No one can deny that an air conditioning unit is essential, especially given the extreme heat and cold we experience during hot summer and cold winter months, respectively. Overuse and old age, however, may cause your air-con to break down or need maintenance.
That is why it’s important for you to know how to regularly maintain your air conditioning unit. Doing this will help make it last years, even decades to come. If you want to learn how to do just that, here are 10 practical tips for maintaining your air conditioning unit:
1. Inspect your air-con regularly to see if it’s cooling efficiently.
The first thing you need to do to maintain your air-con unit is to inspect it regularly. That’s the only way you’ll know that it’s working right. Find out if the unit is working properly by checking the temperature of the air blowing out. It should be around the same temperature of the air going back into the return air vent.
Differences in temperature may indicate a clogged air filter or the air-con is low on refrigerant. This is significant because when an air-con is not cooling efficiently, it’s a huge waste of electricity. This may mean that you might need to get it serviced by an air conditioning repair expert.
2. Keep thermostat at a normal temperature.
Another thing you can do to maintain your air-con is to set the temperature at the normal level. When you turn it all the way down, it might work longer, but not efficiently. Instead, it wastes a lot of energy.
You can also set the thermostat by day and time, which helps in reducing its overall electricity usage. Take advantage of the thermostat’s timer and set the temperature higher only when you need to.
3. Change the air filter every 3 months and consider buying pleated filters.
The air filter is an essential part of your air conditioner. To properly maintain your air conditioning unit, have it changed every 3 months. You can put in a new filter at the start of the warmer seasons, then regularly change it after that. We recommend pleated, synthetic filters. These are a good alternate to the cheap, fiberglass ones. These pleated filters work better and are designed to last longer than any other kind.
4. Check and insulate your ductwork.
Check the ductwork for leaks. Having leaks in the ductwork allows the cold air or refrigerant to escape. This makes your air-con much less efficient. In addition, it is important that you insulate the ductwork as well.
Some systems have their ductworks running through an attic, which can get really hot and stuffy. By insulating the ductwork, you can ensure that the unit won’t heat up. Get an insulation wrap that is made out of foil, not plastic. Foil lasts longer and is a more stable material to use.
5. Check wiring and components.
This is much better done by an air conditioning specialist though you can also check the wiring and other components for yourself. Just make sure to turn off the power first, and don’t forget to unplug the unit, too.
You can remove the access panel on the condensing unit and physically check the wiring. Signs of overheating may include blackened or burned-looking wires as well as melted insulation. If you see any of these signs, you should call for professional maintenance immediately.
6. Check condenser unit fan.
Another component you can check for yourself is the condenser unit fan. Again, after turning the power off, look for the fan mounted on top of the outside condenser unit. Look for any signs of rusting or general wear-and-tear. If you find any visible chips or cracks, it may be time to replace the fan blades. An older air conditioning unit may also require its fan to be oiled regularly, so take note of that.
7. Clean the outside unit annually.
The outside unit, also called the condenser, is quite susceptible to getting clogged with grass clippings, leaves, debris and dirt build-up. This can actually block airflow and force the unit to exert more effort, using up more energy. Keep in mind that you have to wash off the debris at least once a year.
A simple garden hose works well for this. Remember to turn the air-con off first before dousing it with water. Focus on the thin metal fins found on the condenser/outside unit and gently rinse it with water. Do not use a power washer because the strong water pressure can damage the more fragile parts.
8. Keep the sun out.
To prevent your air conditioning unit from overheating, keep it out of the sun. This is most helpful during the hottest part of the day. The Australian heat is definitely not a joke, so try to keep the blinds or drapes closed during peak hours. This would also help in keeping your home cool and comfortable.
It may also be a good idea to install awnings or plant trees that will keep the sun out. This will help in insulating your air-con, preventing it from overheating. Your air conditioning unit will surely enjoy a long life if you maintain it right.
9. Collect free water.
Because air-cons work by creating a lot of condensation in the air, they can cause water to drip outside. This is actually a common occurrence during the hot, summer months. Air-cons can put out over 19 litres of clean water from the air almost every single day. You can place a bucket under the condenser/outside unit to catch the dripping water. It’s also quite environmentally-friendly because you can use this recycled water to water your garden, for example.
10. Schedule a maintenance check-up.
Lastly, to properly maintain your air conditioning unit, have it regularly checked by an expert. A tune-up of the cooling system will help ensure your air conditioning is working at its optimum. You can also check if it’s cooling efficiently and performing well while not wasting electricity. A lot of units fail because of lack of maintenance, so this must be a priority.
Keeping your air-con checked will also help in saving you time, energy, and money in the long run. A good air conditioning unit is sure to keep you cool in the middle of the heat.
Contact the experts in Newcastle air conditioning maintenance
Maintaining your air conditioning unit is unquestionably important to increase its longevity. If you are in need of experts in the field, give Lakeside Air a call today! We are an exclusive Daikin Conditioning dealer that specialise in installation, maintenance, and repair services.
Lakeside offers Newcastle and Lake Macquarie air conditioning services. Contact us for more enquiries and our team of friendly and diligent staff will be happy to assist!