Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fix your Noisy Air Conditioners

Have you ever heard your air conditioner making peculiar sounds? If the answer is yes, then it is time for a little update on some important facts about your air conditioner.

You should start with observing the kind of sound that your air conditioner makes. Here are some types of sounds that air conditioners can make: clicking, tweeting, chirping, rattling, squealing, humming and grinding.

Are you surprised? Well, you ought to be! Especially, if your air conditioner is making any of these sounds.

So what is that you need to do if your air conditioner makes noises?
Noises that come from the air conditioner can be indications that there is something seriously wrong inside.

Clicking and ticking sounds: If the air conditioner makes noise similar to clicking or ticking, it might indicate that some part within is not working fine. One possibility of repetitive clicking could be a problem in the system’s relay function. In such an instance, you need to call the electrician for help. Clicking or ticking sounds in the system normally relate to problems in the electrical portions. It is best mended by an electrician.

Rattling and Squealing Sounds: If your air conditioner is making sounds that resemble rattling or squealing, it could mean that there is something wrong with the outdoor fan. On the other hand, this type of sound could also mean that there is a foreign particle inside, such as a twig or a branch, leaf, or stick. These may have fallen on the outdoor unit of the air conditioner and can be the cause of these noises. Debris such as toys, rocks or mulch can also get caught inside the system and cause the noise. It is best to call a technician to repair the fault. Their training and tools will help them detect the area of fault and rectify it immediately.

Tweeting or Chirping Noises: If you hear sounds from your air conditioner that resemble the chirping of birds, especially when the system is switched on after a long break, you need not worry. This type of noise is common at the beginning of a season. Since the unit been shut for a long time, and it indicates that the machine needs a bit of warming up. Of course, all the gadgets need to start working again after a long rest. However, if the sound continues persistently, and shows no sign of reducing, it is of concern.  In such a case, it is best to seek professional help.

Grinding or Humming Noises: If you hear your system humming, there is every possibility that it needs lubrication. It is not uncommon for the motor in the AC unit to make a humming noise. This is no great threat to the air conditioner. Yours could be one of those units that come with unsealed motors. Such systems need to be lubricated at regular intervals. The lubrication can be in the form of SAE 10 oil that needs to be placed in the oil ports. It is a good habit to oil the air conditioner motor at the beginning of each summer.

There can be other noises from the air conditioner. A central air conditioner can be noisy when there is a problem in the condenser. There are several ways to solve these, but it is best to call a technician to look into the problem. However, if your unit is very old, it you can replace it with a new one. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Use your Air Conditioner Wisely

Did you know wise usage of air conditioners saves lots of your money? As technology advances, newer models of air conditioners are available in the market. These days, room air conditioners deliver significantly more efficiency than the models designed a decade ago. So when you replace your old air conditioner with a new one, you are actually saving a lot on your utility bills.

So how can I use my air conditioner wisely?
  1. Take a tour of your house. Understand the ventilation system of your home. Take a close look at those windows that are normally kept closed. You will now come to know if you really need an air conditioner.
  2. If you still need a room air conditioner, choose either a wall-mounted or a window mounted model. While wall-mounted units will cost you more, there are chances that the leaks will be on the outside and no hassles inside. On the other hand, a window air conditioner will block that lovely view as well as the light from your window. Here is a time you will need to consider the options carefully and prioritize.
  3. Get the right size. It is important that the unit you purchase is of the right size or else the cooling will be compromised. An undersized air conditioner does not effectively handle the heat. The unit will need to overwork and lead wear and tear. The system will not perform optimally nor deliver on its full energy performance promise.
  4. SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is an important parameter for all new cooling systems. The higher the SEER, the more will be the energy efficiency. However, units with higher SEER ratings can be more expensive, but their efficiency repays that extra cost many times over during their lifespan.
  5. Look for an ENERGY STAR® models. Air conditioners that are ENERGY STAR model, means that they have an ENERGY STAR rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. This certification spells high performance and efficiency.
  6. Use the ceiling fan on when the air conditioner is in use. Set the temperature not too low. This will bring down the energy consumption and also deliver efficiency and long life.  
  7. Set the thermostat settings at ‘fan only’ at night. This will ventilate your house at night and will be huge savings over air conditioning.
  8. Humid climates need models that are effective at removing moisture from the air. These air conditioners come with a variable-speed or multi-speed blowers. You can run the unit at low speed. This will no doubt reduce the cooling efficiency somewhat but will do a good job in dehumidifying the home. It makes sense to lower speed when the day is very humid.
  9. You can also adjust the variable-speed blower, which is controlled by a humidistat. This means that your unit can automatically change the fan speed to higher or lower depending on the humidity levels in the room.
  10. A well-maintained and clean air conditioner always delivers efficiency. Periodic cleaning of the filter and the ducts ensure smooth performance and optimum cooling comfort.  A well oiled system does not have to work very hard to deliver efficiency. This, in turn, results is lesser wear and tear, and extended unit life. Schedule an inspection by a professional technician at least once a year. This will ensure that your cooling system is working safely and efficiently.