Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Air Conditioning Advice

By Owen Jones

Air conditioning units will work for many years with very little trouble, if you keep your apparatus properly maintained. However, this is not peculiar to home air conditioning systems. Nearly everything we do these days can be done with the assistance of a mechanical or electrical device. However, some things are non-user maintainable and will break down after a while.

Home air conditioning systems are intended to last a long time, as long as they are correctly maintained. If you are loathe to do this maintenance yourself, you will need to call in a professional, but there is a lot of maintenance anyone can perform. Even the most ham-fisted klutz. If you carry out these straightforward cool air conditioning tips, you will only need a professional's help once every two years, which will save you a fortune.

There are three fundamental varieties of fixed home air conditioning units: central air conditioners; split air conditioners and room air conditioners. There is also a fourth category, the portable conditioner, but there are too many types of these to generalize.

Central Air Conditioners - this is made up of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. You can clean or change the air filter in the indoor apparatus according to its type. Wire filters can be cleaned, glass fibre filters must be replaced. You ought to do this monthly during the hot season in order to maintain peak performance and air quality.

You should also clean any dust or grease from the fan blades. Lightly oil the fan shaft and any bearings too. If your system is belt driven make sure that the belt is not worn and that it is neither too tight nor too slack, which means that there should be some give, but that it should not be so loose as to slip. Like a car's fan belt. Degrease and clean the coil of tubing.

The outside system should be treated in the same manner as the inside box, but you ought to also clear any undergrowth or rubbish from around it to permit an unrestricted airflow. If it is in direct sunlight while in operation, erect a lean-to to give it shade and shelter from rain and snow in the winter.

Split Air Conditioning Systems - the outdoor unit should be serviced as above, but the indoor air handler is different as there is no fan driving air through a system of ducts. At least once a year, take out the internal filter and wash it or clean it according to the maker's instruction manual. If you do this often enough, you will not have to clean the coil.

If you overlook a few maintenance sessions, wash the coil as above. Service the outside unit as above as well.

Room Air Conditioners - take out the grille and wash or replace the filter at least once every summer. Filters can normally be washed three times and then ought to be replaced. If you fail to do this, you will have to wash the coil, as above. In the winter, cover the grille with cling film or a tarp, to prevent cold drafts.

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