Your air conditioning is one of the important appliances in your home. When summer hits, a broken AC unit can make life uncomfortable. If your system is inefficient, it will tend to run longer than needed, leading to higher power bills too. Remember, it’s always best to consult a professional air conditioner technician to ensure the system is properly maintained and you don’t affect the warranty of the unit.
Let’s dive into do’s and don’ts of aircon maintenance, so you know the right steps to take.
DO change the filter
The reason this is recommended is that when the air filter in an air conditioner is dirty, the flow of air through it can be restricted. When the filter is dirty, it won’t work optimally to keep the air being circulated in your home clean. If you have the washable type, you can clean them once a month, while pleated filters can be replaced every few months.
DO check the temperature
If your HVAC unit has a programmable thermostat, learn how to use it. You can set it to the temperature that gives you comfort while at home, and then switch it to a temperature that’s more efficient with power when you’re out. The benefits? Your energy bill will be lower. Plus you’ll put less wear on your unit, which will increase its lifespan.
Here’s another tip. You can check the difference in the temperature of the air coming out of the unit and the air going into the filter. The temperature drop should be from 14 degrees up to 20. If it is less, you may need your air conditioner serviced.
DO check and clean the indoor unit
The unit of the aircon that sits inside your home has an indoor coil (evaporator coil). The part draws air from the room and across the coil to cool it down. At times this can lead to the coil becoming damp. The moisture then attracts debris and dirt where mold and mildew can flourish. In the blower, there are also fan blades that can collect dust. When they are clogged, they lessen the airflow and affect the efficiency of the unit. An annual air conditioner service by Penair will address these issues.
DO check and clean the outdoor unit
The condenser unit is found outside of the home. Within this, there are condenser coils and tubes of refrigerant. If dirt collects on the coils, they aren’t able to cool the air in the home well. This will make the unit run for longer than is necessary. The outside condenser coil should be checked and cleaned annually. At the same time, the fins in the unit that are bent can be straightened (using specialized fin combs).
DON’T allow weeds, leaves, and other debris to grow or collect around the outside aircon unit. This includes preventing birds and insects from building nests on the outdoor unit of the aircon. You want to avoid restricting the airflow to the unit.
DON’T let the air conditioner stand unused for an extended time without cleaning it properly. A dirty system cannot heat or cool a house efficiently. You won’t get the comfort levels you want from the system, and the air quality entering your home will be poor.
DON’T run air conditioners on an extension cord. Air conditioners require a lot of energy, and you run the risk of overheating the cables and causing a fire. An air conditioner compressor also needs a lot of energy to run, and if the source of power isn’t sufficient, you can damage the compressor. Replacing a compressor can be an expensive business.
DON’T tamper with any electrical connections or lines that are part of the aircon system. Not only could you put yourself in danger of an electrical shock, but also you could short the system and damage the air conditioner. Only a certified air conditioner technician should be working on your unit.
DON’T leave the air conditioner on for 24/7. You’ll pay for it when your energy bill arrives. Try to keep the aircon at a setting that makes it comfortable for you, rather than cold. Overcooling uses excessive energy.
DON’T put a waterproof cover on. There’s no need to put a waterproof cover on the outdoor unit. Plastic covers trap moisture over the winter months, which will cause the outer cover and internal parts to rust. If you want to cover the unit, use a breathable plywood structure. This will stop rain from hitting the unit, but won’t cause conditions that lead to a moisture buildup.
These important tips for air conditioner maintenance are simply a guide to get you started. Your aircon installer should service your unit annually and will be able to give you specific information on how to care for your particular model.