The blistering heat of summer can be a sweltering nightmare for anyone, especially if you live in Cairns, or the surrounding Queensland area.
A home with a sound AC system can make a world of difference, but what about when it doesn’t cool well?
Cooling problems are often the result of poor maintenance or damage to an older unit. Let’s take a look at some of the causes of poor cooling and address some of the concerns you may have during the summer months.
Check the State of Repair
The first thing needed to assess any required maintenance of any appliance is to look at the machine itself, starting with the exterior.
Is There Any Damage?
Exterior damage is easily noticeable and a key sign of potential internal issues. External damage with ACs amounts to either having been dropped (portable/ductless/window units) or by something impacting the appliance (central air systems).
For ductless/window units, check the mounting brackets that hold the unit up (and the window itself, if applicable). If it has fallen before, it will happen again if the mounts themselves are damaged. Depending on the amount of exterior damage, significant collateral interior damage may have occurred, and the unit may need replacing.
If you find exterior damage on your portable/ductless/window unit, make sure it isn’t leaking any fluids or gasses and either take it to a professional technician or call for a home visit from a professional aircon repair service.
Check around the surrounding area for debris from trees or the building above; a falling tree branch or piece of masonry can both damage your unit and the mounts it sits on.
For larger central air units, as above, check around for fallen debris and create a plan to deal with the issue. Sometimes this can be as simple as installing a metal-framed grate above the unit to protect it while enabling unrestricted airflow. If falling debris is a more serious concern, you may have to move the unit entirely.
Are There Any Fluids or Gasses Leaking From It?
The most important thing to check for when approaching your unit is whether any Freon or Puron gas is leaking from the housing. Older devices use Freon, and newer models use Puron. Both of these gases are toxic if breathed in, so be very aware of potential leaks! If your unit is leaking gas, turn off your unit and call a licensed technician immediately!
If your unit is leaking fluid that does not appear to be evaporating, it is most likely water, which means there is potentially a problem with the drain line, which will require a call to a repair technician.
Replace the Filters
Filters are a vital part of any AC system; they filter and help purify the air they cycle, removing dust, dirt, and microbes from the air depending on the filter level. Filters need to be regularly cleaned or replaced, especially in the summer. A clogged filter leads to reduced efficiency and higher running costs.
Check the Air Ducts
There are two cleaning steps needed to maintain proper airflow and efficiency, weekly and bi-annually. Weekly is cleaning out the return air ducts and output vents when routine cleaning occurs. Run the brush head of the vacuum over the vent a few times and done.
Bi-Annual is a recommended twice a year cleaning by a professional service. Industrial vacuums and brushes will be attached to and fed through your system, removing every inch of accumulated dust, dirt, and debris that has built up over the months. A professional will also check your ducts for any loose-fitting or leaks from the ductwork during this cleaning. Once repaired, efficiency will improve, potentially by a large percentage.
Assess the Wiring
As with all appliances, check the wiring for signs of fraying or scorching. Not only can this lead to permanent fire damage, but it may also be causing the machine to turn on or off at unintended times, wreaking havoc on the efficiency level.
Cleaning the Unit
Another essential step that most don’t think of right away is thoroughly cleaning the unit’s exterior. Focus on cleaning the coils on the unit to ensure that heat exchange is at maximum efficiency. A garden hose can clean the unit’s coils as long as you take care to prevent any exposed electrical components from getting wet.
Double-check the fins’ condition on the unit and straighten any bent ones with a fin comb or flat head screwdriver. Take care as these are very delicate and bend easily. Over manipulation can result in broken fins and reduced efficiency. Ensure the ground around the unit is clear of debris like leaves, etc.
Choose the Right Temperature
In winter, the most suitable temperature to use is 19C, while in the summer, the most suitable temperature is 25C.
Remember that the higher the external temperature, the faster the indoor temperature will rise, causing a higher load on the equipment. Using these settings, a homeowner can save you money every quarter.
Consult a Professional
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.