Your air conditioner requires more attention than ever before the cooling season begins. Imagine flipping the switch on your aircon only to find that it does not work. The unit may have been idle for a few months. It has collected leaves, dust, and debris during that time, which means it requires more maintenance than usual.
In this guide, you will find how-to information that will help keep the aircon running efficiently. We also share ways on how you can save on your electric costs and aircon servicing, which will surely climb up during summer.
Cleaning and Servicing Instructions
Before anything else, make sure that you shut off power, particularly to the condenser. There’s also a weatherproof disconnect box typically installed near the condenser, so make sure that you shut it off, too.
Now, onto the focus of this section, which is to clean your aircon. The easiest way to start is to clean the filters. Some filters are reusable or replaceable, located near the air inlet portion of the furnace or air handler cabinet. Others use filters in the return air registers in the house.
Regardless of the type of filter found in the air conditioning unit, it’s important to clean them at least twice a year. You will know it is time to do some cleaning when you notice that the filters look dusty. Another symptom is restricted airflow, which reduces aircon efficiency. If you don’t clean or replace the filters, you’re simply recirculating dirt and dust around your home.
Here are other cleaning tasks to embark on before the heat hits:
- Your aircon’s condenser unit has fan blades protected by a condenser cover. Those fan blades move air across the condenser coils, which can get clogged over time. If there’s anything that obstructs the airflow, the condenser will become ineffective. That’s why you should clean these coils before summer. Do so by opening the condenser unit with a nut driver or screwdriver. Use a refrigerator coil brush or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Be sure to be gentle in cleaning the coils, carefully avoiding bending or damaging the fins.
- Check the coolant lines, which protect the pipes or tubes running from the evaporator to the outside unit. These coolant lines are generally covered with foam that helps prevent energy loss. If you see missing or frayed parts of the foam, replace it with a new foam insulation sleeve. You can also use foam insulation tape, wrapping it around the lines in a spiral manner.
- For split systems, louvres are often directed downwards during winter. These louvres should be adjusted to face the ceiling come summertime. That’s because hot air rises, which is why the louvres have to be positioned towards the top to help circulate cool air evenly.
Always test the aircon before running it, especially if it has been idle for a few months. After you have cleaned the AC, allow it to dry thoroughly before turning the condenser back on. Turn off the thermostat and turn the power on the main panel. Finally, switch your thermostat to cool to ensure that your aircon is working perfectly. If it doesn’t, now is a good time to call an aircon repair professional.
Even if you don’t see anything wrong, it’s still a good idea to contact a technician for a complete evaluation of the unit. A certified technician can check issues with your circuit breakers, fuses, and worn wiring. If your electrical connections require tightening, this pro will handle them for you. Your aircon’s cooling levels will also be checked to guarantee that the system will give you your expected performance.
Don’t wait for summer to arrive. During this season, aircon installers and repairers are generally busy and in high demand. You will have to wait in line to get the servicing you require, and you also have to pay higher fees. Contact them while it’s still spring – or even autumn, if possible. You will surely save more money when the aircon units are mostly off.
Did you know that your aircon temperature can affect its lifespan? It’s certainly tempting to crank the temperature down to keep your home cool. However, it is not a good idea for the appliance. Instead, you should try to keep the setting similar to the outside temperature. This saves you money for each degree you reduce in cooling or heating your home. Consequently, you can look forward to more years of service since your aircon does not have to work hard to reach your desired temperature.
The ideal setting is between 23 to 25 degrees Celsius. However, certain factors come into play. You should also consider what makes you feel most comfortable, the number of people in the house, and the amount of sunlight your home receives directly. Some individuals with general health issues may have different cooling requirements, as well.
More Preparation Tips for Different Types of Air Conditioning Systems
- Reverse Cycle Ducted Aircon is a good option for those looking to cool their homes during the summer. Its flexibility reverses the refrigeration cycle, which means it can give you your desired temperature. Plus, this air conditioner is affordable, virtually noiseless, and may offer air-purifying benefits. Ensure your ducted aircon runs efficiently, especially during summer, by starting it early in the morning and keeping all doors and windows closed when you do. Set the aircon at 24 degrees Celsius. If possible, avoid using indoor appliances and keep the outdoor unit cool, mainly if you live in WA. Don’t forget to ventilate your roof to reduce up to 35% of heat build-up that can affect the system’s performance.
- Split Systems are great for homes with varying cooling and heating requirements. You can set zones so the aircon will cool only a specific area in the house. It does cost a little bit more than a ducted aircon. There’s a removable panel for a ductless split unit, which lets you conveniently take care of the filter without requiring a replacement. You will be ready for summer in no time.
- Evaporative Cooling Systems are an alternative to air conditioners. Instead of refrigerants to cool homes, coolers use water without producing mist or fog. Evaporative coolers don’t cost as much as air conditioners, but they are not as effective, especially if you have a big room to cool. However, if you prefer this type of cooling system, you must keep the filter pad clean. It is not sealed, unlike air conditioners. The water that moves through the pad can quickly get dirty and may even be contaminated. Bacteria can become airborne, which means you have to exert more effort in keeping the system clean when using it regularly in the summer. As the season approaches, you should remove the filter when the cooler is not in use. Clean it once a month if you’re not actively using it, and every week if it’s on during hot days.
Smart Ways to Lower Your Cooling Costs in the Summer
You can save some money if your air conditioner is well prepared for the summertime. Here are more tips to help you enjoy a cool summer and lower electric bills:
- Keep cool air in by closing doors and windows. Invest in quality blinds and curtains, too, to prevent heat from seeping in and help the aircon from working harder.
- If you have a split aircon unit, take advantage of its zoning capabilities by turning it off in rooms that don’t need cooling.
- Switching to different temperatures will not help you save money at all. It’s much better to keep it at a constant setting, even at a higher temperature.
- Read your owner’s manual and find details about energy efficiency. New models today have settings to help you reduce energy consumption.
- Always remember to turn off your unit when not in use. If you will not be home for several hours, there is no point in keeping the aircon running.
- Some people do not switch their air conditioners because they want to keep the cool air inside their homes, particularly during the hot summer season. But you can easily retain the cooling benefit provided by the appliance. The key is to insulate your home correctly.
- A programmable thermostat will allow you to adjust your settings with ease. You don’t need to remember when to turn it off or raise and lower the temperature because the thermostat will do it for you. These benefits alone can help you save hundreds of dollars on your power bill.
Do you need to have your air conditioning unit serviced before summer approaches? Contact ACSIS Air to schedule an appointment that will ensure your home will stay cool and comfy when the temperatures start to rise.