Air Conditioner Maintenance — Why is it Important & What Happens if You Neglect it?
A well-maintained air conditioner helps homeowners to beat the unbearable summer heat. Routine maintenance is essential for the cooling system to avoid major breakdowns.
However, neglecting AC maintenance can result in insufficient cooling and other technical problems. Prevent these glitches by keeping the air conditioner in top-notch condition.
Most homeowners fail to clean or maintain the air conditioner units properly. But, inadequate maintenance or cleaning can lead to costly AC repairs. You may have to replace the existing device with a new one for neglecting maintenance. Thus, try to perform the necessary maintenance jobs to avoid these issues.
Here are the benefits you can get with scheduled AC maintenance:
1. Extend the Air conditioner’s Lifespan
The latest energy-efficient air conditioners can last up to 15-20 years. Do you use an old AC model? It can last around 10-12 years. But, you can maximise the device’s longevity to 25-30 years with annual maintenance. Thus, connect with AC Repair Dubai for a thorough inspection of the device.
Clogged or dirty air filters can affect the AC’s functionality. The cooling device might reduce efficiency if the filters are not cleaned on time. However, you can keep these units clean and clog-free with routine maintenance.
During the inspection, check the following to extend the AC’s average life expectancy:
- Thermostat settings
- The air conditioner’s airflow
- The device’s cooling mode
- Air ducts
- Leaks in the outdoor units
2. Helps to Avoid the Chronic Diseases
Every homeowner should consider replacing the air filters after 3 months. Otherwise, the contaminated filters can cause severe health issues, such as allergies and asthma.
Moreover, dirty filters can be especially dangerous for individuals with low immune systems. Replace the AC filters on time to prevent health problems.
Clogged air filters prevent the device from circulating sufficient cool air. As a result, the fan motor works harder and causes overheating issues.
Heat may also build up around the heat exchanger and generate life-threatening issues. Damaged heat exchangers can also lead to system failure.
Moreover, dirty air filters result in short-cycling and high utility bills. It can also freeze the evaporator coils by blocking the airflow. Thus, professionals recommend changing the AC filters frequently. It will improve the indoor air quality and the home’s hygiene level.
When is the right Time to Replace an AC Filter?
Certain signs indicate the air conditioner needs immediate filter replacement. Is the cooling system circulating warm air? It’s high time to change the existing filters with new ones.
Do you get an unpleasant odour after turning on the AC? Disposing of the clogged filters might solve this problem, improving the AC’s efficiency and keeping the indoor air allergen-free.
3. Reduces Unwanted Wear and Tear
Nobody wants their air conditioners to stop working on a hot-humid day. Moreover, fixing a dysfunctional AC can be challenging. Most homeowners use D-I-Y hacks to repair faulty AC, leading to more damage. However, you can avoid this unwanted breakdown with annual maintenance.
It might be difficult for an individual to find out the faulty AC parts. You might have noticed a frozen unit, but what causes this problem? It might seem confusing, so you should hire an AC service expert. These professionals can determine the source of the AC glitches and fix them quickly.
Besides, the experts opt for a thorough inspection of the AC during the tune-up. At that time, if they find any worn-out parts, they replace them right away. Hence, you can avoid potential vulnerabilities by repairing the AC on time.
4. Saves the Excess Energy Consumption
A poorly maintained AC consumes more energy to reduce the room temperature. Many factors can be responsible for this high energy consumption. One of the major causes of this issue is clogged filters.
An AC’s filter could accumulate dust or debris due to inadequate cleaning. These contaminants can obstruct the airflow and impair the heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing these dirty filters with new ones can prevent energy wastage by 5%-15%. Moreover, you can keep the room cool and comfortable by changing the filters.
Air conditioners can also use a lot of energy when fan motors stop working. Don’t try to repair this unit with online troubleshooting hacks. Instead, hire an expert, replace the fan motor and reduce the energy consumption.
Besides, you should check these units to save money on monthly utility bills:
- AC ducts
5. Improve the Air Conditioner’s Cooling Efficiency
No need to make an emergency call to a technician when the AC is in optimal condition. You will be at ease, knowing the device will work without glitches. However, this could be only possible with routine AC maintenance. Thus, perform important maintenance jobs timely to boost its performance.
Did you know an AC reduces its cooling efficiency by 7% due to improper maintenance? So, take care of the device. Otherwise, the AC might develop issues which can be hard to fix.
You must check these AC units to improve the cooling capacity:
- Condenser unit
- Thermostat settings
- Drain line
When Should You Opt for Air Conditioner Maintenance?
Homeowners should consider AC maintenance once a year before the onset of summer. However, you may need a monthly AC inspection in a hot-humid place like Dubai because the AC tends to get damaged in dusty surroundings. So, keep the device in good condition to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
Certain signs indicate the AC needs immediate maintenance or repair. Hire a professional if you notice the following issues:
- AC is running continuously even after turning it off.
- Frozen outdoor coils and refrigerant lines.
- The device is not cooling or running.
- The air conditioning system is powering on and off randomly.
- Excess humidity of moisture in the room.
- Unusual loud noises from the cooling system.
Consequences of Neglecting Air Conditioner Maintenance
Most homeowners assume cleaning the AC would be time-consuming. Thus, they often overlook this power-intensive home appliance. Arguably, the AC is the most important device, especially during summer. So, try to keep it a tip-top shape to avoid unwanted repairs.
Here are the issues that can develop due to inadequate AC maintenance:
Excess Dust Accumulation
An AC not only cools down the room temperature but it’s also responsible for filtering out dust. The filters get clogged with dust or debris over time, reducing efficiency. Clogged filters can be the breeding ground for pests. Thus, you should clean these units properly to keep these problems away.
Increases the Risk Level
Using an ill-maintained air conditioner can be risky for homeowners. However, you can fix these safety concerns with routine maintenance. An AC’s refrigerant may leak due to overuse, which can further pose severe health risks.
Most advanced air conditioners contain harmful R-22 refrigerants. This refrigerant gas can cause nausea and other respiratory issues. Besides, if you don’t repair the referent on time, the leaked gas can cause skin irritation.
Switch off the AC if you notice any of these symptoms. After that, contact an expert and replace the problematic AC unit without delay.
Causes Fire Hazards
Air conditioner systems that aren’t properly maintained can develop defects over time. The device may overheat with dirty condenser coils, increasing the risk of fire hazards.
Moreover, the wire insulation can break without proper maintenance. If the motor runs for a prolonged period, it can lead to an “electrical” short.
More Repairs and Replacement
Do you know the AC units can stop working due to the lubrication issue? Air conditioner components, like fans or coils, require periodic oiling; otherwise, these units may get damaged or become unresponsive.
Thus, hire an AC maintenance expert to lubricate these AC units. It will keep the fan or coil in good condition and offer efficient cooling.
The longer the AC goes without maintenance, the higher the chance of breaking down. Some parts of the cooling system may even get damaged over time. It can affect the device’s performance if you take a long time to repair these units.
Let’s take the AC’s ductwork, for example. If there is a hole in the ductwork, the cool air will escape through this damaged part. This will increase the humidity and moisture level in the room. However, maintaining the device can prevent the ductwork from getting damaged.
Best Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips Homeowners Should Follow
Like other electronic devices, AC also requires regular servicing and proper attention. Routine maintenance is essential to get sufficient cool air during the summer months. Besides, you can prevent the spread of air-borne diseases by maintaining the device.
Here are the maintenance tasks that you must perform to keep the AC in its best condition:
1. Check the Power Connection
It’s essential to check whether the AC is on or off before starting the maintenance work. Additionally, you must note in which position the isolation switch is.
Is the isolator switch in the “ON ” position? It indicates the air conditioner is still on. Turn off the isolator so that electricity can’t run through the device.
Note that just because the isolator off does not mean the power is off. Broken isolator switches can allow power to flow into the units even if it is in the “OFF” position. It could be risky to clean the AC units when the power is on. Thus, repair the faulty isolator switch first before making the AC clog-free.
2. Inspect and Clean the Air Filters
Cleaning the clogged filters helps you to maintain the air conditioning system. Do you know how to clean this AC unit? First, you have to open the unit using a screwdriver and remove the filter. Some ACs have multiple filters; thus, check and remove them.
Don’t know where the air filter is located? Check the product’s manual for help. You can also access the manufacturer’s website to find the filter’s location. However, remove the dust build-up with a vacuum cleaner if you have found the filter. You must wash the filter if the vacuum hose doesn’t remove the dust.
How to Clean the Air Conditioner’s Clogged/Dirty Filters?
Fill a bucket with water and mix white vinegar in it. Pour the water and vinegar solution into the filter to remove the dust build-up. Allow the AC filter to soak in the solution for at least 1 hour. Rinse it off with water and let it dry for 20-25 minutes.
Additionally, you can use a garden hose to clean the dirty filters. Don’t exert excess pressure while cleaning, it could damage the filter. Did you notice any sign of wear and tear in the air filters? Instead of reinstalling the filter in the AC, consider changing it.
3. Clean the Condensate Drain
A clogged condensate drain can cause water leakage issues. Blockage can occur when algae or mould growth inside the drain line. Components from the indoor unit, such as insulation, can also clog this unit. Thus, you must clean this unit to remove the clog.
Here is how homeowners can make the condensate drain clog-free:
- Locate the air conditioner’s condensate drain line first
- Find the T-shaped vent on the drain line, remove the cap and inspect for blockage
- Add ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar to the condensate drain
- Use the water and dish soap mixture if you get the smell from the drain line
- Let the solution dry for 30 minutes, and then rinse it off with water
4. Check the AC Temperature
You must check the temperature differences between the supply and return air vents. The supply vent air may have a higher temperature than the return vent air. Contact an expert if you find these two vent air temperatures the same.
Use a calibrated thermometer to get accurate temperature readings. The AC works fine if the supply and return air vents have a 10-degree difference. However, if the temperature difference is more than that, the AC is at fault.
How should you check the Supply and Return Air Vent’s Temperature?
Are you using a digital thermometer? Hold it near the air vent for at least 30-60 seconds to get the accurate temperature. However, in the case of a glass thermometer, the time limit is approximately 7-10 minutes.
5. Check the Insulation
Insulation around the AC’s copper piping needs to be checked daily. This unit reduces the moisture level and maintains heat exchange efficiency. Insulation also prevents the refrigerant from changing the gas into the liquid quickly. By doing this, the unit protects the AC compressor from damage.
An AC insulation is comparatively easier to find than others. It is black or white pipework which is connected to the outdoor unit. The latest air conditioners’ insulation is made with polyurethane or foam rubbers. However, you will find glass pipe insulation in the old air conditioning systems.
Other Essential Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips:
Refrigerant plays an integral role in the heat transfer process. Thus, you must keep this unit in good condition. If the refrigerant level is low, consider refilling it immediately.
You should inspect and test the AC controller functions. Replace its battery once or twice a year to ensure it’s working fine. Besides, homeowners must clean the split AC with a dry cloth, which will help keep the indoor air allergen-free.
Further, you also need to check whether the outdoor unit level is correct. If the unit isn’t levelled properly, you have to reinstall it. Besides, you must check the wirings and the pipeworks of the AC.
Ensure there is no duct leakage in the central air conditioning system. Adjust the thermostat settings and tighten the electric terminals, if required. Inspect and clean these units properly and keep the AC summer-ready. Go for it!