Thursday, 23 October 2014

What Does Your Air Conditioner Expect From You?

If you are someone who cannot imagine spending time indoors without the air conditioner, you need to look after your cooling system, just as you would take care of your pet.

The air conditioning system is a unit that has some expectations from you. If you want it to work well, work with efficiency and keep you comfortable, you need to do a few things to keep it in good shape.

Periodic Professional Maintenance: When you get your system installed for the first time, you can speak to your technician to undertake periodic maintenance and cleaning. A routine cleaning and maintenance once in every quarter is recommended. However, if you would rather not do so every quarter, an annual maintenance is a must. The checks conducted by the technician must include adjusting or replacing fan belts; inspecting coils and cleaning them; checking blowers and fans for any repairs and cleaning them; lubricating the bearings and motors; refrigerant and pressures and checking if they are right; inspecting all controls; and verifying operating temperatures. This will help to detect repairs early and save you a lot of trouble by preventing a complete shutdown.

Clean Dirty Filters: The filter needs the most attention. It is fixed in the front portion of the system thus exposed to air coming in and going out. Cleaning the filters every month will ensure that there are no clogs. Clogged filters can seriously affect your air conditioner’s working efficiency. Either clean it every month, if it is the washable type or replace it every month if it is not a washable filter. Keep checks on the filter’s MREV which should range from 1-12 for units at home. The AC’s performance will be better if the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is high.

Program the Cooling: If your preference is to keep the air conditioner at low temperature, go ahead and do so - but only when you are at home. When you are away at work, there is no need to have the air conditioning on. But if you prefer to keep it on, program it in such a way that it is set at a higher temperature if you are away and lower when you are in. A programmable thermostat will help you do so. The recent models have built in timers which will help you set the required temperature for the period when you in and also for when your away.

Clean the Ducts:If theducts, through which the air moves, are dirty, it will affect the efficiency of the unit. Dirty ducts can be responsible for upto 30% loss of the airflow, especially in window air conditioners. Ensure that the ducts are well sealed with foil tape. This will prevent air leaks. For window units, use stuffing foam or similar materials between the system and the window frame to keep it secure.

Ensure the SEER is right: The seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) and the energy-efficiency ratio (EER) are two measurements recommended by the federal law for air conditioning efficiency. The law makes it mandatory that the SEER for a central air conditioner be 13 and the EER for a window should be 8.

Draw Blinds, Run the Fan: Keeping the blinds drawn during the day will keep the indoors cooler and facilitate less work for the air conditioner. For optimum cooling efficiency, keep the ceiling fan running. This helps air circulation inside the room and less work for the air conditioning system too.

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