Air Conditioner Maintenance Guide

  • If your AC unit is on a balcony or verandah, plant trees or shrubs around it to provide some shade but do not block the airflow.
  • A unit operating in the shade will save you 10% more electricity than one installed in direct sunlight.
  • Clear obstructions such as dead leaves, newspapers and loose debris from the exposed body of the unit.
  • Set the thermostat as high as comfortably possible.Most people believe that a thermostat set to lower temperature than desired will force the AC to cool faster, it will actually take a longer time to bring the temperature down.Moreover, you will have an unncessasily chilly room and wated power.Hence, once you have found yourself a comfortable temperature and set the thermostat at that level, avoid touching the thermostat thereafter.
  • Switch on your ceiling fan along with your AC to spread the cooled air more effectively through the room.
  • Don’t pace lamps, TVs or other heat generating devices near you AC unit. The thermostat reuses heat from such appliances, increasing power usage.
  • Pack up your AC during winter or when not in use; if lacking space and time, cover and protect it from dust.
  • Run your air conditioner for a few minutes in late spring or early summer, before you need it. If you wait until the first hot day to discover it isn’t working, you’ll find yourself on a waiting list, sweltering for days before an air conditioning specialist can come to fix it.
  • What does an air conditioning check-up consist of?

    It consists of the following steps:
    • Check for proper refrigerant (freon) levels. A low level indicates a leak, to be found and repaired before adding more freon.
    • Check all electrical components and controls.
    • Clean evaporator and condenser coils, as needed.
    • Oil motors as needed.
    • Calibrate thermostat.
    • Check Condenser.
    • Check filters.

  • How often should I recharge my air conditioner with new freon?

    Air conditioners do not consume refrigerant (freon) as a car consumes oil, so under ideal conditions it would never need changing or filling. Therefore, a low freon level indicates a leak which should be repaired before adding more. While most new system connections are welded to minimize leaks, many older units (8+ years) were connected with mechanical flared fittings which can vibrate loose over the years, causing leaks.
    • Low freon levels reduce efficiency of the air conditioner.
    • They can freeze the evaporator coil, causing it to literally ice up.
    • Freon is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) controlled substance, deemed hazardous if released into the environment.
    • The heart of the unit is the compressor, which is cooled by the refrigerant. Over time, low freon levels can cause overheating and premature failure of the compressor, often requiring complete replacement of the compressor or the entire condensing unit-a very expensive proposition.

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