Maintenance is key to ensuring your air conditioner works efficiently and issue-free this summer

Make the most of it: Using your air conditioner effectively is the best way to keep your home cool and your power bill down.
Make the most of it: Using your air conditioner effectively is the best way to keep your home cool and your power bill down.

On those hot summer days there’s nothing better than relaxing under the cool breeze of your air conditioner.

If your car is due for a service do you just wash it?

Air conditioner and refrigeration mechanic Andrew Cochrane

There are some vital steps to take for both evaporative units and reverse cycle to ensure they’re working to their optimum capacity.

Air conditioner and refrigeration mechanic Andrew Cochrane said all air conditioners need to be serviced before summer.

“There are two reasons for this,” he said.

“One is to make sure the machine is running at optimum efficiently and two is to pick up any faults so they can be rectified before the heat turns up.

“It’s much easier to get a mechanic there presummer than it is on a 45 degree day.”

An air conditioner service should cost between $100 and $120.

This cost is generally offset by the improved efficiency or if a small issue is picked up early it is much easier and cheaper to fix before it’s actually broken.

When finding someone to service your air conditioner make sure they’re a trade-qualified air conditioner and refrigeration mechanic by asking to see see their licence. 

Having someone who is not qualified wash your air conditioner before summer simply isn’t enough.

“If your car is due for a service do you just wash it?” Mr Cochrane said.

Once your service is out of the way and those hot summer days have set in there are a few steps you can take to ensure your home is kept as cool as possible.

Have the blinds down on all north-facing windows to keep the hot sun out.

“If your air conditioner has zoning use it as it makes it efficient,” Mr Cochrane said.

Temperature wise, Australian standard dictates that residential units should be set at 24 degrees in summer and 22.5 degrees for commercial property.

There are some important differences when it comes to using a reverse cycle and evaporative units.

All doors and windows should be closed for reverse cycle units to work at their optimum capacity, while they should be open for evaporative to work well. 

In reverse cycle units, the filters need to be kept clean. 

During summer they should be cleaned at least once a month.

This can be done by the homeowner or an air conditioner and refrigeration mechanic, however, the intal presummer service must be done by a mechanic.

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