Winter AC Maintenance Tips

The Importance of AC Maintenance

Regular maintenance and servicing of your air conditioner's filters, coils, fins and other cleaning aspects are essential to maintain and improve the air quality in your home.

 

Neglecting your AC can lead to a decline in performance and an increase in energy usage and further costs.

The Consequences of Neglect

Neglecting necessary AC maintenance can lead to several issues, including:

 

โ—       Reduced cooling and heating ability

โ—       Higher operating costs

โ—       Increased CO2 emissions

โ—       Voided warranty

โ—       Increased risk of water damage

โ—       Reduced lifespan of the air conditioner

โ—       Increased bacterial growth, leading to odours, health issues, and reduced airflow

Maintenance Frequency

Residential air conditioners should be serviced at least once a year, while commercial systems may require servicing between 4 and 12 times a year, depending on the building class.

 

This regular servicing ensures maximum benefits and compliance with legislative requirements. And it ensures that your system is working efficiently when summer comes around.


Guide to AC Maintenance

Maintaining your air conditioner involves more than just a quick check-up; it requires attention to several key components to ensure its efficiency and extend its lifespan. Here's a closer look at what this entails:

 

โ—       Clear Away Debris: The outdoor components of your air conditioner can easily become clogged with leaves, twigs, and branches, especially during autumn and winter. It's essential to regularly clear away this debris to prevent clogs and potential pest infestations in the units.

โ—       Clean the Interior Unit: Over time, the interior components of split-unit AC systems can accumulate dust. Regularly wiping down the unit helps prevent dirt from settling on the surface. Neglecting this can lead to staining or yellowing of the materials.

โ—       Replace the Air Filter: One of the most critical maintenance tasks is regularly replacing or cleaning the air filter. A clean filter ensures better airflow and efficiency, reducing energy consumption by 5% to 15%. During the cooling or heating season, it's advisable to check the filter every month or two, with more frequent checks if the unit is in constant use, exposed to dusty conditions, or if you have pets in the house.

โ—       Clean AC Coils: The evaporator and condenser coils of your air conditioner can collect dirt over time, which can reduce airflow and the coil's ability to absorb heat. Check your evaporator coil annually and clean it as necessary. Outdoor condenser coils should also be checked and cleaned regularly, especially if the environment is dusty or there is foliage nearby.

โ—       Straighten Coil Fins: The aluminium fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can easily become bent, blocking airflow through the coil. A tool called a "fin comb" can be used to comb these fins back into nearly original condition.

โ—       Unclog Condensation Drains: Occasionally, pass a stiff wire through the unit's drain channels to prevent clogging. Clogged drains can hinder the unit's ability to reduce humidity, leading to excess moisture that may discolour walls or carpets.

Check Window Seals: For room air conditioners, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame at the start of each cooling season. This seal should be intact to prevent cool air from escaping, ensuring maximum efficiency.

Preparing for Winter

As winter approaches, it's crucial to either cover your room air conditioner or remove and store it after youโ€™ve cleaned and serviced it, and to protect the outdoor unit of a central air conditioner from winter weather and debris.

When to Replace Your AC

Air conditioning units typically last 10-15 years. Consider replacing your unit if it's outdated, inefficient, or too small to effectively cool your space. Newer models are more energy-efficient and functional, and it may become difficult to find replacement parts for older units.

Professional AC Maintenance: What to Expect

When your air conditioner requires more than just regular upkeep, especially if it's not cooling effectively, it's crucial to call in a professional service technician. Here's a breakdown of what a professional technician will do and why it's important:

 

  • Check for Correct Amount of Refrigerant: A technician should ensure that the refrigerant level is just right. Too much or too little refrigerant can cause your air conditioner to operate inefficiently, leading to higher energy costs, reduction in cooling/heating capacity or mechanical failure on the compressor.

โ—       Test for Refrigerant Leaks Using a Leak Detector: If there's a leak, it can lead to a loss of heating / cooling power and potential harm to the environment. Technicians use specialised tools to detect and fix any leaks.

โ—       Capture Any Refrigerant That Must Be Evacuated from the System: This is done instead of illegally releasing it into the atmosphere, which is harmful to the environment.

โ—       Check for and Seal Duct Leakage in Central Systems: A professional will seal any leaky ducts that can lead to a significant loss of cooled air, making your system work harder than it needs to.

โ—       Measure Airflow Through the Evaporator Coil: Proper airflow is crucial for efficient operation. If the airflow is too low or too high, it can reduce the system's ability to cool/heat your home.

โ—       Verify the Correct Electric Control Sequence: Technicians ensure the heating and cooling systems cannot operate simultaneously, which can waste energy and reduce the system's lifespan.

โ—       Inspect Electric Terminals, Clean and Tighten Connections: Loose or dirty connections can lead to electrical hazards and reduce the efficiency of your system.

โ—       Oil Motors and Check Belts for Tightness and Wear: Proper lubrication and belt tension are essential for the efficient operation of the motor and fans.

โ—       Check the Accuracy of the Thermostat: An inaccurate thermostat can lead to overcooling/heating or undercooling/heating, resulting in discomfort and higher energy bills.

Trust Sackett Services for Your AC Maintenance

For reliable and professional AC maintenance services, trust Sackett Services.

 

Our team of experts are here to answer your questions and ensure your air conditioning system is in top condition, providing you with comfort and efficiency all year round. Talk to us today.