With summer fast approaching, it’s time to prepare for those hot months that lie ahead. Annual inspection for building safety and maintenance needs are recommended and may well be a necessary requirement of your Building or Landlord Insurance. These inspections should only be undertaken by a licensed and insured Building Inspector. Daylight savings changeover may be a good reminder to schedule these annual maintenance checks.
Your air conditioning is a good place to start, as it is likely in need of maintenance so that it will operate efficiently when the Victoria temperatures start to climb.
Your air conditioner is a well-built unit designed to function through many seasons of continuous use and adverse conditions. It’s easy to take it for granted and neglect the few steps necessary to keep it running smoothly for years.
To avoid the costly increases in energy consumption from an improperly maintained air conditioner, take a few simple steps that will keep it at optimal efficiency. The following tips are suggested to maintain your air conditioner and keep your cool through the summer.
- Check Coolant Level – Your air conditioner can cost as much as 20% more in energy with just a 10% decrease in system coolant. You should check the level of your air conditioner coolant once a year to keep it running at maximum efficiency.
- Clean the Condenser Coils – Another potential drain on your wallet, your air conditioner’s condenser coils need to stay clean in order to dissipate the heat that your AC is drawing out of your home. Dirty coils put more strain on the system, will cool your home less effectively, and can ultimately cause an expensive repair.
- Fan Maintenance – Air conditioning units are built to work in the outdoor elements with little maintenance, but can still do with a little TLC in areas such as the fan motor. Periodic lubrication of the motor and inspection of the belts for wear will unsure optimal performance.
- Change the Filter – Replace your air conditioner filter as prescribed by the manufacturer. Some high end filters are good for several months’ use; others may need to be replaced each month. Dirty filters cause your system to work harder, increasing energy consumption. Mark your calendar or set a reminder on your smart phone to make sure this important step isn’t overlooked.
- Consider Passive Design Alternatives – You can make your home more energy efficient, reducing the need to operate your air conditioning system. Design steps such as shading windows, installing insulation, and sealing draughts in the home will all reduce your dependency on air conditioning to save energy.
- Set Correct Temperature Range – Did you know that for every degree you set your thermostat below 24°C, your energy consumption increases by 10 percent? Keep your home temp range between 24-26° to conserve energy.
Timely maintenance of your air conditioning system combined with design alterations for a greener home will not only save energy, but reduce your home cooling and heating costs and extend the life of your system. Click here for more information on how to improve your heating and cooling or purchasing energy-efficient air-conditioners.