Your only aid in beating the heat of the long Texas summers is your trusty air conditioner. And in order to keep your precious cooling system working smoothly for many summers, you need to make sure that everything, from the installation and maintenance, to repair, is done efficiently. Let’s have a look at some of the most important things that you should keep in mind.
Installation of Air Conditioners
How do you know that it is time to get a new air conditioner? Simple! If any one or more of the following conditions apply to your unit, it’s time to get a new one:
- Elevated energy bills: If you see that your bill has increased without any explanation, one possible culprit may be an inefficient air conditioning system. If you get an elevated energy bill, call for maintenance to have look at your system, and replace your air conditioner if the professional recommends.
- Irregular cooling: If your air conditioner is not cooling your house or workplace uniformly, it is a sign that your cooling system has become inefficient and it’s time to get a new one.
- Improper dehumidifying: If your AC is oversized, you will notice that it cools the room very quickly without removing the moisture from the air, which is the normal cooling cycle. Since the problem lies with the size of the unit, you cannot make any “repairs” to make it work efficiently, and the only choice is to replace it with a new one that matches the heat load calculation of your home or workplace.
Things to Do Before Installing a New AC Unit
Before you get a new air conditioner installed in your home or workplace, keeps these things in mind:
- Make sure that the tonnage of the new AC matches the heat calculation of the place where you are going to install it. If the unit is smaller than the optimum size, you will not get enough cooling, and if it is larger, then the humidity will not be removed from the air and the room will cool quicker, leading to a clammy atmosphere.
- The outdoor unit should be installed according to the recommended distance between the outdoor and indoor unit.
- If you have room(s) in your house with not much in use, you won’t need cooling in those areas. To cut down on wastage, consider a ductless air conditioning system (or mini split system), which takes less power to operate, allows you the flexibility to choose where you need cooling, and costs less than a central air conditioning unit.
Maintenance of Air Conditioners
Proper maintenance of your air conditioner is one of the most important tasks that help increase the lifetime of your cooling system. Regular maintenance ensures that your AC works at its maximum efficiency and provides you cooling all summer.
Simple Tips for Air Conditioner Maintenance
Taking care of your cooling system is not a difficult task. Here are some tips that will keep your unit up and running interminably through the summer.
- Clean the air filter regularly and replace it every month: Since the air passes through the air filter before reaching you, all the dust particles are layered on the filter, and if it is not cleaned regularly, the performance of your AC unit would degrade. Simply cleaning the air filter with a clean, soft cloth will do the job. However, you still need to replace the filter every month for the cooling system to work at optimum level.
- Check for damaged wiring and electrical components and replace them if needed: Apart from decreasing the efficiency of the AC unit, faulty or damaged wiring poses a huge safety threat. It is therefore important that you regularly check for any possible damages in the wiring mechanism or electrical components. If you are unsure about handling it on your own, ask for professional help.
- Clear any blockage around the condenser: A condenser needs space around it so that the air can pass in and out without any hindrance and that the heat transfer takes place efficiently. However, if there is any blockage, like weeds and plants, you will notice poor performance from your cooling system. Trim any excess vegetation that causes the blockage and maintain a clear area around the condenser.
- Clean the evaporator drain: It is the evaporator’s job to provide comfort by removing the humidity from the air and drain it away as water. This continuous water activity prompts the growth of algae and fungi, which, if left unchecked, will clog the drain and hamper the flow of water. To prevent this from happening, clean the evaporator drain regularly with a vacuum cleaner.
Repairs of Air Conditioners
Many people leave common problems with their AC units to be checked until the annual or bi-annual maintenance. Until then, the problems have festered enough to cause internal damage to the cooling system, and you may have to replace it entirely. Regular repairs are important as they get rid of problems before they grow into huge issues.
Common Issues That You Need to Watch Out For
Some of the common issues that owners of air conditioning systems face are:
- Refrigerant leaks: If there is a leak and the level of the refrigerant falls from that prescribed by the manufacturer, the heat transfer will not take place properly. If you notice a leakage, contact your AC repair service immediately, o that they can fix the leak and fill the refrigerant up to the level that was initially prescribed.
- Problem with the fan of the outdoor unit: Overheating of the compressor can occur if the outdoor fan stops working.
- Freezing of the evaporator coils: Evaporator coils can freeze due to improper maintenance, leakage of refrigerant, or failure of blower motor.
Make sure that you get the repairs done by a skilled, licensed professional. Although you can accomplish common maintenance tasks on your own, there are some issues, like leaking of refrigerant, that are better left to be handled by professionals.