Summer is coming, and for many of us that means it’s time to dust off the air conditioner. But even if you’re diligent about keeping your AC running on schedule, there are still some things that can cause it to break down over time. Here are 7 tips for keeping your aircon running like a champ!
1. Don’t Use Your Aircon Too Often
Not only will you save energy, but the less often your air conditioner is called into aircon servicing, the less strain it will put on internal components and the more time it’ll have to run without problems. So turn down thermostats when possible or wear a sweater indoors in winter even when the AC is on.
2. Keep the Intake Ducts Clear
Don’t block or restrict cold air intake ducts when conditioning your home, and keep the entrance to your cold air return unobstructed too! This will ensure that you’re getting effective cooling in all parts of your house. It’ll also reduce strain on the compressor and other components.
3. Evaporator Coils: Don’t Clog Them Up
The evaporator coils inside your AC look like a mess of pipes and fins, but in fact they work best when they aren’t clogged with dust and debris. A clogged evaporative coil can reduce airflow through it by up to 30%, which means less cooling power for you, so remember to get in there with a vacuum once in a while!
4. Don’t Overcharge Your Aircon – Change the Oil
Check your aircon manufacturer’s recommendations for proper oil levels, and never add more than you’re supposed to! This is extremely important because adding too much oil could damage internal components. And remember that air conditioner oil doesn’t last forever, so be sure to check its status on occasion and have it changed if necessary.
5. Pay Attention To The Filter!
The filter should be checked at least every month, used whenever possible, and replaced or cleaned according to manufacturer instructions when needed. If it looks dirty after one month of normal residential use, then it probably needs changing. Dirty filters can reduce airflow through them by up to 25%, which means less cooling power for you.
6. Drain the Tank Before You Empty It
Don’t drain the water tank until it’s full, and always use a container that allows air to pass through it (a plastic bag works well). If you clear out the tank before it’s full, some of the chemical solutions used in modern coolants will evaporate and be released into your home air, and we can’t have that! What we can have is A/C units with really short coolant change intervals, which is why some manufacturers recommend draining when only one-quarter or even one-eighth of the overall capacity has been used. And when you do empty them, do so properly.
7. Don’t Let It Freeze!
When the mercury dips below 26 degrees Celsius, you should bring your aircon servicing indoors and turn off any automatic defrost cycles. This will keep it from freezing up and becoming damaged, which is why we’re not fans of those “freeze-proof” claims for residential ACs. For best results, turn your unit off at least overnight (12 hours) or longer during serious cold snaps, particularly if the weather forecast calls for additional lows in the morning. And remember to drain any water condensate before bringing it back inside.