How to make your air con system last longer and be more efficient. In the United States, two thirds of homes have air conditioners and six percent of the average home's energy consumption goes to cooling, costing $11bn a year. It is forecast that, by the middle of this century,
more energy will be expended on cooling than heating
. An air conditioning unit requires regular servicing to function effectively and efficiently. Neglecting air conditioning service will produce a steady decline in performance while consuming more energy. It is likely that you will engage the services of a professional. If you want your air con system at home to be more energy efficient, you’ll need to check on the following on a regular basis.
Duct leakage can lose 20 to 40 percent of a unit's energy, so guarding against this can be the greatest single thing that improves efficiency in the unit and even in the home–air leakage and cable TV set-top boxes are the other two largest. Savings of hundreds of dollars a year can easily be made, so this will be
a major feature of any air conditioning service
. The main culprit is an outright disconnected duct. If there is unconditioned air, mould or mildew can result. Even death can ensue if there's a build-up of carbon monoxide. Inspection should be at least yearly, but those inclined to DIY can undertake maintenance themselves, sealing ducts with mantic – white sticky stuff. If the professional you hire for an air conditioning service intends to use actual duct tape on the ducts, get another one.
Don't forget to clean the filters
One of the most crucial maintenance tasks is to replace or clean the filters. Clogged filters block airflow, increasing energy consumption by between five and 15 percent. And the problem spreads: if normal airflow is obstructed, air that goes unfiltered can carry dirt directly to the evaporator coil, impairing heat-absorbing capacity. Some filters are reusable but some must be replaced. This cannot be left to air conditioning service time; attention must be given every month or two in warmer times or more frequently if the air con is in constant use, it resides in dusty conditions or there are furry pets around.
And then there's the evaporator coil
While sorting the air conditioner's filters will prevent the evaporator coil from soiling quickly, it will still inevitably collect dirt, reducing its ability to absorb heat. This component should be checked yearly.
Time to buy a fin comb
The fins on evaporators or condenser coils bend easily, blocking airflow. It's possible to purchase a tool known as a fin comb to comb the fins back into nigh-on their original position. From time to time, you should pass a stiff wire through a unit's drain channels because blocked channels prevent a unit from reducing humidity and you really don't want excess moisture; not only is it bad for carpets, it also makes you feel warmer. At the beginning of each cooling season, you ought to inspect the seal betwixt the air conditioner and window frame or cool air will escape. In winter, covering or removing your air conditioner will protect it; there's no need to expose it if it isn't being used.
An air conditioning service by a professional will include checking the amount of refrigerant, testing for refrigerant leaks, checking for seal duct leakage, measuring airflow, verifying the electric control sequence, inspecting electric terminals, cleaning and tightening connections, checking belts and motors and checking the accuracy of the thermostat.