Living in a country with high outdoor temperatures in summer and cold houses in winter due to poor insulation, means that regulating the room temperature inside to maintain a temperate and pleasing atmosphere used to be somewhat daunting – until air-conditioners became a commonplace appliance in most households.
Air-conditioners help to easily regulate the air temperature within a space to accommodate for both the heat and the cold. While using an air-conditioner is as simple as pressing the On/Off button and deciding which mode you require, the behind-the-scenes action performed by the appliance is somewhat trickier and requires regular maintenance.
Air-Conditioner Filters – the basic maintenance
The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of an air-conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block the normal airflow and therefore significantly reduce a system’s efficiency. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air-conditioner’s energy consumption significantly. Cleaning the filters is a relatively straightforward job and can be done by the homeowner – with the proper care and precautions taken.
However, an air-conditioner unit has several other components that require servicing and maintenance to ensure that the appliance is functioning effectively and efficiently.
Hiring a Professional – the advanced maintenance
Once a year it’s good practice to hire a professional service technician to check all air-conditioning units. The technician will do more than simply clean the filters (although they’ll definitely do that too). They’ll also clean the Indoor Fan Blower, Evaporator (indoor unit radiator), drain tray and drain pipes, Outdoor Electronic boards and the Condensing unit (the outside unit).
Furthermore, a technician will check the refrigerant, ensure that there are no leaks, fix any leaks that they may find, inspect any electrical terminals, check gas pressures, bearing noises, temperatures, and ultimately ensure that the unit is working to its full potential. Finally, there is the treatment of the indoor unit with an anti-bacterial agent against germs and other harmful bacteria to eliminate the distribution of airborne bacteria.
Although air-conditioners can be used all year round since they both heat and cool, most people tend to operate them much more during the summer months, therefore it makes sense to service your air-conditioning system in Spring so that it will operate to its maximum efficiency for the summer months.
So why is it important to service your air-conditioner?
1. Provides maximum efficiency which lowers energy costs
Your air-conditioner loses approximately 5% of its overall efficiency every year if it goes without proper professional maintenance. Regular servicing ensures your unit runs at optimal capacity, giving you improved power consumption and quicker cooling and heating. Poorly maintained units can draw more power, and therefore higher bills, while proper and efficient maintenance can make a significant difference to your pocket.
2. Prolongs the life-span of the air-conditioner
Air-conditioning units, like any other mechanical devices, will become less efficient far sooner if regular servicing is not carried out. Regardless of how sophisticated the unit may be, blockages do occur, and parts need to be replaced. With regular maintenance an air-conditioning unit will keep up to 96% percent of its original efficiency, and proper maintenance effectively doubles the life span of the average system.
3. Maintains a healthy and safe unit within the household
An air-conditioner working at its fullest capacity will keep your home more comfortable by controlling humidity, thereby maximizing cooling. Many of the health risks that are associated with poor air quality can be greatly reduced or eliminated, not only with correct initial system installation, but with regular servicing and maintenance.
4. Better for the environment
Old appliances are a great drain on the energy system, and so are ill-maintained ones, which leads to a negative effect on the environment. By lengthening the lifespan of an air-conditioner unit through proper maintenance there is also less damage done to the environment as there would be less inclination to discard old appliances for new ones.
5. Reduces the chance of breakdown and higher repair costs
Proper servicing reduces the chance of the unit breaking down due to carelessness or disrepair, which repair costs could be higher than the maintenance costs.
A non-unit-related point, but one that also affects the efficiency of the result of the air-conditioner is the window seals in the room. At the start of each cooling season, inspecting the seal of each window frame is a good idea to ensure that there is proper contact between the seal and the window frame, thus retaining cool air within the room.
Neglecting to service an air-conditioner may lead to a decline in its efficiency and performance, potentially resulting in higher electricity bills. As with all engines and appliances, a check-up is always necessary.