When should I get my air conditioning system serviced?
It is recommended that a general maintenance checkup be performed annually. The most suitable period is spring to ensure that the system is functioning properly so that you do not encounter problems during Summer months.
Is re-gassing the air conditioning system required periodically?
Normally, using the air conditioning system does not use up the refrigerant agent and, in an ideal situation the system would not need re-gassing. However, during servicing and maintenance, the level of gas inside the system is checked and a lower level entails that there are minor leaks. Newer models have been improved to minimize the occurrence of leaks but older units are known to need re-gassing periodically.
What are the effects of refrigerant gas leaks?
1. Air conditioner efficiency is considerably reduced.
2. Since the refrigerant is responsible with cooling the compressor, a lower level of gas can lead to an inefficient cooling which can cause the compressor to overheat and breakdown which would require the replacement of the compressor and in some cases of the condensing unit as well, a very costly procedure.
3. Low refrigerant gas levels can lead to the freezing of the evaporator coil. When the air conditioning unit defrosts, it will normally restart and then freeze again.
4. Although techological breakthroughs have made it possible that the refrigerant gas used on newer models of air conditioners have a minimal impact on the environment, it is still a controlled substance and leaks will make it possible for this substance to be released in the atmosphere.
Should I arrange for regular check ups of the air conditioning system?
It is recommended that at least an annual system checkup be performed, usually during spring. The checkup will identify any potential problems which in the long run might cause your system to beak down or lose its efficiency during summer months.
What does a maintenance checkup entail?
1. Filters checking and cleaning.
2. Evaporator and condenser coils cleaning.
3. All motors are oiled if required.
4. Condenser is checked.
5. Thermostat operation is checked.
6. Electrical fittings are checked and controls are tested.
7. Refrigerant levels are checked. If the gas level is low, the entire system is checked for leaks, repaired and gas is added to reach the optimal level.
What can I do to maintain my air conditioning unit?
Make sure that the outside unit is not covered or blocked and that condenser unit can freely draw air into the system to cool it.
Here are a few handy tips:
1. Check the filters to ensure that they are not blocked. Some models can be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner and can be washed while others are disposable and can be easily replaced. This is to be done in spring.
2. Make sure that during summer the thermostat is set to cooling mode.
How do I determine the output power level of the air conditioning system for my room?
1. Measure the width and length of the room and determine the number of square meters.
2. Multiply the number of square meters by 25.
3. For each occupant in the designated area, add 400.
EX: in a couple's bedroom the total to be added would be 800.
4. Add a further of 1000 for each window in the room.
The total should give a rough estimate of the amount of BTUs needed to cool the room.
NOTE: Do not opt for a unit with a higher power output than necessary. If you get an air conditioning system with more BTUs than your room needs, it would overly humidify the room resulting in a damp environment as well as higher utility bills.
What is the correspondence between BTU and kW for my air conditioning system?
BTUs and kilowatts measure different types of quantities. A BTU (British Thermal Unit) measures heat (energy), while a kilowatt (1000 watts) measures power (energy per unit time).
Below are the BTU/KW values for air conditioners:
* 9000BTU IS 2.6kw
* 12000BTU IS 3.5kw
* 15000BTU IS 4.3kw
* 17000BTU IS 4.98kw
* 18000BTU IS 5.2kw
* 19000BTU IS 5.5kw
* 24000BTU IS 7.0kw
* 27000BTU IS 7.9kw
* 32000BTU IS 9.3kw
* 36000BTU IS 10.5kw