An air conditioner is a must for any Singaporean home or business, a necessity for keeping occupants cool and comfortable in the hot weather. While most would think air conditioner maintenance a daunting task, the upkeep is simpler than you think—and more important than you think, too.
Air conditioners work by filtering air and circulating coolants through several internal and external components. Unfortunately, these components gather dust, dirt, and grime over time. The dust and debris build-up impedes normal air flow and puts stress on the unit, shortening its life span by forcing the unit to work harder than usual. Dirty air conditioners are also detrimental to your health, as the dirt affects indoor air quality and exposes residents to potentially dangerous allergens.
Thus, to function safely and efficiently, the aircon system needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained. While most home and business owners would rather leave that to the professionals, there are a few ways to do DIY aircon cleaning that will save you money and ensure your unit is in tip-top shape.
The simplest way to clean your unit is by using a vacuum cleaner. While this isn’t ideal for a deep clean, it’s sufficient for simple surface cleaning and perfect for cleaning the internal parts of the system without dismantling them entirely.
Simply run the vacuum over the surface of the unit, specifically the ducts, filters, evaporator coils, pipes, and fans. The ducts in particular need special attention, as bigger build up will require a more thorough cleaning by a professional.
If you want to step up your DIY aircon cleaning game, purchasing an air compressor with a nozzle at the end is a great alternative to using a vacuum cleaner. Though a vacuum cleaner is generally more accessible, an air compressor will clean the internal components with much more precision, blowing away dirt and debris in hard-to-reach areas.
If you haven’t done routine maintenance in a while, chances are the debris build-up on your unit will be no match for a vacuum or an air compressor. When that happens, you’ll need to resort to chemical cleaning.
Chemical cleaning is the only way to get corrosive material, dirt, mold, and other toxic gunk off the internal parts of your AC unit. What’s tricky about chemical cleaning is that it requires dismantling the AC’s parts and cleaning them one by one by immersing them in a chemical solution. For pipes and other parts of the unit that can’t be separated or dismantled, they can be cleaned by flushing the chemical solution on them and gently wiping it away.
While the task may be intimidating for anyone who hasn’t done DIY aircon cleaning before, chemical cleaning can be avoided with regular maintenance. The more you clean your unit, the less grime build-up it’ll have, and the less chance you’ll have to resort to chemical cleaning.
While certainly the most time-consuming method, a good chemical clean will prevent mold growth and enhance indoor air quality by improving the performance and cooling efficiency of your air conditioner.
Often overlooked, an air conditioner’s filter is a key component of the unit. Cleaning and changing the filter is a basic but extremely important part of AC maintenance. Filters eliminate dust, bacteria, and allergens from the air you breathe. A neglected filter can breed mold and fungi, which, when exposed to your respiratory system, can cause serious illness. Cleaning your filters every two weeks should not only circumvent any health risks, but ensure the efficacy and longevity of your unit.
To clean the filter, first remove the casing that covers it. Then, detach the filter and wipe it with a cloth before running it under water and cleansing it with a mild soap. Dry off the filter completely before re-attaching it to the unit.
Remember to change the filter if the current filter is worn out, to prevent strain on your unit. You may also want to invest in a quality filter, as basic filters can get rid of dust and bacteria, but higher quality filters can remove allergens and other harmful airborne toxins as well.
Clearing the drain is one of the easiest things to do for DIY aircon cleaning. It’s also immensely important—a backed up drain could lead to mold growth in the unit and water damage to the ceiling and walls. Fortunately, the drain only needs to be vacuumed annually.
For a more thorough cleaning, buy a cap from the hardware store to place on the end of the drain. Then, locate the end of the drain outside and clear it using a dry vacuum, sucking out all the dirt and debris. Remove the cap when done.
When it comes to cleaning your air conditioner, regular maintenance is key. While anyone is capable of DIY aircon cleaning and upkeep, exercise caution when dismantling parts or handling chemicals. If you notice any signs of damage on your unit, seek professional help for aircon servicing right away.
Oasis Aircon is a leading Singaporean aircon maintenance provider. A partner of Luce Maintenance Group, Oasis offers a wide range of aircon services, including repair, replacement, and installation. Our services are competitively priced to ensure your air conditioner stays in tip-top shape.