As the mercury rises, many homeowners will be switching on their air conditioning systems to keep their house cool. Electrician Jeff Aranas from Jeff Aranas Electrical answered some questions on the importance of having your unit serviced professionally ahead of summer, and what to consider if you're planning to have one installed
Why is it important to have your air conditioner serviced professionally?
The filter fitted on any air conditioning unit is designed to filter all dust particles from the air including pollens, pet hairs and dust mites. As you use your air conditioner, the filter builds up with this dust and dirt and if your unit isn't cleaning, these will begin to circulate in the air and cycle around your home which could cause hay fever, allergies or asthma.
How often should you do this?
Normally once a year, but in my opinion, it is best to conduct a service as the season changes from winter to summer and summer to winter. Your local tradie may be able to provide you further advice on servicing, depending on what air conditioning unit you have.
Regular servicing will ensure your unit is always running at optimal capacity.
What happens to an air conditioner if you don't get it serviced?
The longer you leave it between services, the more blocked your air conditioning filter will be. This can cause health issues, especially if you live with anyone who suffers from asthma and hay fever. If your air conditioner has a dirty evaporator or condenser this will affect the efficiency of your unit which can impact the running cost. Regular servicing will ensure your unit is always running at optimal capacity.
What are the main types of air conditioners?
In homes, the most common types of air conditioning units used are windows, ducted, split, portable, cassette, and evaporative. Each different unit type requires a different service, which is why you should always find a local expert - try online or via digital directories such as the hipages app - it's not to be attempted as a DIY job.
What should people consider if they want to install an air conditioner?
There are a number of factors that go into selecting the best type and size unit for your home, so it's important to speak with an expert who can take you through your options.
I always suggest considering a unit with a bigger capacity than what you need for the room. This will run more efficiently in the long run as you won't be pushing it to its maximum capability, which uses less power and therefore less cost.
Before you engage a tradie to build your new air conditioning unit, ensure they have the appropriate public liability insurance in case of accidental damage that could be caused to your property before and after installation. This insurance would mean that you are covered for the repairs.
All homeowners should also check the licence of their chosen tradesperson before work commences i.e do they have an electrical and air conditioning contractor license or Refrigerant Handling Licence? Be sure to check your state government's regulations to ensure your tradie has the correct licence required.