A home or office air conditioning system is a big part of what makes the space comfortable and relaxing. Over time, it is normal for your unit to have to work harder to produce the same level of cooling as it initially did. Although your AC system may seem in perfect working order, you must perform some tasks regularly to ensure your aircon stays in tip-top condition.
Cleaning an aircon system is a crucial component of proper maintenance, which will keep your system working perfectly for longer. This means less likelihood of expensive repairs as well as lower utility bills.
Can I Clean an Aircon Unit Myself?
While you can clean an air conditioning unit yourself, you may find the steady hand and patience required to do the job properly make it a task best left to a professional. If your air conditioning unit is very dirty or shows signs of advanced wear, it's always best to hire an expert.
As a homeowner, you can save money on AC filter cleaning by buying a spare set of filters when you buy your system. Having another set means you can change the dirty set without waiting for them to be washed and dried. You can clean and dry the dirty set yourself at your leisure without having to pay a technician to do it.
If you learn how to access, remove, wash, and refit the filters, you can do the job by yourself. So, if you hire a professional, notice what they do, and if you have watched them carefully, you should be able to do the job yourself the next time.
How Frequently Should Aircon Be Cleaned?
Ideally, even if there is nothing noticeably wrong with your aircon, you should have it cleaned or clean it yourself at least once a year to ensure that it works at peak efficiency during the summer season when you need it the most.
However, if the exterior part of the system is in an area where potential blockage hazards, such as a very leafy region, or near a field with dandelions, it could need cleaning more often.
How Long Does It Take to Clean An Aircon?
This depends on many factors, including the type of system, the size, the number of filters, how dirty they are, the nature of the dirt, etc. As a ballpark figure, it will take around 1 to 2 hours to thoroughly clean the exterior part of an aircon system and around an hour to clean the interior part. A small residential single-part unit will generally take around an hour.
What Maintenance Does Air Conditioning Need?
The most critical maintenance task for aircon systems is to replace or clean the filters routinely.
Other important tasks include checking your evaporator coil every year and cleaning it if necessary with a specialised cleaner. Dirt on the coil reduces airflow and decreases its ability to absorb heat.
Evaporator and condenser coils have fins that are bend easily, which may prevent airflow through the coil. A fin comb will rectify this by arranging the fins back into their original position.
Clogged drain channels stop a unit from overcoming humidity, and as a result, excess dampness could spoil the room. So, occasionally pass a stiff wire brush through the aircon's drain channels.
Hiring A Professional
If your air conditioning needs more than routine maintenance, it is best to hire a professional technician. A specialist will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system by:
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Testing for refrigerant leaks with a leak detector
- Checking for seal duct leaks in central systems
- Measure the airflow through the evaporator coil
- Making sure the cooling and heating systems cannot run concurrently
- Inspect electricity points, tighten connections, and use a non-conductive film if required
- Checking the efficiency of the thermostat.
What Happens If You Don't Get Your Aircon Serviced?
Like all electrical appliances, over the years, an aircon system will experience wear and tear, and it is normal to see a decrease in performance.
Using aircon cleaning and maintenance products regularly on your AC installation helps avoid potential problems before they lead to an expensive repair job.
Not servicing your aircon regularly will lower the level of comfort in the home as the cooling power will be compromised. Over time, the system will likely sustain irreparable damages. These damages will result in high costs to repair or replace the parts. So, not maintaining an air conditioning system properly is a false economy that will cost you in the long run.