GNcareers, from Gulf News

AC cleaning and maintenance

AC cleaning and maintenanceImage Credit: Supplied

We can all feel the summer heat starting to creep back in, so now is the time to make sure that your air-conditioners are functioning properly and efficiently so that you won't get caught in the 40-degree heat.

Regularly cleaning and replacing the filters ensures the AC works at its peak performance. Replacing a dirty filter can reduce your AC's energy consumption by as much as 15% and help reduce your DEWA bill.

The AC evaporator coil can degrade over time if dirt is allowed to accumulate in it. This should be prevented by cleaning filters. Annual cleaning keeps it running more efficiently especially if the coil is outdoors. If this is the case, try to keep away foliage, sand and debris from it.

Other areas of maintenance to consider are the coil fins, the condensate drains and window/vent seals; however, the best approach would be to regularly hire a professional service technician to fix problems.

The technician should check for the correct amount of refrigerant; test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector; capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere; check for and seal duct leakage in central systems; measure airflow through the evaporator coil; verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating and cooling systems cannot operate simultaneously; inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary; oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear; check the accuracy of the thermostat.

Handy Hints:

• Replacing a filter can reduce consumption by 15%

• Outdoor evaporator coils must be free of sand, etc.

• Hire a professional technician to fix major problems

Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Classifieds,

The writer is a freelancer