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The ultimate guide to getting your Air conditioner ready for summer

The ultimate guide to getting your Air conditioner ready for summer

6th September 2022

When the days get longer and the sun gets stronger than usual, it's a sure sign that summer is just around the corner.

This means that during the hot Townsville summers, it's time to quickly turn to one of the best investments you have ever made: a home air conditioner. If there was a heating option, I'm sure I would have used it during the winter as well.

However, if your air conditioner has been idling in cold weather, it may have accumulated leaves, dust and dirt, and parts in operation may require pre-season service. Just like you need to prepare for swimming in the sea, air conditioning also needs to be prepared for summer.

You don't want to be stuck in the heat in an unmaintained unit. And if you cross your fingers, hope for the best, and fail to invest, you could face repair bills, higher electricity bills, inadequate cooling, or even a unit replacement.

Get ready for summer with a little love before you turn on your devices. Regular maintenance is a good practice that keeps your system working well, a healthier home environment, and lower utility bills.

A major problem with air conditioner maintenance is whether or not to do it yourself. As for service, you should always hire a licensed refrigeration professional to work on your system, unless it involves cleaning filters which you can do yourself. But other tasks always require professional help. Never attempt maintenance work yourself, you could end up damaging your system unknowingly. 

It's a good idea to have a qualified technician look at your unit at the beginning of each summer. Get the most out of your investment by getting it taken care of by an air conditioning expert. Not only do contractors have the right tools and expertise, they can also repair or upgrade systems, keep them running efficiently, and fix minor problems before they become major problems. 

What do the professionals do?

  • Thoroughly clean the condenser and evaporator coils
  • Ensure the system is charged with the correct refrigerant (Repairing an air conditioner's closed cooling system is never a do-it-yourself job)
  • Check and tighten electrical connections
  • Flush drains
  • Inspect, clean and repair ducts
  • Inspect unit to extend air conditioner life and maximize energy efficiency and recommend repair

What can you do yourself?

There are many things you can do if you feel like it. Let's get to know the system first! Knowing the major parts is essential for routine maintenance and communicating problems to professionals.

Let's start with the basics. Air conditioners have two main units. A condenser, usually located outdoors, and an evaporator attached to an air handling unit or furnace. Together they extract heat from the indoor air using refrigeration technology. Air handlers blow cooled, dehumidified air through ducts into the rooms of the house.

Filter - Reduces the amount of dust released into the air. The filter is rectangular and can be easily removed from the indoor unit.

Duct – A circular duct that supplies cool or warm air to a room, usually in the ceiling (ducted systems) 

Thermostat - A small box mounted near the indoor unit that allows you to change or adjust the indoor temperature.

Registers - These grills are inserted into the ceiling or floor and allow air to be pumped into the home or reheated air to be returned to the room.

Safety First

Always turn off the power before performing maintenance on or near the air conditioner. The system usually has a 240-volt weatherproof circuit breaker near the outdoor unit. Turn this off as well. The outdoor unit has a built-in capacitor that stores electric charge, which is dangerous. Wait approximately 30 minutes for the charge to dissipate before starting maintenance. As an extra precaution, always avoid touching electrical parts. 

Clean or replace the filter:

Regular cleaning of this part of the device is a top priority. Some air conditioners have disposable filters, while others have reusable filters that can be washed with water. Clean reusable filters or replace disposable filters with new ones. Check your manufacturer's manual to find out how many filters your air conditioner has and where to find them. It is also important to clean or replace the filter at least once a month, even in the summer.

Clean the condenser of debris:

The condenser is the big box outside with a large fan mounted within it. This would be kept free of any objects, and nothing should block the unit. However, both the condenser and external vents can attract capricious leaves, plants, dirt, and garden debris. These can damage the unit and reduce its operating efficiency. Make sure there are no leaves or dirt. You probably know where the air conditioning ducts that bring in the cold air are, but since most of them are hidden in the ceiling or walls, you should hire a professional to do the maintenance of the ductwork. Technicians can find loose holes in ducts and sutures. Repairing ducts allows your air conditioner to function properly as a closed system, improving energy efficiency and keeping your home cool.

You can keep parts of your ducted system clean and dry by removing the register and wiping the visible part of the duct. You can also inspect these parts of the duct for wear or water damage. Moisture can accumulate in the air ducts due to condensation. This can damage the system and lead to mould growth. If you discover water damage, contact a professional.

Is your air conditioning system good for summer?

The experts have fine-tuned your system. Cleaned the condensing unit, performed all of the above checks, and replaced the filter. 

 Test time!