC technician to schedule service. Your system could be dirty, have a broken blower, or be leaking refrigerant, all of which can cause ice buildup.
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and it represents how efficiently your air conditioner runs during a given cooling season. It simply measures the ratio of cooling output divided by the energy it consumes. SEER ratings range from 13 to 21, with higher ratings indicating a more efficient system.

If your home uses a standard one-inch air filter, you should replace it every three months or more often if you have pets or if someone living in the home has allergies or an illness. If your system uses a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, clean or replace it every six months to one year depending on how dirty it is. Ask your Sabre technician for a filter recommendation if you aren’t sure which type you need or often to clean or replace it.

You don’t! Air conditioners are designed to withstand the elements year-round so you don’t have to do a thing to prepare it for winter. However, you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and clear of dirt, leaves, sticks, and other debris before you start using it come spring. Also remember to schedule your annual Clean & Tune for a thorough inspection.

Still have a question? Read through seven more cooling questions we hear often, then reach out or give our experts a call. We’re happy to share our cooling expertise with you.