The season of greatest AC use is arriving in Puerto Vallarta and Nayarit. Make sure your AC equipment is in optimal condition and up to the job of keeping your cool and comfortable. It is important to preform regular maintenance to optimize the operation and increase the useful life of the equipment. Let’s face it, who really wants to pay to replace an AC before its time? Lack of equipment care could lead to decreased performance and unexpected repairs. You should also know that AC equipment running in poor condition can consume up to 20% more energy.
At Shelter Home Inspections, our inspectors often observe AC units that do not receive the proper service and care. For this reason, we wanted to share basic recommendations that you can perform yourself to help keep your AC up to date and running efficiently.
1. AC equipment is the largest consuming electrical appliance in your home, and energy use can increase 40% or more on hotter days. You must take into account that for each degree of temperature greater you want to cool your room, approximately 8% more energy will be consumed. It is recommended to keep the equipment at a constant temperature between 24 and 26 C. At this temperature, you are guaranteeing comfort, and the wear & tear and consumption of your equipment will be less.
2. Clean your air conditioning equipment’s filters once a month as part of preventive maintenance. This is important to avoid the equipment consuming more energy than necessary and continues to work well. Dirt accumulated in the fan filter can cause a reduction in cooling performance and efficiency. Keeping the filters clean will make cooling the air easier, and you’ll be able to gain up to 10% greater energy efficiency. Homeowners can perform such maintenance by periodically cleaning the filters. Removing and installing the filters is an easy task and the use of a special tools is not necessary.
3. Paint the ‘armaflex’ insulating material that covers the pipes or conduits of the external AC equipment. You must touch up the paint whenever worn and use an exterior type of paint. This will protect the insulation material from sun exposure and prevent deterioration. It is important to keep the refrigerant tube completely insulated to avoid condensation and losses in cooling efficiency.
4. It is recommended to make continuous use of the AC equipment. Keeping the equipment running at least once a month for 10 minutes will prevent insects from nesting inside the equipment. It is very common to find failures in AC equipment due to insect damage to the electronic cards/computers.
5. If for any reason you are not going to use the equipment for a while, we recommend removing the batteries from the remote controls. Most of the problems with the controls are due to the batteries reacting with the humidity in the environment rendering the controls unusable.
6. Specialized inspection and maintenance of the equipment by an expert is recommended every 6 months. However, if you notice that your air conditioning unit is not as efficient as you would like, that is, it does not cool or is only cooling slightly. The most common cause could be leakage or loss of refrigerant gas. You can detect this yourself by making a visual inspection of the indoor and outdoor equipment and noting that the copper tubing in the outdoor unit has frozen or the unit is leaking excessively. If so, your AC may need immediate service.
Although the above recommendations can be performed by homeowners, it is advisable for the general maintenance service of the equipment be carried out by a technician. The technician will detect any abnormality with the equipment in addition to checking the optimal operation of each component,
Shelter Home Inspections has technical personnel for inspection, repair, and maintenance of your AC equipment if you ever need assistance in the Puerto Vallarta area as far north as Punta Mita and Sayulita.