If you have any type of mechanical system, such as an air conditioning unit it will require regular maintenance to maximise its efficiency and ensure that it continues to operate as it should. When systems are well maintained, their operational efficiency is optimised making them more cost-effective to run, reducing your utility bills in the process. With good maintenance, you can also prolong the lifespan of your equipment and avoid costly repairs too.
The indoor air quality of your home or business is important, even more so when you have an air conditioning unit installed.
The following should be included as a minimum on your maintenance checklist:
- Drain pans and drain lines should be thoroughly cleaned on a quarterly basis. To ensure effective drainage and reduce the risk of water damage to buildings, condensate treatment should be undertaken.
- Belts should be tightened and checked quarterly too. This process is crucial to maintain the correct balance of air volume which facilitates the refrigeration capacity and cooling ability of the unit. If a belt breaks the system will freeze up which can result in failure of the compressor and potential water damage which can be costly to remedy. Environments which generate a lot of heat could also result in employee downtime or lower productivity because employees are not working at a comfortable temperature.
- Coils should be cleaned on a yearly basis. This maintenance task can help you to reduce electricity consumption while improving the overall efficiency of the air conditioning unit too. It will also increase the lifespan of the system and maintain cleaner air while reducing repair costs.
- Refrigerant levels should be checked on a regular basis, so too should pressure. This will ensure that the dehumidification process is carried out correctly which maintains moisture levels at a more comfortable level.
- Electrical connections and motors should be checked regularly and should be oiled where necessary to reduce friction. Over time this will reduce heat build-up and therefore energy consumption which can make running the system more cost-effective.
- All vents for your air conditioning unit should be kept free from obstruction. When vents are obstructed, this can reduce the airflow which can result in the system becoming frozen.
Regular filter changes are a crucial consideration when considering air quality. They are by far the most important aspect of air conditioning systems and specifically your maintenance schedule. Clean filters will reduce allergens in your environment, circulate clean air and enable the right refrigeration process to take place at the right pressure. In the workplace, this is important because your employees will be more comfortable and productive. Filters can only be cleaned however if the unit that has been fitted with a reusable filter. Where these don’t exist, you will simply need to remove the old filter and replace it with a suitable alternative.
An air conditioning unit in certain places such as cities will often need to be cleaned and changed more frequently than a unit used in a rural area. Typically, a filter should be changed around once a month. Over time, air filters become clogged with dust, allergens and dirt, gradually decreasing the airflow around the building. This puts more pressure on the air conditioning unit requiring it to work harder and the trapped particles can then be passed out of the system into the air that you breathe reducing the quality of the air in your surroundings increasing the risk of allergens and asthma.
Another important maintenance task is to check the wiring of the system. Ensure that the electricity to the system is switched off before any electrical maintenance work is carried out. Remove the access panel and check whether there are any broken wires, melted insulation or burned elements. The contactor switch should be located and determined whether it shows a lot of pitting. If it does it will need replacement. Loose connections should also be checked. Electrical installation should only be maintained by a qualified professional such as an air conditioning engineer and/or electrician.
The thermostat is one of the most important features of your air conditioning system because it is used to control the temperature. Make sure that any thermostats that you have with the system are working properly. Working in an environment that is too hot or too cold because of a faulty thermostat can be uncomfortable.
To enable the efficient and effective functioning of the air conditioning unit, the fan must be fully operational. To ensure that it’s working properly turn off the power and look closely at the fan to make sure that it hasn’t been chipped or cracked. If you identify any issues, the fan should be replaced immediately and certainly before the system is used again.
Part of the air conditioning unit will be situated outdoors and is therefore exposed to the elements. Over time dirt, leaves, insects and other debris will collect around the unit. If this is left unchecked it can reduce airflow and reduce the capacity of the air conditioning unit. Ensure that the power to the unit is off and then carefully remove any debris or dirt from exterior air conditioning components.
Prolonging the life of your air conditioning system and preventing costly repairs begins with a regular and thorough maintenance schedule. A well-maintained system will reduce running costs, eliminate costly repairs and ensure that the air quality in your building remains consistently high.