In summer, air conditioning is our best friend. Living in a hot, sweaty home is no fun. The kids are screaming, the dogs panting and everyone is over it. Retreating into a glorious, cool home is a top priority for everyone. But, there’s more than meets the eye. Here are 5 things that everybody ought to know about air conditioners in summer.
1. Use your timer function! The majority of new air conditioners have a built in timer function. This is a great way to ensure your air conditioner can cool the house down before you get home. The evening air is naturally cooler than day time, so instead of running your air conditioner well into the night, you can set it to come on an hour before you arrive home and then turn off at bed time.
There’s More than Meets the Eye With Temperatures
2. The lowest set point doesn’t always mean the coldest air: Perth’s summers often reach 37° or more on a regular basis and this year is no exception. Coming home on a hot day, and setting your air conditioner to 18° and max fan speed will not make the system reach 18° in an efficient and effective way. That’s just like driving from 0-100 km/h towing a boat on a trailer. Just because it says 18° on the controller does not mean the air conditioner will reach it. In-fact, setting the set point to anything below 22° when the outside temperature is 35° or more makes no difference at all.
Slip, Slop, Slap
3. Shade does make a difference: Your air conditioner’s outdoor unit is exposed to the sun and elements all year round. In summer and in direct sunlight, the unit is sucking is hot air and spitting out even hotter air. Now, you can’t stop the sun from shining altogether; however, you can stop the sun from shining inside your home. Install some blinds and curtains to stop the hot outside light from penetrating inside. Or, have the windows tinted with a UV coating material to reduce its effect.
Don’t Open the Flood Gates
4. Don’t turn on all your zones: This one is applicable to ducted reverse cycle air conditioners with zone functionality. Your air conditioner is designed to cool or heat 80% of your home at once with the zone functionality. What this means is that you only need to turn on the zones that are currently occupied. Especially during summer, there’s no point in cooling the games room if no one has been in there for 2 hours. Instead, direct the airflow to rooms that are frequently used. Such as the kitchen, living room or main hallway/passage way. This means that you will feel the cooling effect much quicker, and your system will run much more efficiently.
Remove, Clean, Re-install (Or, replace)
5. Clean your filter: If your air conditioner hasn’t been serviced for over 1 year, then there’s a chance your filter is clogged with duct, dirt and hair. In a ducted system, all air that passes through your outlets must at some point pass through the filter. For split system air conditioners, the filters are at the front and air passes through them upon leaving the unit. If your air conditioner has washable filters, remove the filter from the return air grill or front of the split system. Then, hose it down outside and leave it in the sun. Be sure it’s fully dried before re-installing it. If you’re unsure on how to do this, contact Ford & Doonan’s service department on (08) 9331 8800.