What's it all about?

Everything needs a little TLC be it man or machine, your car needs to be serviced, your windows cleaned and even your cat needs to be taken to the vet every now and then to ensure it's properly able to do cat things. Air Conditioning is no different and actually keeping your Air Conditioning unit maintained can save you money. But what’s actually involved and how does it help? Well allow me to explain.

Keep it clean

One of the main reasons to get your Air Conditioning serviced is to keep it clean, the indoor unit pulls in the air from the room it's in, passes that air across a coil of copper tube (this bit makes it cold or hot) then blows the air back out into the room. Any particles in the air will be pulled through the unit and as the coil condensates (in cooling mode) things tend to stick to it. We’re not just talking about dust and fluff, although they do seem to like air conditioning units, airborne bacteria is the big concern.

If you’ve ever turned on an older, slightly rattly Air Conditioning unit and noticed a musty sort of smell, then congratulations! You’ve inhaled mold that has manage to cultivate on the coil or within the drip tray. Now while this most likely isn’t going to harm you it’s not very nice and if someone has been in that room who has a cold, then its very not nice indeed (The cold virus likes cold, damp places).

Just to go back to that dust and fluff for a moment, on the inside of the unit there are some filters that the air has to pass through before it gets to the coil, these stop said dust and fluff from actually sticking to the coil, however, these filters can get blocked and as they get blocked the unit has to work harder to get the required air through. Also if the coil doesn’t get enough air passing across it then it will start to over condense which in simple terms means make a lot of water, more than the unit can handle, this in turn leads to water starting to drip from the unit, dirty water, with dust, fluff, mold and bacteria in it. Cleaning seems like a good idea now right?

There is also the fan to think about, if that has accumulated dirt on its blades then the motor has to work harder to spin the fan, it can also go out of balance causing it to rattle or even damage itself. Remember that this is also the bit that throws the cold (or warm) air out into the room and what was once airborne can (and most likely will) become airborne again.

More than just cleaning

During a service other than just cleaning up these dirty parts, special chemicals will be sprayed onto the coil. These biocides kill anything that may have started growing and hinder anything else from thriving. A similar solution can also be applied to the drip tray which can also filter on down through the drain clearing that of any blockages or nastiness.

The cleanliness of your system isn’t the only thing to think about though, during the service all moving parts will be checked to ensure they’re moving as they should be and if something is not then it can be put back on the straight and narrow before it can cause any harm. The electrical connections can also be checked, it only takes a drop of rain water to pass between two poorly connected wires for them to arc (this is a bad thing) and make a connection that wasn’t supposed to be made.

Does your Air Conditioning unit have a pump? Then that has to be checked as well to ensure the drain lines are clear and the pump can actually function without hindrance of any kind. Drain lines on pumps are actually rather small (9mm) and it doesn’t take much for them to block which could lead to a water leak, or worse the pump actually burning out.

In conclusion

That’s a lot to take in so far and we’ve not really even touched the outdoor unit yet, don’t worry I won’t list everything to be checked but I think you can see by now that these systems do need a lot of care to keep them running at 100%, and remember if they aren’t running at 100% then they are costing you more money than they should, also the longer they aren’t running at 100% the worse they will get, costing you more and more until finally something gives up and breaks and then it’ll cost you a lot more indeed.

I think so far I’ve painted a rather bleak picture but for most systems you only need to get them serviced once a year (more if they see a lot of use) and if you do it regularly then you have nothing to worry about. However if you wait until the unit is already dirty before getting it serviced, well then you’re going to have a harder time of it.

So in short terms keep your Air Conditioning clean and get it checked out regularly, it’ll last longer, cost you less and smell better. If you would like to talk to us about maintaining your air conditioning equipment, then please contact us

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