5 Useful Air-conditioner Maintenance Tips
A recent 2017 National Environmental Agency (NEA) survey found that usage of air-conditioners accounted for close to a substantial quarter, or 24%, of the energy consumption of a typical family home. It is also widely known that the usage of air-conditioners tends to increase the cost of electricity bills by quite a large sum. Given the widespread demand for air-conditioners in Singapore’s hot and humid climate, coupled with the costly electricity bills they incur, there is a need to carefully and properly maintain our air-conditioner units to optimise energy consumption. Not only does maintenance allow our air-conditioner units to function effectively, it gives us the cold air we very much need with as little power consumption as possible, so that we minimise our electricity bills as well. You may refer to the following 5 tips to optimise your air-conditioner unit’s performance.
1. Changing Or Cleaning Air Filters
Clean air filters are crucial to the optimal functioning of an air-con unit. The function of such air filters is quite self-explanatory: they trap airborne particles such as dust and dirt, preventing them entering accumulating onto your air-con’s internal coils. They also prevent such particles from mixing with the cold air, thus improving the quality of indoor air. Over time, dust and grime will accumulate on the filters and hamper the effective functioning of your air-con; for example, air will be less cold. Therefore, it is vital to change or clean your air filters regularly.
There is no hard and fast industry rule as to how regularly this cleaning or changing exercise must be undertaken, but preferably, you should clean them once every few weeks, or when they visibly start to accumulate dirt. If you are cleaning your filter, this can easily be done by vacuuming the filter, or washing it with warm water before leaving it to dry. If you are changing your filter, you can simply replace your old one with the new one.
2. Removing Debris Or Dirt From The Condenser Unit
The external unit of an air-con is called the condenser unit, or a compressor unit. Like the air filters of your air-con unit, it is also important to keep the condenser unit free from debris and dirt. This is especially so if your condenser unit is placed at a low-lying area, as it may be prone to trapping grass, soil etc. Be sure to prune the area around your condenser unit regularly to prevent such bits and pieces of debris from clogging its internal parts. At higher levels, this may not be as much of a problem, but the condenser unit may still trap dust and smaller pieces of dirt, reducing air flow into and out of the condenser. Thus, it should be maintained properly by your air-con service provider. Furthermore, the brackets of the condenser unit may be prone to rust and corrosion, and should be oiled to ensure the safety of the unit.
3. Checking For Leaks
Leaks are a rather common occurrence in our households, and often results in lower efficiency of the air-con unit. There are several reasons for this: for example, the most common reason is that the condensate drain line of the air-con unit could be clogged. Other reasons include a damaged drain pan, or being low in refrigerant . Yet, many of us are understandably unable to pinpoint the causes of such leaks, given that we cannot observe faults in the air-con unit. However, leaving leaks unaddressed may cause the formation of mildew in your air-con unit, which will manifest as a mouldy odour. Therefore, to ensure optimal performance of your unit, do seek professional help to address the causes of leaks as quickly as possible. This prevents electricity wastage, and you can save on your bills too!
4. Cleaning Internal Coils
Although your air-con filter prevents dirt and dust from entering the internal components of your condenser unit, it is inevitable that some of it may pass through the filter and be trapped on your evaporator coil. The evaporator coil holds coolant, or refrigerant, which helps to cool warm air through the process of convection and radiation. Hence, dirt trapped on the coil will warm the coil, thereby inhibiting the efficient cooling of air. As a result, your air-con unit has to expend more power than necessary to cool the air. We recommend that the coils should be cleaned as least once or twice a year, during your professional air-con maintenance. In addition, the coils are difficult to access, fragile, and easily bent, so we would also advise against cleaning them yourself.
5. Sealing Your Compressor Unit Securely
Finally, it is important to ensure that the compressor unit is adequately airtight – if air is constantly entering and escaping your compressor unit, then it becomes extremely difficult to cool warm air down to be transmitted indoors. This task is relatively simple and inexpensive, and can be completed by sealing off the unit with a caulking agent, or a sealant. Caulks are rigid when dry. Sealants, which are more flexible, are more advisable in Singapore’s weather, where the material of the sealant has the capacity to expand or contract slightly in hot or cool air. However, for those staying in high-rise buildings, it is recommended to engage professional services to seal the compressor unit effectively.
Maintaining an air-con unit may be challenging, especially since it is prone to collecting dust and dirt, and because users are unable to narrow down the causes of any leaks. Hence, it is always advisable to engage professional help to address these problems that may arise from time to time. iimafix provides comprehensive air-con maintenance services to maintain the good health and proper functioning of your air-con unit. Call iimafix today for a best value, price-competitive quote on air-con maintenance packages!