Hands On!

Guide to Maintaining Your Air-Conditioner

If you have an air-conditioner (AC) humming in your home, knowing how to keep it running at its best will help it last longer.

The AC mechanism is complex, and the amount of maintenance a home owner can perform on an AC can be limited. However, there are some DIY tips to help keep your AC in good shape.

Clean the Filters

The filters help to prevent dust particles from entering the evaporator coils, and need to be cleaned at least once a month. As the AC unit runs, it tends to accumulate dirt and dust in the air filters and the condensing coils. This may block the airflow and reduce your AC’s cooling efficiency.

(Photo credit: Stay At Home Mum)

Usually, the filter is located behind your AC’s front cover, close to the evaporator coils. Make sure your AC is turned off at the mains before removing the filters. Visually inspect the filters to ensure that there are no signs of wear and tear.

  • Replace them if they are damaged.
  • However, if they are in good condition, use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any accumulated dirt and grime. Next, wash the filters with warm water and a little detergent. Rinse and wipe the filters dry before putting them back.

Clean the Coil Fins

Although the filters help to prevent dust particles from soiling the evaporator coils, some particles may still find their way into the coil fins. This may eventually affect the AC’s performance.

When cleaning the filters, clean the fins at the same time. Use either the vacuum cleaner or a brush to remove any dirt. Since the aluminium fins on the evaporator coils are usually very thin and susceptible to bending, avoid wire brushes or hard-bristle brushes as they may damage the fins. Alternatively, spray a commercial cleaner on the fins as directed, and allow the cleaner to soak in and loosen the debris. Re-apply the cleaner until the fins are clean.

Engage a Professional

In addition to self-maintenance, you can also engage an AC company to service your ACs regularly. Their services will include the cleaning of the indoor fan coils and the outdoor condenser, clearing of the drainage piping and checking of the AC system.

Here is an estimate on how frequent you might need to engage a professional servicing company:

  • AC usage less than 60 hours a week: Quarterly
  • AC usage more than 60 hours a week: Monthly

An annual chemical wash would also be required where the professionals will dismantle the individual fan coil parts for chemical wash, check the controls, thermostats, refrigerant system and other parts to ensure that your AC is in perfect working condition.

So remember to take good care of your AC so that it can last longer.

Do you have other home maintenance tips for your AC? Drop us a note at mynicehome@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg and tell us via our MyNiceHome Facebook page.

By Britina Tan
October 11, 2017


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