Just like with a human being, regular air conditioner maintenance is vital to the health and longevity of your AC unit. Especially in a country as hot and as humid as Singapore, an air conditioner isn’t a choice—it’s a necessity. Ignoring the upkeep of your AC system may cause your air conditioner to break down, and imagine if it conks out in the middle of the broiling hot summer months?
While it’s best to hire an aircon servicing company to regularly maintain your aircon parts, you can also save money by doing the simple maintenance tasks on your own and hiring a professional for the more complex work. In either case, it’s best that you understand what the aircon parts are and how they work. Aside from helping you maintain your unit, familiarizing yourself with the aircon parts has the added bonus of helping you troubleshoot problems early, preventing any major breakdowns.
Most air conditioners have three major parts: the compressor, the condenser, and the evaporator. These parts work together to cool the air. Hence, the repair costs for these are also quite high, and DIY-repairing them is not at all advisable. However, knowing how these parts work and how to maintain them should help you detect problems early before they cause any real damage to your unit.
The compressor plays a major role in the overall cooling system. The compressor takes the heat in the air and throws it outside, allowing the cooled air to circulate inside your room. It does this by turning the gas refrigerant that circles through the inner components into a liquid, releasing heat into the outdoors in the process.
The compressor is a complex mechanism inside the air conditioner and should be checked and maintained every few months by a professional. DIY repair and maintenance isn’t advisable in this case.
Another super important aircon part, the condenser extracts heat from the interior of the unit and helps to transfer it outside. The condenser is made of hollow coils, and refrigerant gas travels to the condenser and enters the coil as part of the cooling process.
The moisture inside your air conditioner could react with the compressor coils and form a corrosive substance, which may eventually damage the condenser and other parts of your aircon. This is a serious problem, and only professionals can deal with this issue. Technicians will use the process of chemical cleaning to get rid of the corrosive acid. However, if the damage is substantial, they may ask you to replace some internal aircon parts.
The evaporator plays a part in the last step of the cooling process. The refrigerant in liquid form comes from the condenser and into the evaporator to turn back into its gaseous state, allowing the cycle of cooling to return to the beginning.
While the evaporator coil is not directly exposed to dust and grime, it may still accumulate dust particles over time. When the evaporator coil accumulates dirt, it begins to run slower and less efficiently, using more electricity. It’s important to clean the coils regularly with a vacuum cleaner. It would also be helpful to clean the aluminum fins with a soft brush—but be careful because the thin fins are prone to bending!
The expansion valve controls the quantity of liquid refrigerant entering the evaporator. This is a complex aircon part and will need to be checked regularly by a professional every few months.
If you’ve noticed recently that your air conditioner isn’t cooling the room as much as it used to, there could be a problem with the filters. If you aren’t cleaning the filters regularly, dirt and dust will build on them and prevent the cool air from entering into the evaporator coil. You can DIY-maintain this by washing the filters every month with water and a gentle detergent.
The thermostats are the sensors that allow you to set your desired temperature of the room. The air conditioner will continue to cool the air until the temperature reaches the desired level you’ve inputted on the thermostat. The sensor in the thermostat will notify the air conditioner once the room temperature cools down to that level and the AC will stop working for a while. Then, the AC will start up again once the temperature of the air inside the room rises.
The thermostat needs to be checked regularly by a maintenance professional, as it’s a technical component of your air conditioner.
One of the most underrated aircon parts, the muffler controls the sound that the compressor creates while it’s working. The original sound of the compressor will be very loud and thus, extremely annoying. The muffler is important as it helps you enjoy the comfortable temperature in a silent environment.
You’ll know the muffler needs maintenance once the air conditioner becomes very noisy. Make sure to have the muffler checked every few months by an AC professional.
Clogging of the drainage system is a common cause of air conditioning failure or insufficient cooling. This happens when dust particles build up in the drain channels and accumulate over time, causing a blockage in the draining system.
You’ll know there’s a problem with the drain pipes when there’s excessive moisture in your rooms, or if the AC unit is leaking. An aircon servicing professionally will need to perform a chemical clean to get ride of the clogging in the drain tubes.
However, if the drain channels are still not excessively clogged, consider cleaning them on your own by running a solid, copper wire through the channel and then flushing the drains with water.
The outside fan of your aircon may stop working or run slowly due to improper maintenance. The fan helps to transfer the heat your aircon takes from the indoors to the outside of your home. If it stops working, it may cause overheating issues and in the long run, will affect the performance of the compressor. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the outside fan is essential, and can be done at home by wiping down the fan and getting rid of dirt and dust that accumulates.
Caring for Your Air Conditioner
While DIY-cleaning can be a money-saver, multiple components of your AC unit will need professional servicing every few months. If you’re looking for an aircon services company to hire for regular maintenance, be sure to choose one that has a proven track record of quality service.
At Oasis Aircon Singapore, our highly-skilled AC experts will make sure your air conditioner stays brand new in quality and efficiency.