When summer closes in, the air conditioning system becomes the most important appliance at home and the office. In fact, the extremely hot temperatures are unbearable, especially when your AC breaks down. On the other hand, nobody likes paying extra bills for an inefficient aircon unit.
If you have such a case, then you definitely need a professional technician. However, it’s important to know that the key to maintaining your AC is to follow several dos and don’ts. The following tips will help you to prolong your unit’s life.
Aircon Servicing 101 – What to DO
Change the filters
Firstly, you should always check whether your unit’s air filter is clean because if it’s dirty, it can restrict the airflow through it. This will definitely make your aircon less efficient – something which your electricity bill doesn’t want. What’s more, a dirty filter means no clean air for you and your family. Depending on the filter, you should replace it every month or clean it if it’s washable. Generally, pleated filters are better at what they do and can be changed every two or three months.
Check the thermostat
As a general rule of thumb, programmable thermostats set the temperature to the desired when you’re home and switch to a more energy-efficient temp when you’re gone. This reduces your electricity bills and also increases your AC’s life. However, you should check your thermostat from time to time because it can have a big impact on your entire system. If it’s malfunctioning, then your whole aircon might be lacking efficiency. It’s important to make sure that you use it at a moderate level in order to keep your home cool and maximize your air conditioner’s energy-saving potential at the same time.
Check and clean the indoor unit
Remember to clean your indoor unit regularly, especially the indoor coil. This coil, also known as evaporator coil, receives indoor air and then cools it. This can sometimes make it damp and moist. The latter can attract dirt which may lead to mold or mildew which is extremely dangerous to your family’s health. You should also check the fan blades as they may also collect a significant amount of dirt. Generally, dirty coils lessen the airflow and reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency. Normally, it’s a good idea to get your indoor unit cleaned once a year by a professional.
Check and clean the outdoor unit
As for the outdoor unit, the condenser coils are also an important part of your AC system. These coils are thin pieces of metal, with tubes of refrigerant. Dirt build-up will prevent them from cooling the air in your home which will reduce its overall efficiency. Therefore, you should perform a maintenance check along with the indoor coil. The coils must be clean in order to provide perfect heat transfer at all times. If there are bent fins, there are special combs that can fix the problem. Also, don’t forget to ensure that the area around your aircon allows for good airflow.
Schedule yearly maintenance
All in all, what you must do at least once a year is to perform maintenance. Usually, it’s best to do it before the summer. The best way to do it is to schedule an HVAC technician to inspect your entire system. This is essential as it ensures that your AC unit is running properly and at peak efficiency. In this way, you will keep your bills low and your air conditioning system at optimal form.
What NOT to Do
Don’t Clog the Outdoor Unit
After you’ve scheduled your yearly maintenance and your technician will clean the air conditioning unit from any clogs or debris that has collected in your outdoor unit. From then on, you should make sure that no insects, rodents, nests, leaves and etc. clog it. This will prevent the normal airflow which will obstruct the smooth operation and may eventually damage your AC. What’s more, dirty air filters may expose you to numerous bacteria, pollens and other unwanted particles which may cause respiratory and other health problems.
Don’t allow any weeds or other obstructions to get in the way
Additionally, never let your aircon unit without proper cleaning. If it’s dirty, it surely won’t work efficiently. Moreover, you should make sure that there are no weeds or tall grass that comes in the air conditioner’s way because this may be one of the reasons for the reduced quality of the indoor air.
Don’t tamper with the aircon electrical connections
Of course, it’s not a good idea to tamper with the electrical connections and lines of any appliance, especially if you’re not a professional. Obviously, this may result in an electrical shock that can damage your aircon unit. For this reason, such cases must be handled by a certified HVAC technician.
Also, make sure that you don’t run your air conditioner on an extension cord. The latter should be avoided at all costs because they need lots of energy to run. Running your AC with less or little power poses a danger of overheating or even fire. Last but not least, it can damage your compressor and replacing it is really expensive.
Don’t put waterproof covers
Surprisingly, there are many people that believe that putting up waterproof covers for the outdoor and indoor units will keep them safe from the moisture. Contrary to the popular belief, what these plastic covers do is actually trap moisture. This often results in rusted outer covers and even internal parts. A much better alternative is plywood which is breathable and also prevents rainwater and snow from accumulating on the outdoor unit.
Don’t leave your thermostat on all of the time
According to the experts at LK Brothers if you leave your aircon working 24/7, then you might as well expect higher energy bills. It will also increase the chance of malfunctions. To prevent this, you can use the thermostat. But be careful – it’s not a good idea to leave your thermostat on all of the time either. Make sure that it’s on the lowest setting or at least something balanced so as to provide optimal efficiency.
All in all, if there’s will, there’s away. The same goes for air conditioning systems. Following these dos and don’ts will not only ensure that your AC works as efficiently as new. Even more – it will save you lots of money on utility bills and repairs! For this reason, it’s important to maintain your home’s aircon system throughout the year.