Tips to Prevent Summer AC Failure

Your Standby in the Summer

Keeping your air conditioner in top shape around the summer is an important practice. While the good weather means plenty of fun and activities to be had outside, having your air conditioner ready at home can provide you with a cool, dry refuge from the heat. Whether it’s taking a break from the sun, or trying to get comfortable before going to sleep, dropping the temperature by a couple degrees can feel like a blessing. But, without proper handling of your HVAC services, your air conditioner runs the risk of running inefficiently or giving out. Siv Air has got you covered with highly qualified repair technicians to get your air conditioner back up and running in case of a problem, there are plenty of tips and tricks we recommend at home to keep your air conditioner from landing you in an inconvenient situation.

Keep A Scheduled Service Date For Your Air Conditioner

When winter comes to a close, it can help to have a regularly scheduled tuneup of your HVAC services.. The lifespan of your air conditioner depends on the regularity that a technician inspects and services your unit to ensure that you are getting optimal air flow and that all the parts to your air conditioner are in working condition.

Clean and Replace Your Air Filter Regularly

As your air conditioner cycles the air through your home, old air passes through an HVAC filter. This filter helps to catch particles and pollutants in the air that may not only damage the air conditioner itself, but your health as well! Make sure to familiarize yourself with the filter that your air conditioner uses. There are often several grades of filter, specialised for use in the homes of people with allergen sensitivity, respiratory disease, or other special circumstances. Some of these filters can be cleaned, and some can’t, so be sure to check the directions on maintaining each filter.

A general rule of thumb is to check your filter every 90 days, or about half that time with pets in the house. You can easily associate this kind of maintenance with other regular household duties, major house cleaning or making rent or credit payments.

Personal Air Conditioner and Duct Maintenance

Besides changing your air filter, there are many things you can do to keep your air conditioner in peak condition without a visit from your AC specialist.

When changing your filter, inspect the duct and vent to ensure that each is clean and free of obstruction, such as dust buildup. Any duct that runs to a room of your home can be similarly inspected by simply removing the vent cover and checking inside to make sure everything is clean and functional. Don’t forget that your vent cover often has an option to open or close slightly to change the amount of air flow, and should be adjusted accordingly.

Checking these ducts can also help expose any air leaks or early signs of pest invasion, before they become problems. Gaps in the ducting can be easily repaired with a roll of aluminum tape, and will help reduce the workload placed on your air conditioner. Evidence of pest activity, such as droppings, can be addressed with traps or a call to a pest control specialist.

Your air conditioner itself can also be inspected and maintained with ease. For instance, you can check the coolant pipes that run to your air conditioner, and ensure that they are free of tears or decomposure. Old insulation material can be replaced just as easily as an air filter. If you use an outdoor air conditioner unit, you should also make sure to keep the surrounding area free and clear of any obstruction. Keep the unit raised above any grass or dirt at the base by at least a few centimeters, and make sure not to keep any plants or other objects within half a meter of the air conditioner.

You can also inspect morer in-depth issues with your unit:

  • Check your air conditioner for excess moisture, which may be associated with a clogged condensation line. Keeping this moisture under control can help prevent other damages such as mould.
  • While the air conditioner is off, check the wiring in the condensing unit of the air conditioner for signs of wear or fraying, which will help prevent electrical failure.
  • Inspect the fins of the condenser coils to make sure they are straight and clean.

These matters will likely require the attention of an HVAC professional, but at least you can get an idea of where problems may be lurking ahead of time and save yourself headaches in the long run!

Simple Home Insulation and Reducing Energy Use

When the hot weather approaches, the best measures to take in reducing the workload of your air conditioner are to keep the cool air in and hot air out. Keep doors and windows closed up tight, and make sure they are properly insulated. Close any curtains or blinds you may have on your windows, to keep radiant heat from the sun out. You may also opt for window treatments, which reduce the amount of heat that passes through them.

Try not to use anything in your home that would generate heat during the day. This includes running the oven or stove, or even having too many lights on. You may also choose a low or no heat option when washing dishes or clothes. Generally, reducing the amount of energy your home is using while the air conditioner is running will also help deter electrical issues and reduce costs.

You may also use additional fans, such as a ceiling fan or standing fan, to help cycle the air in a room. However, it should be noted to keep tabs on the energy being used, and only operate these fans in rooms that are occupied.

Smart Air Conditioner Use

Keeping the air conditioner from overworking itself can be difficult to approach, especially for those who plan to go out during the day. There’s no reason to leave the air conditioner running if nobody is at home. However, you also shouldn’t turn the air conditioner on too low later in the day, when it’s already hot, as it takes a lot of energy to cool a hot room than to keep a room cool.

You may opt for a programmable thermostat, which will help keep the pressure off your air conditioner by simply raising the temperature by a few degrees when the house will be empty, then it can begin cooling things off about a half of an hour before your return. Using more manual means, it helps to cool off the house in a graduated manner. Start at a few degrees under the current temperature, and slowly decrease the temperature by half of an hour.

Call on the Experts

At Siv Air, our qualified technicians have the expertise needed to diagnose and repair faulty systems to get them back to peak performance. We also offer hydro clean services to improve the overall efficiency of your system and flush out pollutants, dirt and other contaminants that can lurk in your air conditioning unit.

We know how important it is to keep your home cool and keep your energy bills low. Whether it’s for a small bedroom, large living area or commercial space, Siv Air can not only install but supply you with affordable air conditioning systems from brands you can trust. If it’s time to upgrade that old AC unit, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us to learn more about how our air conditioning and refrigeration services can help you stay cool all year long.

Repair or Replace – AC Tips That Could Save You Money

How Your Air Conditioner Could Be Costing You

Air conditioning units can be expensive, but they’re also a nightmare when they don’t work properly. Contrary to popular belief, it’s often more cost effective to get a new AC unit rather than continue repairing your old one. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why this is the case and warning signs that your old AC unit could be on its way out.

Lower Efficiency

All AC units have a energy rating. The higher the number of stars, the higher the efficiency.  The lower the number of stars, the more power the AC unit needs to function. Today, top of the line AC units have 4 or 5 stars. Depending on how old your unit is, your SEER may be as low as 1.

Wrong Size

Your AC unit could also be either too big or too small, and both can lead to inefficient heating. A licensed professional from Siv Air can come to your home and assess what size unit you need. They can also assess the efficiency of the airflow in your house.

Expensive Repairs

Older units need more repairs than new units do. It’s just a fact. Ultimately, the cost of a new unit will be outstripped by the repairs you would have had to do on the old unit anyway. A new AC unit should only need biannual repairs done. An old AC unit can rack up the bills if you need to replace a new part every time it’s serviced. However, if your unit is under warranty and you can have the repairs covered that way, or your warranty only requires you to pay labour costs, then you may want to simply use the warranty until it expires.

Incentives

If you do upgrade to a new AC unit, there may be rebates or discounts in store for you. Sometimes certain cities will offer incentives to upgrade your HVAC efficiency, and manufacturers and utility companies can offer rebates too. Do some research to see what kind of deals you can get in your town when installing a new AC unit.

Environmental Costs

Older AC units run on R22 gas, which depletes ozone. Hence, the government taxes it fairly heavily in order to discourage people from buying it. So if you’re investing in a new AC unit, you’re also saving yourself money that way.

When to Buy a New Unit

Now that we’ve established how a new AC unit can save you money, there’s the all-important question of “How do I know it’s time to replace my air conditioner?” Here are some signs that you may need to send your old AC unit to the afterlife (please have it responsibly recycled in order to protect the environment).

Age of the Unit

Typically, an air conditioner lasts about 10 years, so if your AC Unit has become a temperamental teenager, it’s probably worth replacing it. And if the outside part of the unit is rusty? It’s definitely time for a new one. The fan can’t work properly if it’s corroded and brittle, and you don’t need rust and debris going into your vents.

Cost of Maintenance is Greater Than Cost of Replacement

Here’s a helpful formula to determine whether or not you need to replace your unit: if the cost of your most recent or prospective AC repair multiplied by the age in years of the unit is greater than the cost of a new AC unit, then it’s time to replace it. For example, if your repair is going to cost you $500, and your unit is 15 years old, 500 x 15 = $7,500. A new AC unit typically costs around $5,000, so in this case, it’s more cost effective to simply replace the unit rather than repair it.

High Energy Bills

If your energy bills have been going up consistently but your utility company hasn’t changed its rates, this is a sign that your AC is doing, well, less with less.

It’s Just Not Cutting It Anymore

Older AC units sometimes just can’t keep up with modern needs. For example, rising environmental temperatures can render an older AC unit obsolete. A larger unit that runs more often is also less efficient than a smaller unit that runs less often, and AC units nowadays tend to be smaller. Additionally, old AC units can become noisy as they overexert themselves in order to keep up their duties. This is a sign that a replacement may be needed.

Cairns Air Conditioning Installation Services

Whether it’s AC installation, cleaning, or repair, Siv Air can help you increase your home’s energy efficiency, save you money, and ensure that the air quality in your home is the best it can be. Contact us today for any of your AC repair or replacement needs!

Health Hazards of a Dirty AC Unit

How a Dirty Air Conditioner Can Harm Your Family’s Health

It’s easy to forget about your air conditioner. If you’re able to breathe easily inside your home and you change the filter regularly, no problem, right? Not necessarily. Your air conditioner is essentially your home’s lungs, constantly collecting and filtering dust, hair, and more. Dirt accumulates over time, and before you know it, the air starts to smell a little funky. By then, you’re already breathing in years’ worth of debris. Yuck! A dirty air conditioner can negatively impact your family’s health, which is why a deep cleaning may be in order.

Poor Air Quality Leads to Respiratory Issues

If you have allergies, you probably want your home to be a safe refuge from pollen and other allergens. But if your air conditioner is dirty, it’s likely circulating those problematic particles throughout your home. Your filter can only do so much. If your AC is dirty, your allergies could be aggravated and you could experience other symptoms, such as frequent sneezing and coughing.

Dirty ACs can also raise your risk of respiratory disease. Studies have shown that they can contain everything from pesticides to heavy metals to dust mite feces. Constantly breathing in particles of mould, dust, dander, pollen, and synthetic materials can damage your airways and contribute to lasting health problems.

Dirty ACs Attract Pests

You likely clean your home and garage regularly to prevent rats, roaches, and other vermin from moving in. But what’s happening above the ceiling? Dirty ACs are the perfect breeding ground for pests who can then make their way into your home. Worse, they leave droppings and dander, and you could end up breathing in particles from that nastiness.

Also, these animals often carry pathogens and allergens, so their presence could make you sick even if you never come into direct contact with them. If your air conditioning system is dirty, you likely have some unwelcome and filthy house guests. And if they die inside your ACs, you’re in for some disgusting smells and potential pathogen spread.

Clogged Coils and Filters Lead to Moisture Build-up

Ideally, your home’s interior stays nice and dry. Your air conditioner plays a big role in that. When the evaporator coils are dirty, the condensation produced as the unit cools your home will accumulate. If you have a split system, you could have your drain back up with water, causing moisture to spread throughout the home.

As you might imagine, this causes some serious problems. High humidity levels make your ACs ideal for mould and mildew, which can contribute to respiratory problems. Bacteria such as Legionella also love warm, damp environments, and you definitely don’t want to breathe those in. Also, a dirty air conditioner will have to work harder, which means it’s likely to operate less efficiently — and therefore get even dirtier.

How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

As you can see, changing your filter is not nearly enough. Think of your air conditioner as a car. With regular use, its parts wear down and get clogged or dirty. You wouldn’t drive many kilometres every day and never change the oil or tires, right? Yet many people let their air conditioners go years without a proper cleaning.

The air wells, coils and barrel fans are the main areas where dirt can accumulate. This means that the unit itself wont’ work as well, and you’re inviting mould, vermin, and pathogens to take up residence within the system. Dust and debris don’t go away on their own. To get rid of them, you need to make aircon servicing a regular part of your home maintenance.

To fully protect and clean your system, you’ll need a professional air conditioner cleaning service. They have special equipment and techniques to remove debris and restore your air conditioner’s full functionality. If you’ve never had a deep cleaning done and you’ve had your system for at least a year, you’re definitely overdue.

Takeaways

Don’t delay — the health hazards of dirty aircons can sneak up quickly! A dirty air conditioner presents major concerns for your health and safety, and the problem won’t go away without professional treatment. Changing your filter is not enough. For optimal indoor air quality, call in professionals to deep clean your system. If it’s been a while, we recommend hydro cleaning, which allows all parts of the system to be cleaned spotless.

For professional air conditioning in the Cairns area, reach out to Siv Air. Our hydro cleaning service includes a complete inspection of your system and advanced sanitation techniques. It’s time to start breathing easier. Request an appointment today!

Does My Air Conditioner Need to be Cleaned?

Your air conditioning system circulates air throughout your home — and with it, plenty of dust and debris. That’s why it’s important to clean your air filter regularly. But does your air conditioning unit need a deeper clean?

Is your air conditioner dirty?

If you’ve been noticing higher power bills, strange odours in your home, or that your air conditioner simply isn’t keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, it may need repair — or it could just be dirty. Your system moves a lot of air throughout your home, picking up dust and dirt particles along the way. And because the system uses water to work, it’s susceptible to mould and mildew.

The truth is, while air filters play an important part in the function of your air conditioner, they won’t prevent dirt, mildew, and mould from accumulating on your system. Several components, such as the barrel fan, coils, and drainage system can collect buildup and impair your air conditioner’s function. This can happen even if you change/clean your filters. In time, the unit stops performing effectively, increasing your costs and failing to keep your home cool.

Why you should get your air conditioner cleaned

A blocked air conditioner is unhealthy and inefficient. For example, the evaporator coil plays a major role in cooling your home. If they’re coated in dirt, they simply won’t be able to function. Without a thorough cleaning, your air conditioner’s components will eventually need extensive repair which can be costly. By getting your system cleaned before it’s too late, you can spare yourself additional repairs or more extensive replacements later.

And remember, your air conditioner is blowing air throughout your home. If it’s coated in dust, mould, and allergens, your indoor air quality will significantly decrease. You may notice a musty or mildewy smell, and you could experience symptoms such as headaches, allergies or respiratory issues.

So, what can you do to keep yourself and your family comfortable and safe?

How to clean an air conditioner

Most air conditioning systems rarely get the deep clean they need, because their components are buried within your home’s structure. That’s why it’s a good idea to call in a professional to get the job done right.

In a nutshell, you should clean/change your filters every 3 months and have your air conditioners professionally cleaned every 1-2 years, depending on your usage. HVAC pros recommend a hydro clean.

What is involved with hydro cleaning?

A hydro clean is an in-depth process that improves your air conditioner’s efficiency and safety. Here are the basic steps your aircon servicing professional will take. At Siv Air, we ensure a thorough and safe hydro clean service, including:

  • Remove and clean all air conditioner covers and filters.
  • Perform the hydro cleaning of internal air conditioner components: barrel fan, evaporator coils, condensate drain pan, louvers, and fan blades. This removes any build-up and microbes that could be affecting your system.
  • Check for the correct amount of refrigerant to ensure that your system can effectively cool your home.
  • Check that all fans are operating correctly so that air can be moved without causing build-up.
  • Measure the electric current draw of the unit (volts and amps) to determine its efficiency.
  • Treat the air conditioner with all-natural tea tree products to kill microbes at no risk to your home’s occupants.

It’s time to get your air conditioner cleaned

While filter replacement is a basic part of air conditioner maintenance, it’s not enough to keep your system — and your family — healthy. A deep cleaning will prolong the life of your air conditioner and prevent odours, allergens, and dirt from spreading around your home. Plus, an efficient system will reduce your utility bills.

To schedule a hydro cleaning that improves the function of your air conditioner, contact Siv Air and get your air conditioner performing like new again. In addition to cleaning your system, we use Environmental Air Solutions natural products to prevent harmful build-up of microbes and pathogens in your aircon system. Keep your home comfortable and your family safe: book us today.

Hydro Service What It Is and Why Your Aircon Is Begging For It

We Love Air Conditioning Service As Much As You Love Your Air Conditioner

There are days where your air conditioner can seem like your best friend. But unfortunately, that “best friend” produces condensation and can therefore be a breeding ground for mould, mildew, and other allergens, especially in a hot, wet climate like we have in Cairns.

Regular maintenance is the key to not only maintaining the life of your air conditioner, but it’s also essential to your own health. Cleaning your filters every three months is important, but every year or two you need a thorough air conditioning cleaning. Microbial contamination — bacteria, mould, and fungi that can grow inside a dirty air conditioner — can be detrimental to your health and especially harmful for children or those who suffer from asthma or allergies.

The presence of mould in your air conditioner can cause wheezing, watery eyes, coughing, or even rashes or hives. The great news is that a little regular maintenance is all it will take to save your family from microbial contamination, as well as make your air conditioner last years longer. Some of the maintenance you can do on your own, but you will need a cleaning by the professional team at Siv Air every year or two.

Your Air Conditioner Needs More Than Clean Filters

Cleaning and replacing air conditioner filters is something many homeowners know how to do themselves.

To clean your aircon’s filters, turn off the unit, remove the filter, and use a vacuum attachment to clean the dust off of them. If they are washable, you can soak them for an hour in a solution of half water and half white vinegar, and then allow them to dry thoroughly before replacing them. If the filter isn’t washable or has sustained damage, it’s time to replace it. Again, this process should be completed every three months.

As important as this is, maintaining your air conditioner properly requires more than replacing its filters. A thorough, professional cleaning is necessary to truly eliminate harmful microbes and extend the life of your aircon.

The Experts on How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

Every one to two years, your air conditioner needs to be thoroughly serviced. If you have a smoker in the home or have pets, the unit will need more frequent cleaning.

At Siv Air, we don’t just clean your air conditioners we service them. A Hydro Service is more thorough than typical aircon servicing and can clean parts of your air conditioning unit not achievable by hand.

When Siv Air arrives to clean your air conditioner, we first provide a thorough assessment of what is and is not needed for your unit. Each factor is taken into account and the status is presented to you with recommendations.

If a Hydro Service is in order, we will remove the air conditioner cover and filters and take them outside for a thorough cleaning. We will then inspect the evaporator coil for contamination or evidence of icing.

As we begin the Hydro Service process, a large waterproof bag is placed under your air conditioner to collect the runoff and prevent any damage to the surrounding area. This means your air conditioning unit can stay in place, preventing any unnecessary wear and tear on it.

We then treat the barrel fan, evaporator coils, condensate drain pan, louvers, fan blades, covers, and casing with a tested and safe chemical solution specifically designed to kill microbial contamination and rinse away clean.

Once the solution has had a chance to kill the mould, fungi, and bacteria, we pressure wash all parts of the unit with a specially designed, battery-operated pressure washer until the air conditioner is thoroughly cleaned and 100% safe for use.

A Clean Aircon Is Not the End

Our air conditioner cleaning service doesn’t end when the unit is clean. Siv Air is proud to treat each unit we service with products from Environmental Air Solutions. Locally made here in Cairns with pure Australian tea tree oil, EAS products help inhibit the regrowth of mould spores, fungi, and bacteria on your air conditioning unit. Tea tree oil is noted for its antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.

Once we’ve got your unit cleaned up and mould-treated, we inspect your refrigerant level and refill it as necessary. We ensure your fans operate correctly and check the electrical draw of the unit. Finally, we even inspect your remote controls to ensure they are in proper working order.

Why Does Your Aircon Need a Hydro Service?

1.   You’ll breathe easier.

The mould and bacteria that form in your unit become airborne each time it is turned on, and your health suffers for it. This is especially true for children or those who are ill, or asthma or allergy sufferers.

The Hydro process allows us to kill microbes, fungi, and bacteria even in parts of your unit that aren’t serviceable by hand. So in the end, not only will your air conditioning unit be cleaner, but so will the air you breathe in your home.

2.   You’ll save on your energy bill and experience cooler air.

Neglecting necessary maintenance will cause a significant decline in air conditioning performance, causing energy use (and your bill!) to steadily increase.

A dirty air conditioner has to work much harder to cool the air, costing you significantly more on your energy bill each month. A clean coil and fan have a higher volume of air passing through them, meaning they cool the air far more easily. A clean aircon is a happy aircon, and a more environmentally responsible one at that.

A Hydro Service will potentially pay for itself over time on your energy bill, so when you’re saving money and looking out for your family’s health, there are no drawbacks.

3.   Your unit will work better and last longer.

Any time your air conditioner is running, it’s getting dirty. Thorough air conditioning service is required to keep it running at peak performance and efficiency.

Cleaning your filters is necessary, but it just isn’t enough. Just like your car needs regular oil changes and tune-ups, your air conditioner needs regular professional service to maintain its life span.

4.   Hydro Servicing may prevent property damage.

Blocked drains from your air conditioner can cause water leaks, potentially damaging your unit or the surrounding area, or in some cases even causing electrical shorts that can lead to fires.

Siv Air: The Premier Aircon Experts

Siv Air has provided residential and commercial air conditioning service for years, and is insured and licensed to install, service, diagnose, and repair.

At Siv Air, we want you to breathe easy, and we’ve got the expertise to make that happen. It is possible to escape the heat with a pristine air conditioner that runs more efficiently and quietly for you.

Check out our website to read more about our services and testimonials from our many satisfied customers. Contact us to schedule an appointment in Cairns or the surrounding areas in Queensland.