An air conditioning unit has become an essential electrical appliance that most Singapore homes have. In a country with scorching heat and an abundance of humidity, air conditioning is our best friend. Yet, like any other home appliance, improper usage coupled with poor maintenance will lead to its inevitable breakdown.
In this article, we give an overview of the top common mistakes that homeowners make with their air conditioning unit. The focus will be centred on homeowners who already have air conditioner units installed in their homes.
However, it should be noted that two other common pre-installation mistakes include purchasing the wrong unit size, and installing the unit at a sub-optimal position in the room. To help avoid these two mistakes, it is recommended that you consult an air condition service company before purchasing your unit.
At the very top of our list are homeowners who do not regularly change their air conditioning unit’s air filter. Tasked with the vital job of trapping dust and debris before they are released by the aircon unit into your room, air filters become clogged with dirt over time.
According to industry professionals, filters should be cleaned on a monthly basis and replaced every three months. When air filters are not kept clean, air flow efficiency is greatly reduced as dirt obstructs. Consequently, you can expect an increase of up to 15% in your electricity bill while your evaporator coil may freeze, thus leading to a breakdown.
With improved technology, air conditioners are usually able to perform at a high level for an extended period of time from your purchase. However, just like any other electrical appliance, wear and tear occurs, thus creating a need for regular aircon cleaning in Singapore.
Professionals have the experience and know-how to safely strip your air conditioning unit while performing a thorough inspection and clean up. For example, they may use chemical washing to ensure that your unit is truly free of foreign materials.
Other than producing a huge dead weight in your utilities bill, leaving your aircon on all the time to cool empty rooms would increase wear and tear. Furthermore, you will not be able to change air filters or carry out other simple maintenance works on the units if they are turned on 24/7.
On the other hand, not using the aircon unit for extended periods of time also increases the likelihood of the unit breaking down. While your unit sits idle, moisture from the air creates an ideal environment for mould to start forming. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to turn on the aircon unit for a couple of minutes each day. For time poor users, you can consider upgrading to a smart aircon unit with WiFi or programmable capabilities for automated operations.
Not everyone knows this, but the bright sunlight is considered as the number one nemesis of air conditioning system. Direct sunlight actually introduces significant levels of heat to the room, thus hampering the efforts of your air conditioning unit to cool the environment. To mitigate this, blinds and curtains are recommended as window treatments.
Both blinds and curtains are simple to use, lightweight and offer you versatility in controlling the amount of sunlight to allow into the room. Which in turn gives you an indirect control over the ambient temperature in the room.
This is one mistake that is most prevalent in hot and sticky Singapore. Many of us turn on our air conditioning systems and attempt to rapidly cool the room by setting the temperature to the lowest in the available range. For example, while you may want to stay in room at twenty-five degrees Celsius, however temptation convinces you to first set the thermostat to sixteen degrees Celsius in order to give yourself an immediate cool relief. Thereafter, you would normally increase the temperature back to twenty-five once the room has been cooled.
The issue here is twofold. For starters, it puts a huge strain on your air conditioning unit and your power consumption as it has to work extra hard to create such a large temperature shift. Secondly, an air conditioning unit does more than just cool the environment. It actually removes moisture from the air, thus combating our other foe, humidity. By forcing the aircon unit to reach lower than desired temperatures before scaling it back, the aircon unit cycles off during this second phase while waiting for the temperature to rise. Consequently, the room becomes humid.
A careless mistake that we are all occasionally guilty of would be leaving openings to the air conditioned room. By doing so, we are inadvertently impairing the operational efficiency of our aircon unit as both hot air and moisture is being constantly ushered into the room. With that in mind, you should always be careful to ensure that all windows and doors are kept shut when the aircon is turned on.
A related mistake would be the use of exhaust fans in kitchens or bathrooms with air conditioner units. What happens here is that cool air is being constantly pushed out of your house. As such, the exhaust fans also force your aircon unit to work doubly as hard.