Air-cond users in Malaysia are definitely guilty of extreme usage, especially if you are a serial overnight user! We don’t blame you for being in a sun-beaten tropical country, but learning to use your air-conditioning smartly and giving it regular maintenance will prolong its life and enable it to run efficiently with a constant flow of fresh air. Run-downed filters, coils, and fins will only decrease an air-cond’s performance and actually uses up more energy to keep it running.
For most split or mounted air-cond units at home, you can follow the checklist below for a list of must-know tips to minimise costly break-downs and keep you cool:
1. Change Air Filters Every 3 Months
The No. 1 must-know tip that will ensure your air conditioner runs efficiently is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Do this every 3 months, if you have allergies, you may need to change them more often.
Changing the air filter for your air-cond is as important as changing the oil is for your car.
Clogged and dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce the cooling system’s efficiency significantly. Cleaning up your filters can save you up to 5% to 15% of energy consumption and lower your electrical bill.
Filters are available in a variety of types and efficiencies – some are reusable and others must be replaced, check with your technician which type suits your air-cond model the best.
2. Check If Your Air-Cond Is Cool Enough
You know something’s wrong if you’ve set the temperature to the lowest degree before you feel any cool air flowing out. There could be many reasons why your air-cond is not cold enough.
First, check for any clogs in the filter which you can easily remove by vacuuming and washing with water. If you find that your filters are very soiled, remove them from the unit and wash with soap or mild household detergent. Let them dry before putting back in.
Other reasons could be caused by not having enough refrigerant or that your outdoor condenser fan is not working. It could also be a leak in your refrigerant gas pipe. When these happen, it’s better to call a technician to service and fix your air-cond.
3. Clean Your Condenser Annually
After some time, the air-cond’s condenser (outdoor unit) would be covered with dirt and debris which will block airflow and make your air-cond inefficient. This can also cause damage to your indoor unit. Your technician can usually do a power-wash to clean up your condenser. For the confident DIY bunch, follow the cleaning tips below.
Start with some simple brushing:
- turn off the condenser first, there should be a separate switch on the outside unit itself
- remove the protective grill and start cleaning the debris from the fins by using a soft brush
- you can then vacuum using a brush attachment to get rid of the remaining dirt
Do this carefully as you do not want to damage the electrical wiring attached to the unit
If the dirt doesn’t come off with your brushing and vacuuming attempts:
- use a hose, preferably with a nozzle and trigger-grip to gently clean in between the think metal fins.
- don’t spray too hard as the fins can bend easily
- it’s very important to protect the condenser’s wiring and motor from water – cover them with a plastic sheet or a large garbage bag
- leave it to dry before reassembling the unit
4. Avoid Short-Cycling Your Cooling System
It is very important not to turn-on your air-conditioning immediately after you’ve just turned it off. Wait for at least 10 minutes in between after turning it off – the pressure in the refrigeration system of your unit needs time to equalise again, similar to your refrigerator. Make this a habit and it will prolong your air-cond’s life-cycle.
5. When In Doubt, Get Professional Help
Schedule in an air-cond service with Kaodim’s qualified air-cond companies if you haven’t had one done in a while. Do a quick check and take note of any suspicious symptoms that can help to indicate which parts are not working.