No matter the weather, contemporary air conditioning systems can easily turn winter into summer and the other way round. Of course, we don’t always use our aircon units on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean we should skip any scheduled cleanings and maintenance. Just like any other home appliance, ACs also requires care in order to maintain its performance in the long run.
Speaking of maintenance, there are many tasks that you can tackle on your own in your quest to keep your aircon unit in perfect condition. On the other hand, it’s always a better idea to hire a professional to service your system, especially when there’s a malfunction. For this reason, SGHomeNeeds offers a list of aircon services for homeowners in Singapore. Meanwhile, here are some tips that will help you keep an eye on your AC.
Tip 1: Clean the aircon filters on a regular basis
Needless to say, the aircon filters can save you from a lot of harmful bacteria, dust, and pollen. However, when they get dirty, AC filters start spreading the unwanted particles even more. Therefore, they should be cleaned regularly. It’s easily done and all you’ll need is a solution made up of warm water and white vinegar. You can do this every six months in the least but one thing is sure – you shouldn’t wait for the yearly maintenance because the issue might worsen. Otherwise, you may risk exposing yourself to health problems such as allergies and asthma symptoms.
Tip 2: Regularly clean the condenser coils and the water pan to prevent molds
Secondly, the condenser coils and the water pan should also be cleaned regularly. This is because uncleaned aircon filters may affect the unit’s evaporator and condenser coils. You can easily fix this with a soft bristle brush and a spray of house cleaner with which you can remove the dirt and dust. After you’ve finished, clean the water pan or the base of the unit using warm water and white vinegar solution to prevent the growth of molds.
Tip 3: Inspect your unit regularly
Apart from the cleaning, another good idea is to regularly inspect the unit’s components. This includes wiring, switches and condenser fan. If the fan blades appear to be cracked, you should replace them. You should also check if the fan motor bearings are oiled. The thermostat should be working properly in order to keep your house at the right temperature. Don’t remember to check for any signs of overheating.
Tip 4: Have a professional check your unit before throwing it out
One thing you should always remember – never believe that you can fix your entire system all by yourself. For this reason, you should consider hiring a professional if your system malfunctions. Usually, window aircon units have problems with the ice build-up and when they keep turning on and off. But before deciding to throw the broken unit and buy a new one, you should have it checked first. A lot of the problems can be fixed through cleaning or repair services.
Tip 5: Consider buying a new aircon unit after 5 years of usage
Of course, you should think that your AC will work as new for a decade. Like every other appliance, aircon units have a certain lifetime. After around 5 years of usage, it’s reasonable enough to say that it’s time to get yourself a new aircon unit. From then on, chances are high that the system will require more and more expenses on repairs and maintenance. Moreover, five-year-old air conditioners are most likely to consume more power.
Other tips and know-hows
Why and when to change the air conditioner’s filters
Obviously enough, dirty filters reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency, so you should install a new one every month or clean them if they’re washable. Another tip is to check out the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from 1 to 12. The higher the number, the better the filtration it provides (but the more energy it needs to pull air through it).
In addition, ducts can lose up to 30 percent of the airflow through leaks. Aircon units are known as tough to seal properly but you can fix everything with a little foil tape for the small gaps and duct mastic for the larger ones. For window ACs, you can stuff foam between the unit and the window frame and finish off with additional taping.
Using a timer
Of course, blasting your air conditioner at full tilt, especially when you’re not at home, is plain ignorant. If you own a central unit, you can easily install a programmable thermostat that will let you set higher temps when you’re gone and cooler temps when you’re home. Newer ones have built-in timers and adjustable thermostats which are easy and convenient to use, so there’s no need to shut off the system anymore.
Why and how to service the condenser/compressor
Generally, every air conditioning system’s air compressor and condenser are located outside the house and close to its foundation. The unit will work seamlessly when there are about 24 inches of clear space in all directions. For this reason, a good tip is to get rid of any objects that may obstruct the aircon unit. Also, consider installing the condensers or window units on the north or east side of your house if possible. Otherwise, you should put a screen to shield them from the sun because putting them in direct sunlight reduces the unit’s efficiency by up to 10%.
Remember to keep the unit cool
Furthermore, you should be aware that your aircon unit not only manipulates temperature but also depends on it. To keep the system cool, a good idea is to minimize the need of keeping it constantly cooling or heating the room. Make sure you use blinds or shades during the hot summer days. You should also consider using ceiling fans to circulate the cooled air more effectively or just swing the ACs fan blades towards the floor.
Why and how to get airflow
In addition, take into consideration that AC units can go out of balance if there’s not enough airflow in the room. In order to keep a balance between the desired temperature and fresh air coming in, you can simply keep the room door slightly ajar.
Why and how to maintain your unit
Last but not least, when signing a warranty, the customer usually agrees with the seller to a yearly cleaning and maintenance schedule of the air conditioning system. What you should make sure the service includes is: cleaning and inspecting the coils, cleaning or replacing the filters, adjusting and replacing fan belts, lubricating the motors and their bearings, cleaning and checking the blowers and the fans, inspecting the controls and the safeties, checking the refrigerant and the pressures, verifying the operating temperatures.
All in all, making sure your aircon unit is clean and properly maintained will not only save you from having to call for aircon service but it will also save you money on electricity bills and overall efficiency. However, if you ever find any problems that you’re unable to fix yourself, you should always look for a quality aircon service to handle your issues immediately.