The temperature in Singapore always remains high, and the humidity never allows you to feel comfortable that you can’t even sleep without an air-conditioner.
Maintenance and repair for your home air conditioning system can be daunting. However, with a bit of knowledge, regular AC maintenance could help you save more energy and avoid costly and untimely repairs down the road.
Like any other home appliance, it needs regular cleaning and maintenance for high long-term use. It’s normal for any appliances like air-conditioners to experience some mechanical problems from everyday use. Still, a little upkeep can go a long way and helps operate at the highest efficiency.
We’ll give you a checklist and simple steps that do not require an aircon technician to do while equipping yourself with this simple technical knowledge that will save you time and money in the long run.
Inside this article: you will learn about the following:
How to Clean the AC Filters
How to Clean the Condenser Coils
Clean the evaporator drain
Check if your AC unit needs Freon
Schedule an annual tune-up with a professional
PRECAUTION: Working around electricity and moving parts is very dangerous. You need to completely turn off the power to the condenser at the service panel inside your house before you attempt any maintenance on your air-conditioner AC system.
1. Clean the AC Filters
Over time, debris like dirt, leaves, or even cottonwood trees will build upon the interior and exterior part of your air-conditioner, causing the unit to decrease the system capacity and reduce airflow. Dirty air conditioners can lead to the growth of bacteria and microorganisms that can cause allergies and asthma affecting your entire family.
You should also cut any shrubs or other plants back from around the air conditioner to prevent impeding airflow to and from the unit.
PROTIP: You should wear a disposable face mask when cleaning your AC filters to prevent you from breathing harmful dust particles that may carry bacteria.
Here’s what you need to do:
Identify if you can clean your filter. Some AC has different filters to be cleaned or meant to be disposed of after a given amount of time.
PROTIP: If you have a replaceable filter, replace it at least every three months.
Access the filter. You should be able to locate your AC filters by looking along the return duct’s length. Some filters might be on top, below, or the side of the air handler. You might need to unscrew some screws to access the air filter.
Can’t find your AC filter? Give us a call, and we’ll help you find where the air filter is on your air handler.
Make it clean. To eliminate any accumulated dirt and grime, you can use a vacuum cleaner or use your bathtub faucet to run warm water through the filter in the opposite airflow direction. Be thorough as much as possible to effectively clean the filter, but be careful as you don’t want to tear up or damage it.
2. Clean the condenser coil
Most condensers are located outside your house and have a fan to move air, causing the condenser to collect dirt and airborne dust over the months and years of regular use making it clogged.
Here’s what you need to do:
The first step you need to do to keep your condenser clean is to cut away any vines, weeds, or any foliage nearby blocking the airflow. Cleaning the area around the coil at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) allows for adequate airflow around the condenser.
Then start cleaning the coil. You can spray the coil with water using your garden hose, not a power washer, as too much force could bend the fins inside the air conditioner.
PRECAUTION: Avoid spraying the fan if it’s still in place or it’s wiring directly with the hose.
Apply a foaming coil cleaner while they’re still wet from the hose and soak the coils for around 5 to 10 minutes, and let the foam cover entirely the whole coil, then rinse it.
PROTIP: If there’s no available commercial coil cleaning solution nearby, you can use a mixture of mild dish detergent and water.
Reassemble the unit. Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed the coil, return the fan and covers to where they belong and insert back the screws.
3. Clean the evaporator drain
Evaporator coils are one of the most important components in your air-conditioner that helps air-coolers allow the refrigerant to do your home’s cooling.
When warm, humid air is blown through the evaporator coil, your AC’s efficiency can drop, and damage can occur. Over time, mould and algae could build up and potentially plug the drain causing the system to stop cooling and even cause ice.
Here’s what you need to do:
Locate and inspect your evaporator coil. These are usually located at the supply side of the system. It could be found on the top, side, or bottom; it depends on how your furnace was installed. Once located, you should be able to tell if it needs to be clean or not.
Brush the coil. But before cleaning the evaporator coil, make sure to put down some cardboard or pan underneath the coil to catch any debris. Then use a bristle brush. Rinsed in a bucket of clean water to ensure no residual chemicals are being added to the coils.
Spray the coil with a cleaner. Spray it all over the coil and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Make sure that the cleaning solution runs down to the drain pan. Then rinse the coil and repeat the process if necessary.
Reassemble anything. Don’t forget to secure in its place and screw back everything.
4. Check if your AC unit needs Freon
If your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to, chances are you might have a leak that is allowing the Freon to escape.
In case you do have a leak in your air-conditioner, you’re going to have to seal it, replace your Freon, and then replenish your system refrigerant. Knowing how to check the Freon of your air-conditioner could help make your home comfortably cool.
PRECAUTION: While some AC maintenance tasks are suitable to do yourself at home, others need a professional aircon technician to prevent damage to your system.
Now, here’s the run-through of the task you can safely take on yourself:
Check the fan. Checking the fan is something that you can do yourself at home. Make sure to switch the AC unit then observe it closely. If the fan doesn’t move automatically, chances are the motor could be at fault.
Frost. The leaking of coolant could cause a malfunction in your AC unit, but it is easy to detect a leak since frost will start to accumulate on some system parts of the AC like motor and tubes.
Do a soap test. This could be the cheapest way to detect any leak in your AC system. Simply put a soap and water solution to the area where you suspect there may be a leak. If any coolant is escaping, you should see bubbles.
5. Schedule with an AC professional
Getting a trained and experienced technician can detect most problems before they become major ones. Proper air conditioner maintenance can help your unit run at optimal performance and ensure that it would last for as many years as possible.
Air conditioner maintenance and servicing don’t have to be complicated. You can do several ways to help your air-conditioning unit last longer and work better that will serve you for years.
Due to Singapore’s tropical weather, air conditioners have become important in our day to day lives as they keep us cool and comfortable. As days get warmer, air conditioners get all cranked up all day and all night. Sometimes, we forget that ac units need proper care and maintenance too. Skipping aircon servicing until serious issues develop can be a costly mistake. As they go through their natural wear-and-tear, they would require regular maintenance to keep them functioning in their topnotch condition. You are also saving yourself money in the long run. How much do we really know about aircon servicing? When and how often does our aircon unit need it? Let’s find out more.
Aircon Servicing 101
Aircon Servicing generally includes inspection and cleaning of the unit, and sometimes, when the aircon needs it, an overhaul. Whether you’re servicing your aircon yourself or you hired the best aircon servicing company in Singapore, an inspection of the exterior and interior parts of the unit is the first thing that should be done. This is important because it gives the technician an overview of the current status of the unit. This helps him determine the best type of aircon servicing your unit needs. Whether your aircon needs a normal/standard servicing, a chemical wash or a chemical overhaul. Moreover, this also helps determine any issues that need to be addressed or aircon parts that need to be repaired or replaced.
Normal Servicing is also called Standard Servicing or Regular Servicing in other companies. It involves cleaning both the interior and exterior parts of the unit by using different cleaning tools like cloth, brushes, or vacuum, and standard cleaning chemicals.
An aircon technician will disassemble some parts of the unit like the fan coil, air filter, and water tray to clean the unit. This ensures that dust and debris that has accumulated on the inner parts of the unit is thoroughly cleaned. This cleaning process usually takes about 25 to 30 minutes per aircon. Normal Servicing can be done on all types and ages of air conditioning units. It is also advised to get this service at least twice a year to avoid dust and debris build-up and ensure that your unit is safe from corrosion. Regular aircon servicing ensures better temperature control and cleaner air from a clean unit.
Chemical wash or chemical cleaning is a more thorough aircon cleaning method. In chemical washing, the technician partially dismantles parts of the unit like the fan or condenser coil, air filter, water tray, and other parts of the AC and washes them with special chemical solutions.
These chemical solutions remove stubborn dust, dirt, and bacteria that have accumulated all over the unit. The internal pipes are also flushed with these solutions to remove sticky debris and acids. This cleaning process takes at least an hour or so to finish per aircon.
A chemical wash is advisable for aircon units that are 5 years and older. It is also advisable for aircons with minor performance issues like stale air, decreased air coldness, and units that are serviced less frequently. A frequency of one chemical wash every two years is advised to ensure that there will be no technical faulty problems with your airconditioning unit.
Normal Servicing & Chemical Wash Process
Normal servicing and chemical wash generally have the same inspection, dismantling, and cleaning process. The only difference is that the chemical wash uses more specialised cleaning solutions. Plus, it takes longer washing and soaking of various aircon unit parts.
Checking, deodorizing and purifying filter and covers
Cleaning & checking indoor evaporator coil
Cleaning & checking indoor drainage tray
Vacuuming of drainage pan and drainage system
Checking fan bearing and lubrication (if necessary)
Checking compressor suction and discharge pressure
Aircon gas top up (FOC, if necessary)
Applying Antibacterial Spray
Tightening electrical contacts
Using several chemical-based cleaners to remove dust, oil, and dirt in various parts
There will be cases wherein a normal servicing or a chemical wash is insufficient to clean the airconditioning system thoroughly. Professionals may propose what they call a Chemical Overhaul for your unit. A chemical overhaul still involves a chemical wash process but it goes further because it will also deal with drainage pipes, heat exchange coils, and blower wheels.
The technician entirely dismantles your ac unit in this chemical overhaul process. It involves checking the air conditioning unit for any anomaly and if found, the technician will repair or replace any faulty part. It’s a total re-calibration of the aircon unit.
A chemical overhaul is advisable for newer aircon units that are 5 years and below. It is recommended for units that are experiencing issues like strange noises coming from the unit, fan bearings not working properly, dirty and damaged air filters, pipes overflowing with water, and many others.
To ensure a functional aircon and dodge a costly replacement of parts, a frequency of one chemical overhaul every two years is advised.
Where to Get Aircon Servicing and Costs
The air conditioning industry is big in Singapore and there are a lot of service companies that offer these services. Look at some considerations before choosing an aircon servicing company like company profile, experience, testimonials, process, etc. Make sure you’re choosing a reliable, honest, and transparent aircon service provider. You can find these aircon servicing companies across Singapore on Google, social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, and other local listing websites or online directories. A normal or regular servicing that doesn’t require a major dismantling of the unit would cost you around S$60 to S$150 while a chemical wash or chemical overhaul may cost you up to S$400. Note that some companies have a call-out charge on top of the service fee. Every company will offer a different experience for every customer depending on their years of experience and technical expertise.
Air conditioners have become an essential part of keeping ourselves and our family comfortable in these modern times. Purchasing an air conditioner is one thing, but having it perform optimally is another thing. If we fail to give our air conditioner the proper care and maintenance that it needs, that comfort might turn into a kind of discomfort that could come from expensive aircon repairs or worse, aircon replacement. Check out our aircon servicing checklistto see which type of aircon servicing is right for you.
Yeobuild Homecool offers aircon repair, aircon servicing, chemical wash, and chemical overhaulfor all air conditioner types and brands all over Singapore.
As days get sunnier and hotter in Singapore, air-conditioners in both commercial and residential areas are all cranked up. To keep everyone cool and comfortable during these days, air-conditioners work all day and all night. Oftentimes, getting them maintained or serviced is overlooked and this leads to premature failure and expensive repairs. One of the most common issues air conditioning units have are clogged, dirty, or broken fan coils that result in decreased cooling and higher power consumption.
Let’s take a look at what fan coils are and how to properly maintain them.
How Does a Fan Coil Work?
A fan coil or fan coil unit is a device that supplies heating or cooling in a room and consists of a heat exchanger or coil, a fan and an air filter. As part of an air conditioning system found in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, fan coils may or may not be connected to ductwork. They also may be connected to a thermostat to regulate the temperature of one or more spaces. There are different configurations of fan coils or fan coil units. They may be concealed or exposed within the area that it serves. Some may be free-standing while others may be mounted on the ceiling or on the wall and will typically include an enclosure to protect and conceal the fan coil itself.
Here’s how it typically works. Air enters through a filter to clean the air from any dust or debris and then enters into the fans. Typically a fan coil will have 1-3 fans inside depending on the size. The fans then force the air through the cooling coil which literally cools the air down and then pushes back down cooled air into the room or area.
Top Fan Coil Problems
Dirt. Dust and dirt collect on the surfaces inside the fan coil unit which decreases its overall efficiency. This is a common problem in a busy city like Singapore with all the pollution in the air. When fan coils are covered with a layer of dust and grime, heat transfer and cooling function are compromised. This will eventually lead to increased wear on the parts and system failure when not serviced.
In addition, this may also result in reduced fan speed, reduced airflow, and microbial growth inside the unit. We sure don’t want to catch ourselves in the middle of a hot sunny day with a broken ac unit or worse, get health problems due to this harmful microbial growth.
Fan Problems. Common fan problems are often caused by faulty motor, lack of lubrication, worn belts, and again, dirt and debris. These problems may also result in poor airflow and further aircon problems.
Another fan coil issue is a lack of cooling rows that results in poor cooling performance of the unit. This lack of cooling rows increases fan speed to meet the capacity and this sometimes creates noise that others may consider a sound problem.
Fan Coil Maintenance
Preventative fan coil maintenance is always better than getting your aircon unit repaired at much higher costs. In maintaining fan coils, there are three basic things you need to keep in mind: inspection, cleaning, and disinfection. These things should be done regularly especially when you’re anticipating increased aircon usage.
Inspect the interior and exterior parts of the fan coil for any debris or dust. Prepare them for DIY or professional air conditioner cleaning. Look for important signs that may lead to an aircon problem like unusual sounds, reduced airflow, improper cooling, unpleasant smell, and even moisture accumulation.
When you see any debris or dust that have accumulated on the surface of the coil, fan, belt, or air filter, you may do light cleaning with the use of a cloth, a brush, or a vacuum to clean these parts. If there are areas you are unsure of or you need your aircon to undergo a deep cleaning, call for an aircon technician near you to do it instead.
It is also important to make sure that you disinfect your air conditioning units as well. Most aircon servicing companies include this in their servicing packages. If you’re doing this yourself, an aircon antifungal or antibacterial spray that you can purchase in a hardware store or online will help curb the mould growth in the interior parts of the unit. You can also use this spray to sanitize the air filter. Let the spray sit for about 5 minutes.
If you use your home air conditioner extensively, it is important to do fan coil or aircon maintenance by cleaning and inspecting your unit periodically. Cleaning and maintaining your air-conditioner is one of the ways to enhance its lifespan and ensure efficient household energy consumption.
Singapore, being a hot and humid city, may require you to give extra attention and care to your air conditioning unit. It is recommended that you get your aircon serviced professionally. Yeobuild HomeCool, with its 41 years of experience and expertise in the HVAC industry, offers topnotch aircon repair and servicing all over Singapore.
Because of Singapore’s hot and humid climate, having a functioning air conditioning unit has become a need in every household. Aside from producing cool air inside your home, it also reduces the amount of airborne outdoor allergens that may lead to respiratory problems. If you use your aircon regularly, you would need to have them frequently cleaned and maintained. This way, your unit can function well and efficiently. One of the ways in which you could have your air conditioners cleaned is through a chemical overhaul.
A Look at Chemical Overhaul
An aircon chemical overhaul is a process where aircon technicians would use various chemicals in order to clean and recondition your aircon units. This process removes the build-up of dust and dirt particles in your aircon. It cleans deeper than chemical washing, in which your aircon components get washed down with chemicals. In an overhaul, the technicians will have to dismantle your air conditioner. After removing the different components of your units, they will spray a mixture of sanitizing chemicals. They will continue doing this until your aircon is dirt-free.
Aside from spraying a sanitizing mixture to your aircon units, the overhaul would also include the following:
cleaning the pipes, drain pans, and blower wheels with chemicals;
lubricating the fan bearings to increase efficiency;
and cleaning the fan evaporator coil in order to eliminate dirt.
When To Get a Chemical Overhaul
When one of these would happen to your aircon, you should already consider getting an overhaul. If you fail to have your aircon chemically overhauled, you will risk encountering common air conditioner problems that may ultimately break your units.
The drain pipes clog due to water leakage.
Air filters become damaged or faulty.
The fan bearings and the evaporator coils get damaged.
When the vents get clogged due to dirt and dust particles.
Longer Air Conditioner Life
Malfunctions would usually be a result of not having your aircon cleaned regularly. The more you ignore these malfunctions, the more susceptible your aircon would be to breakage. When this happens, you will risk shortening the lifespan of your aircon. On the other hand, having your aircon cleaned through an overhaul would increase the likelihood of having an aircon with a longer life span. Overhauls do not really just involve cleaning but would also include a thorough inspection of various components of your aircon.
Lower Energy and Repair Bills
Everyone would always want to save money. Because who wouldn’t, right? So as much as possible, you would always want your aircon to work well always to avoid paying extra for unnecessary repairs. When your aircon has an overhaul, it will deliver a smoother and more efficient performance. An overhaul will increase the likelihood of having your aircon work properly, saving you a lot of energy and repair bills.
Fresher and Cleaner Air
Since your aircon would be clean due to the overhaul, bacteria and dust particles that have accumulated within your unit would be removed. And when the overhaul has removed these harmful particles, you would breathe in and feel fresher and even cleaner air than ever before.
An overhaul tends to be more expensive because of the chemicals, materials, and tools that the technicians would use in order to carry out the procedure. These chemicals are usually not present in cheaper cleaning processes. Plus, the technicians themselves would need more technical skills for the cleaning. That entails more bucks.
You should note, however, that quality comes with a price. If you really want to reap the benefits that an overhaul would provide, then prepare to draw some cash from your pockets.
Presence of Potentially Harmful Chemicals
As its name would suggest, chemical overhaul involves chemicals in cleaning. The chemical mixture removes mold, bacteria, and dust particles from your aircon. However, you may feel some reactions to these chemicals in your body when you would get exposed to them. So it is best to always be careful when handling these chemicals.
As a homeowner in Singapore, regularly maintaining the efficiency of your air conditioning unit is an essential thing. This holds true, especially considering the weather that we have in Singapore. Regular aircon cleaning could easily save you a lot of money in the long run. Neglecting aircon maintenance, on the other hand, could only cause you trouble. So in our article, we are going to discuss the reasons why it is important to have regular aircon cleaning, especially with this climate in Singapore.
Reduces Repair Bills
Having a technician to regularly clean your aircon could also help you reduce repair bills. While the concept itself would be quite costly, you could actually save a whole lot more if you take a look at the bigger picture. When you do not really have your aircon serviced or cleaned, some unwarranted breakdowns could happen. And these are really expensive to repair. Getting a technician to clean your aircon, on the other hand, could save you bucks. Plus, you could also extend your unit’s life span. But more than later on.
Improves Air Quality
Research suggests that there are more allergens and pollutants that are found in indoor air than that of the outdoor air. Air conditioners would help purify the air through filters. These filters would trap dust particles. So you then have to have your filters regularly cleaned and replaced to avoid any more allergens from entering your room. If you do not clean and replace these filters regularly, then pollutants and allergens would be trapped inside your room instead of getting back into the air. Exposure to these harmful elements could be bad for your health.
Reduce Possibilities of Freezing
If you do not regularly clean your aircon, there is a chance that parts of your unit can over freeze. This can be a huge problem if left untreated. This problem can be associated with poor maintenance of the refrigerant and the cooling elements of your air conditioner. The frozen parts of your aircon can stop your unit from working properly. And if you do not work on it immediately, then you can risk breaking the whole air conditioning unit. This would only increase your aircon repair costs. So when you have regular aircon cleaning, you can ensure that the technician would clear the coils and pipes, preventing them from ever freezing up.
Extended Life Span
Research shows that the average life span of air conditioners is 15 to 20 years. However, it may go as low as eight years if you do not try to take care of your aircon properly. And having your aircon regularly cleaned is one way to take care of your own appliance and in turn, prolong the life span of your air conditioner. One of the reasons why air conditioners would break down in a short time is dust. These dust particles would corrode the parts of the air con, causing a permanent breakdown in the future. By regularly cleaning your aircon, you will reduce the rate of wear and tear of these aircon parts, and in turn, increase the lifespan of your unit.
Protects the Environment
Most importantly, having your aircon cleaned would help the environment in more ways than you would know. An air conditioning unit would leak refrigerants that release hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are greenhouse gases that could really contribute to global warming. As a matter of fact, HFCs have a higher global potential than Carbon Dioxide. So if you do not let a technician clean your unity, you would not know if your unit is already leaking gases that could potentially harm the environment.
Clearly, there are several benefits of having a regular aircon cleaning. Not only will you be saving money from premature breakdowns due to dust particles, but you will also get to enjoy a healthier environment. For more information about aircon cleaning in Singapore, you can always call air conditioning companies such as Yeobuild HomeCool to do the cleaning and repair.