Summer is well and truly here now and the slog through the heat has begun. Before you can even start planning your escape to cooler climes, there are more pressing issues such as making your own property AC’s are functioning correctly. Manage it right, and can relax in your own cool oasis of peace and tranquility but get it wrong and your blood could boil.
– AC maintenance is key to energy savings, how should one go about its maintenance?
Correctly serviced A/C’s cool more efficiently and therefore requires less power to operate. Within a split A/C as used in most villa’s within Dubai, this means that the main compressor that produces the cooling doesn’t need to work as hard or as long to cool your rooms to the required temperature. This not only saves you money in terms of less energy usage but also in repair costs as the components of your A/C will last longer if they are not required to work as hard.
An A/C system can be very dangerous to service as you are essentially mixing water and electricity so we strongly advise that you employ a professional company to service your AC’s unless you have been trained professionally regarding how to service an air conditioning system safely.
– How long should you be using an air-conditioner?
Air conditioning systems are installed to cool a room down to the temperature you require as the occupier of the room. Therefore you should use the air conditioning for the period of time you are occupying the room if you need the temperature to be reduced.
Throughout the summer months, the question tends to be if the A/C should be left on all the time or just when the room is occupied. Generally speaking, in this instance it is still preferable to only turn on the A/C when the room is used to minimize your energy bills. However some planning may be required as it can take a significant period of time for a room to be cooled to a desired temperature which can be an issue (especially for a bedroom when you wish to go to sleep). Furthermore turning on and off an A/C on a regular basis can add to the system wear so in general, a minimum operation period of 30 minutes would be preferable.
– How often do you need to clean it? How do you go about it?
How often your AC needs to be cleaned depends upon many factors. Most importantly is the type of air conditioning you have. In many high rise and a few villa developments, the properties use a chilled water A/C system which as the name suggests uses very cold water to provide the necessary cooling. As the domestic part of this A/C system is inside the property, they tend to need servicing less frequently and often only twice a year if the systems are not too heavily used within a good quality air environment.
The other main type of A/C unit used in the UAE is a split unit where half of the A/C is located outside (often on the roof of the property) where it is exposed to the weather and the cooling is provided by refrigerant gas. With this system, this outdoor unit is more likely to get choked with sand quicker thereby preventing effective cooling and the gas levels and components need to be regularly serviced to ensure correct and efficient operation.
For split units, the length of time required between services also depends on external factors such as how much sand blows into the A/C, the external temperature within which the outdoor A/C is working and ventilation as well as normal factors such as usage and age of the system. As a general guide 3-4 times per year is the norm.
A standard AC service for a split A/C undertaken by a We Will Fix It Services technician includes:-
1. On The Roof:
Condenser Filters-Power-spray to remove sand thereby allowing the heat to escape effectively
Compressors- These pump the gas around the system and their electrical condition is checked as well as their ability to pump the gas to warn of future failures
Filter Dryers- These keep the gas clean and dry and must be replaced if blocked.
Gas Pressures- Check pressures & add Freon gas if required
Electrical Checks- To ensure the A/C’s remain safe
2. Inside The Property:
Evaporator Filters- Clean and disinfect to kill off bacteria.
Fan Motors- Check they are operating correctly and housings are not rattling.
Evaporator Wastes- Check they are not blocked to prevent water leaking through the ceiling.
Clean all vents- clear any dust and debris to improve air quality and visual appearance.
Temperature Check- Measure the air temperature using a laser temperature gauge to ensure unit operating correctly.