Since 1981, the world has witnessed an increase in its temperature with an average rate of 0.18°C! It is an extraordinarily worrisome and alarming situation for people around the globe. As the temperature keeps on increasing with the passage of time, simultaneously, the demand for air conditioners is also on the rise. There is a dire need for air conditioning in homes and offices in order to survive.
An air conditioner provides environmental comfort in hot weather. It functions by removing moisture and heat from a closed space, thus providing thermal comfort. As the technology advances, air conditioners work on improving the air quality of the room. Some air conditioners are available with advanced features that can be useful in various conditions. In fact, there are air conditioners that provide cooling as well as heating functionalities. Other accessories can also be installed for enhanced functioning.
As mentioned before as well, the need for air conditioners has increased drastically. It is continuously in use for the purpose of heating or cooling rooms or improving air quality. To ensure air conditioner performance and to conserve cooling power, regular maintenance is compulsory. If maintenance of the air conditioner is neglected, it will aggravate its condition and will deteriorate its performance, thus resulting in reduced age of an air conditioner.
Components of Air Conditioner
Following are the Heating, Ventilating, and Air conditioning (HVAC) systems components that require habitual maintenance that let the unit function efficiently and effectively through its year of service:
The cooling coils in the evaporator eliminate the air’s heat and humidity. Over time, usage of these coils accumulates dust and dirt, thus reducing its efficiency. These coils can also bend over and create hindrance in the airflow.
The air is circulated over evaporate through a blower, diffusing cool air in the room. The air conditioner circulates air by passing it through filters. These filters can become clogged, reducing the cooling of your air conditioner.
The accumulated heat is released into the open air through an outdoor unit component known as condenser coils. Dirt and dust particles can build up in this outdoor unit and need cleaning.
A compressor cools the indoor air by moving refrigerant between the condenser and evaporator. Over the time of usage, debris is collected in the unit, which needs cleaning.
Red Flags For HVAC Maintenance Need
The air conditioner is not performing well? If it is not providing enough cooling or heating, you have to look at the following red flags of your unit. Some of the air conditioner problems can be solved at home by the owner with proper guidance. Some issues are more technical and require professional involvement to solve.
If the air conditioner is not doing enough cooling, one of the reasons could be leakage of refrigerant. You would require a technician to solve this problem.
The thermostat sensor can be misplaced in a window unit. Carefully bend the wire holding the sensor in place to correct its position.
Check your thermostat for correct reading and temperature, and set it properly as per your needs. Improper functioning of the thermostat can also be the reason for a maintenance need. It might need to be entirely changed, or only the battery change would be required.
A clogged drain can also lead to poor cooling by the air conditioner unit. The drain needs to be opened or cleared to make the air conditioner function properly.
The air filter can get clogged and affects the airflow quality, thus reducing the cooling system’s efficiency. The air filter needs to be changed every 30-60 days to work effectively.
Electric Control Failure
AC fans can become worn out by frequently switching on and off the system. A professional is required to check the electric connections of the air conditioner fan.
You might need a professional or technician to clean a clogged or constricted duct or repair any air leakage.
Use Professional Help
The usage of machines and technology can lead to wear and tear. If regular care and maintenance are carried out, then their age can be prolonged. You need to schedule annual air conditioner maintenance with a professional, who would conduct the following multipoint functions.
- Inspection of the cooling coil
- Cleaning any clogged drain
- Eliminating debris from the condenser
- Check refrigerant charge for excess or insufficient charge
- Ensure proper functioning of blower component
- Looking for irregularities in air conditioners cycle
- Run tests on voltage and amplitude for any irregularities
- Examine for any loose electrical connections
- Cleaning the thermostat for proper temperature control
If an air conditioner also functions as a heating unit, then the following additional maintenance needs to be performed
- Inspect safety controls
- Inspection of furnace cycle
- Correct any irregularities in gas pressure
- Looking for any cracks in the heat exchanger
- Cleaning fuel draft
- Fine-tuning heat anticipator for low operating cost and high comfort
- Checking for abnormalities in starting of furnace
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Some Guidelines For Cost Reduction
Air conditioner usage can lead to increased electricity costs, but with care and proper maintenance, the energy costs can be reduced by 5% to 40%. Following are a few of the useful tips that would help you in controlling the cooling costs:
- Install a programmable thermostat without affecting comfort level.
- Use a ceiling fan; this would lead to an increased thermostat by 4 degrees.
- Insulating walls and attic to control warm or cool airflow.
- Try using an outdoor grill instead of an oven to reduce heat indoors.
- Cover windows with curtains to prevent solar heat gain.
In order to keep the air conditioner working properly, it is essential to have a regular maintenance session. Some components can be maintained by the owner, like cleaning clogged filters, drains. Other parts need to be inspected by a technician or professional. It is recommended to get air conditioner maintenance annually.
This will not only help you control the energy costs but will also improve the air quality. The air filter should be inspected and cleaned as recommended in the instructions manual of the installed unit. A well-maintained machine can work effectively and efficiently. Maintenance would increase the lifespan of your air conditioner.