How Often Should I Service My Air Conditioner?
As with any product in a home, maintenance and proper cleaning is crucial to ensure optimal performance. This is especially important for air conditioners as improper care can lead to damage and subpar performance. It’s important to understand not only how to service an air conditioner, but also how often servicing is needed and when professionals should be utilised.
Maintaining Your Ducted Air Conditioning
Ducted Air Conditioners are one of the more complicated systems to service. This is due to their design, which involves a number of vents located throughout your home connected to a central unit, linked to an outside condensing unit.
The condensing/compressor unit on the outside of the property takes outside air and cools it through the use of refrigerant. It then moves this air inside to the central unit, located in the ceiling. This central unit then distributes the cool air through a series of ducts and vents to different rooms in a home. Due to this setup, it is unsafe to try and undertake cleaning the unit by yourself. It is however recommended to try and clean the ceiling vents every month or so to limit debris and dust that collects. This can be done with a vacuum or wiping down with a cloth. The same needs to be done with the return air grille, which is located usually in a hallway down low on a wall near the floor or up on the ceiling. Doing this allows for greater functioning of your system and reduces the chance of harmful particles being blown out into your living space. As mentioned, for any other components we suggest hiring a professional every 12 months, depending on usage.
Maintaining Your Split System Air Conditioner
As the name suggests, a split system air conditioner consists of two units, one is installed on the wall of your desired room, while the other is located outside the home. Both are connected through a series of electrical wires and copper pipes. The unit on the inside acts as a fan and evaporator, while the outside unit acts as a condenser allowing for hot air to be taken in through the indoor unit and distributed outside the home. The condenser then uses outside air which is cooled and sent back inside to the indoor unit, where the fan distributes the cold air throughout the room.
When it comes to maintenance, the main focus should be on the indoor unit’s air filters – this collects dust and debris from the air and should be cleaned out every few months with a vacuum or cloth. It’s becoming increasingly important to regularly clean your split system because the filters play a role in the effectiveness of the evaporative coils. If not properly cleared, the coils can become covered in debris, limiting their functionality and overall efficiency.
The coils themselves along with pipes, electrics should also be maintained, going deeper into the system is best left for professional assistance, as any accidental damage can lead to further issues, costs and even voided warranties.
Additional ways you can help maintain the good working order of your outdoor unit is trying to limit the potential of debris being caught up in the system, keeping plants trimmed back and the area around the unit clear. Be wary of any potential hazards near the system. As a rule of thumb, these components only need to be looked at every 12 months by a professional, again depending on usage.
Maintaining Your Cassette Air Conditioner
Similar to a split system, cassette air conditioners have one outdoor unit and one indoor unit. They operate in a similar fashion using evaporative technology to dehumidify the room and reduce the temperature while introducing cold air from the outside compressor unit. The main difference between the two is the system setup. The cassette system is located as a central air conditioner in the ceiling and offers 4-way directional airflow. But in terms of maintenance, it typically follows identical rules to the split system. Filters should be cleaned every few months, especially in summer, to maintain optimal performance. Other aspects such as the pipes, electrics and the outdoor unit should be looked at by a professional every year or so!
With maintenance, consistency is key to make sure that your air conditioning unit is providing optimal heating and cooling all year long. If unsure, feel free to contact one of our air conditioning technicians to ensure professional results every time.