Your air conditioner did not come without its hefty price tag. Whether you have an inverter or non-inverter type, your air conditioner has probably cost you a considerable sum of money, and it is one of the most useful appliances you have at home once the summer season rolls around!
Air conditioners are complicated appliances for most of us. We don’t really look into the mechanics of an air conditioner, but we do enjoy the cool breeze it provides, which is why it is important to upkeep your air conditioner so you can enjoy the coolness it provides longer. Here are 7 ways you can upkeep your air conditioner:
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1. Professional Cleaning
Professional aircon servicing should be done on a regular, scheduled basis. We can often clean the air filter and the exterior of the air conditioning unit at home, but we do not often crack open the air conditioner to clean the interior parts as we may damage the unit. Professional cleaning helps to keep the air conditioner in good working condition, and removes the dust buildup.
The general rule is to have your air conditioning unit cleaned once every six months for the best care. However, if you use your aircon frequently, or if you live in a highly polluted area, you may need to have your air conditioner cleaned every four months instead. Read more about professional air conditioner cleaning here.
While you can clean many of the removable parts of your air conditioner on your own, professional aircon cleaning is a necessity for all air conditioner users as regular cleaning is not enough to protect your coils and internal components from corroding or damage. Professional cleaners often use a chemical solution that both cleans and protects the different parts.
2. Annual Maintenance Checks
Annual maintenance checks go hand in hand with professional cleaning services. The HVAC technician would check each part of your air conditioning unit to look for weak points and damages. This way, you can repair any issues with your unit before it becomes a big problem for you later on. Contact your preferred aircon service company for more information.
You can typically schedule annual maintenance checks alongside professional cleaning, and the technician can do both at the same time: inspect each component as they clean your unit. Remember that both the indoor and outdoor units need to be serviced, especially as the outdoor unit hosts the capacitor, which is exposed to the outside elements.
3. Air Filter Cleaning
Air filters must be cleaned every two weeks, but you don’t have to contact an HVAC technician to clean the filters. The filter of your air conditioner can be easily cleaned at home with some soap and water. Simply run the filter under water, and use a soft brush to scrub the mesh with soap. You can vacuum the dust away as well.
Similarly, consider cleaning the evaporator coils as well to prevent your air conditioner from malfunctioning or freezing up. Dust forms around your evaporator coils where your filter could not bar, so debris can build up around the coils over time. Blast the coils with some compressed air to loosen the dirt, and vacuum up any remaining debris.
4. Clearing Debris from the Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit is one part we can clean at home – both the exterior and the interior of your unit! Because this unit is meant to be outdoors, it is mostly waterproof, so you can use a hose to wash away all the dirt and dust. You can also open up the housing of the unit, and gently hose away the dust that built up in the interior of the unit. Unplug your AC unit first, though!
Open up the outdoor unit by unscrewing each side of the unit. Take note of the position of the screws so you can return them in their respective spaces later on. Open up the housing to expose the interior of the unit, and use a hose to wash away the dirt. Manually remove any large pieces of debris, and avoid using a powerful jet of water so as to not damage the unit.
5. Keeping the Temperature Moderate
Overworked air conditioners tend to break down faster, so refrain from using extreme settings when operating your AC unit. Keep the temperature at a comfortable level, and know the signs of an air conditioner malfunction. Doing so would help you prevent high costs in repairing or replacing your unit in the future as needed.
A comfortable air conditioner setting would be 20 degrees Celsius. Any temperature lower would cause your unit to work harder, especially if you have too small of a unit for the size of your room. Any temperature higher, on the other hand, may not provide you with a cool, comfortable feeling. Keep your AC unit temperature to around 19-22 degrees Celsius.
6. Clean the Air Conditioner Drain Pan
When you leave your ice-cold drink outside, you’ll almost immediately notice condensate forming around the chilled glass. This happens as the moisture in the air pools on a chilled surface, and a similar phenomenon happens in air conditioners. The drain pan is where this condensation collects, preventing water from dripping indoors through your unit.
As the weather gets humid, you may notice more condensation forming around your air conditioner. The drain pan can get filled with water, which leads to water leaks. Stagnant water in your drain pan can cause a foul odor as bacteria feeds off the water. Make sure to clean the drain pan thoroughly after every use for the best care of your AC unit.
7. Avoid Messing with the Control Panel
It should go without saying, but frequently messing with the control panel can cause your air conditioner to malfunction, especially when you change the temperature control settings often. Keep in mind that it takes some time for your air conditioner to reach the desired temperature in your room, so avoid turning the temperature lower.
Similarly, if your AC unit has a fan setting, eco setting, and other features, avoid fluctuating these settings frequently to prevent your AC unit from overworking, and to keep the settings steady while you use the air conditioner.