How to Maintain your Air Conditioner
For most homes, an air conditioner can provide a sense of comfort during those hot summer days. An aircon unit is a modern marvel – how could we bear those warm nights without the cool breeze of an air conditioner?
An aircon has become an integral part of our homes, so maintaining it is not only essential, it saves up on the costs of buying a new, expensive unit. Aircon services can help, but maintenance and upkeep starts at home.
Maintaining your air conditioner is easier said than done, but don’t get intimidated by the internal mechanics housed in your air conditioner. Whether you have a modern smart type of aircon, or the traditional window type, knowing how to properly care for your unit can prolong its usage and keep your air conditioner in tip top shape.
Clean the filter.
The most basic form of air conditioner care, which many homeowners still forget to do, is to clean out the air conditioner filter. The filter is what catches the most dust and debris that goes through the air conditioner, and thus gets filthy easily. You will need to clean the aircon filter at least every other week for the most efficiency.
By cleaning the aircon filter, the unit will be able to work better, and will be less prone to breaking down. The fibers caught in the filter are also a fire hazard when they accumulate, and can cause an electrical fire if the fibers are singed.
Adjust the temperature to 24 and above.
Sometimes, adjusting the temperature of the air conditioner too low can cause the aircon to ice up, and may put pressure on the internal mechanisms to shut down. Adjusting your thermostat to a comfortable temperature of 24 degrees and above helps to keep the air conditioner in check, and prevent it from freezing up.
Alternatively, using your air conditioner when it’s freezing out can also cause your air conditioner to ice up. The general rule is that the colder the temperature outside, the warmer your thermostat should be inside.
Go for professional general cleaning and servicing.
From time to time, your air conditioner needs to be seen by a professional HVAC technician who can properly clean your unit, or diagnose any problem that it may have. The professionals will have the right tools to get into the air conditioner, as well as the expertise to tinker around the unit to find the problem and fix it.
Don’t try to open up the air conditioner yourself, especially if you’re not familiar with the internal mechanisms of the machine. You may end up damaging the unit further, or giving yourself a high-voltage electrical shock!
Instead, have your air conditioner undergo a general servicing twice a year, repairs when needed, and a chemical wash every year. The latter will be able to clean out the different parts of the air conditioner and make them as good as new!
Clean the outdoor unit.
Many homeowners forget they have an outdoor unit to their air conditioner, which needs as much care as the indoor air conditioner as it is exposed to the elements. The outdoor unit is where the warm air flows out, and can get covered in dust and leaves.
Animals may also seek refuge in the warmth of the air conditioner’s outdoor unit, which can be a problem when they chew on the wires. Cover your outdoor unit with a ready-made plastic or wooden cover, and dust off any debris every now and then to keep it clean.
Let your air conditioner rest.
Running your air conditioner at home 24/7 may not be a good idea for most home models. Commercial air conditioners and centralized units can withstand 24/7 usage, but home units cannot, and can break down with consistent use.
Let your air conditioner rest for hours at a time, instead of running the unit all day long. Running your aircon 24 hours can cause it to malfunction, break down, or even cause electrical fuses to short circuit from the constant flow of energy going through. Your aircon may even overheat and cause fires. Like any machine, your aircon needs time to cool down.
Fix any issue immediately.
We get that a trip to the air conditioner technician can be expensive, but not as expensive as buying a new unit if you let that problem go out of hand. Any issues with your air conditioner can be properly assessed and fixed by an experienced HVAC technician, and we recommend you bring your unit to a technician as soon as you notice any signs of an underlying problem.
Fixing issues immediately lengthens the lifespan of your unit, and ensures that the damage doesn’t get any worse as you keep using the unit. While your aircon is being repaired, technicians typically clean the unit as well, so they can present you with an air conditioner that is at its top condition.