To get the best out of your air conditioner in the long run, regular maintenance is important, and the effort is worth it to ensure your home’s cooling and heating system functions effectively throughout its years of service.
Not only does neglecting necessary maintenance result in a decline in the air conditioner’s performance, but also an increase in energy use.
Here are a few simple ways as a homeowner you can ensure your unit is kept in good working order and lasts as long as it should.
Most importantly, you need to ensure the system’s filters are routinely cleaned or replaced.
Clogged, dirty filters can reduce the amount of airflow and significantly reduce a unit’s efficiency, while potentially damaging the system and impairing the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity.
Replacing the filter can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%.
Some types of filters are reusable but others must be replaced at least once a month, depending on the conditions of your environment.
Coils collect dirt over time, which reduces the unit’s ability to absorb heat, so they should be checked at least once a year and cleaned when necessary.
If you have a condenser unit outside it will also help to clean the area around the unit, minimizing dirt and debris, and trim back foliage if any is in contact with the unit.
Units can be inspected and cleaned by removing the access panel to the coils, which you will recognise as copper tubes. Special coil brushes can be used to clean the coils, but any brush with soft nylon bristles will be sufficient.
The aluminium fins on evaporator and condenser coils can be easily bent, blocking airflow through the coil and affecting the performance of your air conditioner.
A fin comb can be used to comb these fins along their length, back into their correct positions.
The unit’s fins are thin metal strips that run parallel to one another right next to the copper coils.
Occasionally pass a stiff wire through an outdoor unit’s condensate drain lines, preventing it from reducing humidity and potentially discolouring walls and carpets due to excess moisture. Drain channels are usually white pipes that run out of the condenser unit.
Covering indoor or outdoor units during winter will also protect them from cold weather and debris, while window-mounted air conditioners can be stored for the season.
Hire a professional
While some measures can be taken yourself, when your air conditioner is not working properly and needs more advanced maintenance, you should always hire a qualified technician.
Some components of an air conditioner require professional knowledge to fix or maintain.
Your cooling and heating system should be serviced by a technician once a year, which includes inspecting the electrical connections, lubricating moving parts and checking the refrigerant.
Download the Whizzoh app or visit our website to find a vetted, experienced professional in your area who will service your air conditioner at a time that suits you best and a price that suits your pocket.