Five Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

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air conditioning maintenance

Spring is the ideal time for air conditioning maintenance. These tips from my trusted electrician will ensure your air conditioner works optimally for summer. 

If there is one guarantee every Australian summer delivers on, it’s the heat.

Some parts of Australia experience sweltering heat and in Queensland, the humidity can make it feel even more unbearable.

We rely on our ducted air conditioner every summer to help us get through the heat comfortably. But such an appliance also requires maintenance to ensure it runs optimally when it will be used the most.

My electrician sent a newsletter sharing ‘5 Secrets of Air Conditioner Maintenance’. I loved the advice and pictures in the newsletter I asked if the tips could be shared on the blog.

If you are after a reliable electrician in Brisbane, Stewart from Bright Solutions Electrical is who I recommend.

When it comes to air conditioning, you want your system to be able to work during peak time in summer. It’s really important to get your air conditioner serviced every year and spring is the best season for a maintenance check.

It prolongs the life of the air conditioning unit and often will prevent a problem occurring later on.

5 Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

1. Check the remote control

Ensure the remote has new or working batteries, then ensure the setting is for cool and the temperature is set to 24°C. The system is the most energy and cost efficient when on this temperature setting. Also, if your unit has a dehumidify or dry setting, this will remove the humidity from the air to make the room easer to cool. The setting for this is the drop symbol instead of the snowflake.

remote control batteries air conditioner

2. Replace or Clean the Filters

It’s important the filters are cleaned on the indoor head unit. Clogged or dirty filters, block the airflow through the unit and reduces its efficiency and ability to cool the air by up to 15%.

It also can recirculate dust and allergens into your home. Depending on the usage of your air conditioning unit, check the filters monthly and clean every 3 months or when the filters need to be cleaned. Filters can be hosed down and laid outside in the sun to dry.

replace filters

3. Check the outside condenser unit

The condensers can often get quite dirty from dust and debris gathering around the unit. Always remove debris around the condenser and ensure no plants or weeds grow around it. Low lying branches need to be at least 60cm away from the unit. The condenser fins can be cleaned using a brush, but be careful not to bend the fins or damage the coils.

remove debris around air conditioner

4. Inspect the outside condenser fins

The fins can get bent from hail damage or flying rocks when the lawn is mowed and this can block air flow through the coils and interfere with the heat exchange.

This makes the air conditioner work harder to cool the air down and reduces the system’s inefficiency. You can buy a fin comb from Super Cheap Auto which can comb and straighten the fins back to their original position.

air conditioner coils

5. Test your air conditioner

Ideally, it’s best to test your air conditioner before you rely on it by leaving it run for a while. Listen for any noises. Check air is pumped through the vents.

Summer sees an increase in air conditioner call outs because people don’t notice a problem until they need to use their air conditioner. Beat the peak call out season and test your air conditioner in spring so if it does need to be fixed, you won’t be waiting in the heat for a call out.

A new air conditioner may need to be installed if

• The system makes strange sounds as it make indicate something is loose or broken in the machine.

• Any weird smells may mean there is mould in the unit or the wire insulation may be damaged.

• The air isn’t cool or the air flow is weaker than normal, there might be a leak in the coolant.

• You notice moisture or water dripping in places it shouldn’t from the unit.

• Your unit is more than 10 years old, it’s most likely you will need to replace it. The cost of repairs can outweigh the cost or replacement. It also means you have a unit that won’t break down unexpectedly.

A little tip from me is don’t put your air conditioning unit on when the house starts to heat up. The air conditioner will draw more energy to cool the house down. Put the air conditioner on an hour before you arrive home (you can set some units with an app or timer) or put it on first thing in the morning.