Gone are the days when an AC was considered a luxury. Today, it has grown from a luxury to a necessity. It has become quite common in India as well. Thanks to the harsh summers!
But, everyone who owns an AC unit knows that it comes at the cost of increasing the electricity bills.
Running an AC unit in the peak summers skyrocket the electricity bills. But, nothing seems ideal than the cool breeze of AC units to get some relief from the scorching summers.
So, maintaining the AC is very important. Because irregular maintenance increases the operating cost of an AC.
You can read our reviews & buying guide on Best Air Conditioners.
To help you avoid unnecessarily high energy bills, we’ll discuss some smart tips to maintain the AC unit.
Why Do We Need to Maintain the AC Unit?
The benefits of maintaining the AC are:
- It ensures that the working of an AC doesn’t break down in the peak summers.
- It ensures that your AC consumes less power.
- It helps your AC run better.
- It helps you save the money on electricity bills.
How to Maintain the AC Unit?
We need to take care of the two aspects that help us in maintaining the AC unit in the long run. Those two aspects are:
- A bit of care one has to take at the time of installation of an AC unit.
- Regular maintenance of the AC unit.
Now, we’ll talk about these two aspects one by one.
At The Time of Installation
A little care at the initial stage can save you big bucks.
Here are some of the points you should keep in mind when the installation is in process:
Avoid Installing the AC in a Cramped Space
Make sure to leave a lot of space around the AC. You may need this space while carrying out the repairs in the AC unit in future.
If we install it in a cramped space, it becomes difficult to clean the filters every fortnight.
There should be a sufficient space so that you can easily remove and clean the filters.
Location of the AC Unit
It should be at the height of 7 to 10 feet from the floor. It ensures that most of the chilled air is used in cooling the room and isn’t just cooling the hot roof.
It is best to locate the indoor AC unit in the centre portion of the walls. It ensures proper circulation of cool air throughout the room.
Install the Outdoor Unit in an Open Area
The outdoor unit should be located in an open and shaded portion on the terrace.
If you are going to install the same on a window sill, ensure that the window is on the east or north side of the home. The reason is that it limits the exposure of the condenser to the sun. It increases the performance of the AC unit.
Maintenance Tips for the AC Units
Some of the tips to maintain the AC unit are as under:
Keep Your AC Unit Clean
The dirtier your AC filter is, the harder it would have to work to keep the room cool.
Make sure to clean the AC filters before the onset of summers.
Accumulation of dust on the filters affects the flow of air in the AC unit.
Clean the filters and get your unit serviced once every three months.
Don’t Let the Air Seep Out
Poorly insulated space, cracks, worn doors and windows allow the air to escape from your room.
So, insulate the gaps carefully.
Close the Blinds of the Windows
A window letting in the heat of the sun heats up the thermostat.
Close your window blinds when the AC is running.
You can use carpets and rugs inside the room. It ensures that the cool air doesn’t escape from below the doors.
Don’t Place the Electronic Devices Near the Thermostat
Computers, laptops, televisions, music systems, etc. emit a lot of heat when they are in use.
Don’t place these instruments near the AC thermostat. It affects the functioning of the thermostat and makes the condenser work harder.
Also, switch off the instruments after use.
Raise the Temperature of the Thermostat
Increase the temperature doesn’t affect the comfort level.
Many people think that leaving the AC at the same temperature while they go out of the house saves money. They believe that the AC wouldn’t have to work hard to recool the room.
However, it’s not true.
The cheapest way to use an AC is to turn the thermostat up when you leave the house.
If the temperature of the thermostat is closer to the temperature outside, your AC has to work less. As a result, you save a lot on the energy bills.
The ideal temperature for thermostat setting is 24-25 degree Celsius.
Use Ceiling Fans Along With ACs
It is a common belief that ceiling fans shouldn’t be used along with ACs.
The reason is that the ceiling fans push the hot air down and increases the load on AC. It is true to some extent.
But, running a ceiling fan along with an AC can save you big bucks!
All you have to do is to amp up the thermostat, i.e. raise the thermostat temperature by 2-4 degrees.
Increasing the temperature of the AC unit reduces the energy bills.
Cover the Compressor in Winters
We don’t use AC in the winters. Covering the compressors of AC in winters ensures that it remains fit to work in the summers.
Keep a Professional Check on the AC
If you find that your AC needs more than regular maintenance, hire a professional service technician.
The service person will test the thermostat, check the refrigerant gas levels and fixes the problems in the internals of the AC.
It will keep the AC unit running for years.
Keep a Check on the Blocked Water Drain
Water should drain out of the AC unit. If the drain holes at the rear end of the AC are blocked, it can damage the coils. It also causes water leakage.
Moreover, it can also cause electrical short circuits.
Star Ratings in an AC
Buying an AC of the right tonnage is important.
Also, have a good knowledge of the air conditioner jargon like ISEER, EER and BEE star ratings.
Remember, ‘More stars-More savings.’
Does the ‘Quick Cool’ Option in the ACs Help to Save Electricity?
The ‘Quick Cool’ option sets the temperature of an AC to 16 or 18 degree Celsius. It means that the compressor will stop working only when the temperature drops to 16 or 18 degrees.
We have discussed that 25 degree Celsius is a comfortable temperature.
While coming down from 35-40 degree Celsius, it’s sure that it would cross 25 degree Celsius!
If you had set the temperature at 24 or 25, it would have stopped much earlier. It would have a lot of saved electricity.
So, it is clear that ‘Quick Cool’ option doesn’t help as it consumes more energy to bring the temperature to 18 degree Celsius.
Buying an AC is like an investment. It is important to maintain it so that it serves you well for a long time.
We saw that maintaining an AC unit is not that tough.
Make sure to get your AC in the right condition before the next summers.
Use these tips, save energy and pay less to cool your home this summer.