We all want the best living and working conditions. Fortunately, with the availability of air conditioners, achieving the best air conditions at home or our working areas is now possible.
With a high-quality air conditioner properly installed, you won’t have to worry about the scalding heat that comes along with the summer.
But what exactly is so important to maintain it? An air conditioner is a very complex piece of machinery. It is engineered to withstand all sorts of loads and keep on running. If any one of the parts isn’t operational the way it should be, the whole system suffers in its performance capacity and efficiency
It can lead to non-complacency of the unit. Like a car, air conditioners need regular servicing to run appropriately.
Following are some easy Air Conditioner Maintenance and Cooling Tips that the appliance requires to keep it working at its best and maximize its use.
Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips
Tip #1 Understand your Air Conditioner
Familiarize yourself with the parts of your air conditioning unit and its functions. Being aware of the parts allows you to personally check them and ensure that they’re working perfectly.
It also lets you effectively conceptualize any malfunctioning that may occur and learn about DIY maintenance efforts to keep these malfunctions from happening so you won’t always have to call for a technician.
Tip #2 Check Wiring and Insulations
One of the most important tips that you should follow at all times is completely shut off the power of the air conditioner before starting any kind of maintenance.
Check the electrical connections to make certain that they are fitted and no loose connection is present. Because corrosion of wire and terminals is also a problem in many systems, electrical connections and contacts should be checked thoroughly.
If you are not sure about checking the wiring and electrical contacts, calling an expert is always a solution to do it professionally.
Insulation helps keep your home comfortable and ensures the high performance and efficiency of the air conditioner.
The attic is a good place to start insulating because it is a major source of heat gain because hot attic air can leak into return ducts. Adequately insulating the attic protects the upper floors of a house. Recommended attic insulation levels depend on the geographical area in which you live and the type of heating system you use.
Also, a massive amount of energy wastage takes place when cooled air escapes from supply ducts. For the air conditioning system to be efficient, the ducts must be sealed and airtight.
Hiring a qualified service technician to do this job is always the best idea, since detecting the leaky ducts is a challenging thing most of the times and on the professional can do it.
Tip #3 Clean or Replace Air Filters
Cleaning air conditioner’s filters regularly is one of the most important maintenance tasks that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Normal airflow is obstructed by dirty, clogged filters which result in decreasing the system’s efficiency considerably. With normal airflow clogged, the air that bypasses the air filter may carry dust directly into the evaporator coil and damage the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity.
Filters are located along the return duct’s length. Common filter locations are in walls or behind the return air grill, ceilings, inside the blower compartment of furnaces or top, bottom, or side slot of a furnace.
There are some types of filters that are reusable; while the others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of efficiencies and types.
The air conditioning system’s filter or filters should be cleaned or replaced every month or two. However, if the air conditioner is in frequent use and is in the area of dusty conditions, the filters may need regular attention.
Tip #4 Check on the Refrigerant
If your refrigerant quantity is not matching the manufacturer’s specifications or if it leaks, the efficiency and the performance of the unit are drastically hampered.
This problem can be handled by a trained technician only. He should test the repair, fix any leak, or charge the unit with the correct quantity of refrigerant.
Tip #5 Clean Evaporator and Condenser Coils
Air Conditioner’s evaporator and condenser coils act like a duct magnet and collect a lot of dirt over the period of service. Evaporator coils are located inside the indoor air handling unit, while condenser coils are enclosed in the outdoor cabinet.
If the evaporator or condenser coils get dirty, it can result in reducing the heat exchange, decreasing the cooling capacity, and eventually increasing the energy consumption.
Over the period of time, the evaporator coil starts collecting dirt which reduces airflow and eventually decreases its ability to absorb heat. Consequently, your evaporator coil should be checked every year and cleaned as and when required.
If the outdoor environment is dusty, the condenser coils can also become dirty. You can simply see the condenser coil and find out if dirt is accumulating on its fins. You should reduce dirt and rubble near the condenser unit.
Your dryer vents, lawnmower, or falling leaves, are all potential sources of dirt and debris. Cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris, and trimming foliage will ensure sufficient clean airflow around the condenser.
Tip #6 Check on the Thermostat
Check your thermostat and ensure that it’s working well and maintains your home at a perfect temperature. If you have an older type thermostat, you may want to check into purchasing a programmable thermostat.
There are new models available that are Wi-Fi-enabled, so you can adjust your home temperature settings from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. These so-called “smart thermostats” can really be an intelligent choice for those concerned with energy efficiency.
Tip #7 Fix the Fins
The fins on evaporator and condenser coils are delicate, they can easily be bent and can block airflow through the coil.
Air conditioning suppliers sell an instrument called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into almost their original condition.
Tip #8 Time for a New Air Conditioner?
If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model. There’s no telling how much you could be saving in your monthly energy costs with a new AC system.
A new system can use up to 40% less energy than an outdated one, and in many cases, a new air conditioner will eventually pay for itself in energy savings alone.
Tip #9 Hire a Qualified Professional
No matter how much you know about maintenance and home remedies, there are still things that only a professional can do. Don’t risk the well-being of your unit just because you’re too stingy to pay for a technician, especially when you’re not entirely sure about what to do when a particular problem occurs.
It also helps to have your unit checked at least once 2-3 months.
Cooling Tips for an Air Conditioner
✅ Tip #1 A properly sized AC unit is also essential to obtaining a more energy-efficient home. Big is not always better in the case of air conditioners because if it is too large, you will be spending more energy and money than you want.
Make sure you choose the proper size air conditioner according to the space you’re intending it to cool. Also, you don’t want to choose a small unit for a massive amount of space. Choosing the appropriate size really helps.
✅ Tip #2 Locate your thermostats away from the heat sources such as windows, television sets, lamps, or supply registers.
The thermostat senses the heat generated from these pieces of equipment and will cause the air conditioner unit to run extensively than the required time.
✅ Tip #3 Consider using an interior fan in combination with your air conditioner. This will uniformly spread the cooled air throughout the room without much energy usage.
✅ Tip #4 Shade trees around your house can help to cool your home because it blocks the sun’s direct sunlight. Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides of your house are very beneficial as well. Planting shrubs near or around your air conditioner may reduce the amount of electricity it uses to cool your home, but always allow enough room for ample airflow.
✅ Tip #5 Hang white drapes, blinds, or window treatments to reflect the hot sunlight away from the house .Close drapes, blinds, or window treatments during the day to keep your home cooler
Hopefully, these Air Conditioner Maintenance and Cooling Tips have given you some ideas that will make you more comfortable on those hot summer days.