- Filter cleaning
- Evaporator servicing
- Unclogging the condensate drain line
- Condenser coil servicing & fin cleaning
- Fin straightening
- Keeping compressor unit covered during winter
- Leveling up the condenser unit
- Getting a programmable thermostat
- Using an AC with a higher star rating
Life, in scorching summer, is simply unimaginable without an air conditioner. Think about the monstrous combo of heat, humidity, and sweat. Isn’t an AC the best thing to invest in this season? It keeps you and your home cool, controls the in-house moisture content, supplies you with clean and allergen-free air to breathe in. However, it takes no time for your little oasis to turn into a boiler room when your airconditioner stops working. Sounds nightmarish? Well, over-consumption and ill-maintenance can make even the world’s smartest appliance permanently idle. So, spare yourself the torture. Here are nine essential AC maintenance tips. Educate yourself about the proper maintenance of an AC and enjoy a glitch-free, cool summer.
First thing first: Know your air conditioner
An air conditioner has three main parts: compressor, condenser, and evaporator. The compressor and the condenser are located in the outside part of the air-conditioning system. The evaporator, on the other hand, is fitted inside the in-house unit. The system absorbs hot humid air from the outside atmosphere, cools it down, and removes the excess amount of moisture from it making it dry and fresh. This is of utmost importance because excess moisture inside a home can lead to dampness which in turn may cause the moulds to flourish. So basically, an AC in working condition, if used judiciously, can help keep your home mould free and your loved ones healthy and happy!
Essential maintenance tips for an AC
A combination of DIY usage and cleaning techniques and professional AC servicing is all you need to keep your home’s air conditioning system working in its optimal condition. Here are nine must-dos of AC maintenance:
1. Filter cleaning
Clean the filters of your air conditioner every month or once in every two months, especially during the cooling season. Dirty filters block normal airflow allowing the air to bypass it eventually. The bypassing air carries dirt with it and when it enters directly inside the evaporator coil, it damages the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity badly. It is proved that replacing a clogged filter with a clean one can lower the energy consumption by an AC by 5 to 15 percent.
2. Evaporator servicing
It is the evaporator where the actual cooling takes place in an air conditioning system. To make sure it is working perfectly, you must check its gas level at least once in a year. Call up your AC service centre and get the checking done for you.
3. Unclogging the condensate drain line
With time, the exit route of the water collected below in the condensate drain pan becomes filled with dirt and slime. Due to infrequent cleaning, the slime blocks the drain tube outlet. The water then unable to find an exit collects inside the system and eventually starts dripping from the indoor unit. This raises the humidity level of the room and increases the risk of damp.
4. Condenser coil servicing & fin cleaning
The condenser and fin of an air conditioning system (in a split AC) are located inside the outdoor unit. The condenser coil is the part through which the heat is removed from the refrigerant. As it is located outside, it easily gets soiled by the dirt, rain, and falling leaves. The dust and debris make it extremely difficult for the hot air to come out and get dissipated. Due to such poor heat dissipation, the condenser and compressor units get heated up leading to malfunctioning of the AC. Yearly maintenance of the condenser coil is much-needed to keep it running in proper condition for a longer period of time.
The aluminum fins on the condenser are visible from outside. Dust and debris tend to get accumulated on these fins. To protect the evaporator and condenser, you must clean the coil fins regularly. You can use a powerful shop vacuum or a fin cleaning spray to remove the dirt from the fins. However, never use a pressure washer for cleaning as it severely damages the coil fins.
5. Fin straightening
Damaged fins reduce air flow bringing down the efficiency of the air-conditioning system. So,if you notice any bent fin get it straightened immediately using a fin-straightening tool. But be gentle with the tubing embedded within the fins. They can get damaged easily.
6. Keeping compressor unit covered during winter
During winter, when you are not using your AC, keep the compressor unit covered with a piece of cloth or plywood or plastic. This will prevent dust from entering inside the unit. However, don’t completely cover the unit’s sides as moisture build-up inside can cause corrosion.
7. Leveling up the condenser unit
The pad upon which the condenser unit sits begins to swell with time as soil settles beneath it. As a result, the condenser unit becomes out-of-level and starts malfunctioning. To avoid such a problem, get the condenser checked and bring it back to level.
8. Getting a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow variable temperature setting during different times of the day. This technology helps you to save energy and manage your comfort level without having to press constantly the AC remote controller buttons.
Also, make sure there is no direct light falling upon the thermostat for the major part of the day. Or else, it will crank up your AC and show inaccurate readings.
9. Using an AC with a higher star rating
According to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) standards, an AC with 5-star rating has the highest ISEER i.e. Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is ‘the Ratio of the total annual amount of heat that the equipment can remove from the indoor air when operated for cooling in active mode to the total annual amount of energy consumed by the equipment during the same period’ (4.5). So, it is always advisable to invest in a 5-star inverter AC to save on the running cost substantially.
Remember, you are not a technician!
There are many more trivialities that you must take care of to maintain your AC like using blinds or drapes on the windows to prevent direct sunlight from heating up the room and dusting the AC unit daily. However, there can be no alternative to a professional AC service. Get it done in time to help your AC serve you better for many years.