In Winter, air conditioning can be an after-thought. Reserved for those mornings when there is ice forming on the outside table and the car windows are fogged up. Then, having a warm home in the morning is everyone priority. But, there’s more than meets the eye. Here are 5 things that everybody ought to know about air conditioners in winter.
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 warm the house before you get up. Ah, those Sunday mornings. You might be tucked up in bed, but the kids aren’t going to take themselves to that soccer match. Make it that bit more bearable with a warm house. Set the timer for your air conditioner so that it comes on around 30 to 45 minutes before you need to get up. This will mean a nice warm house when your making that morning coffee.
Think of it like this, you wouldn’t walk up to a half marathon without stretching first. The same thinking applies to heating a cold house. Getting up and cranking the air conditioner to 28° and expecting it to warm instantly just isn’t going to happen.
2. A higher set point doesn’t always mean a warmer house
The highest set point doesn’t always mean the warmest air: Perth’s winters often reach less than 7° on a regular basis and this year is no exception. Leaving for work or coming home on a cold day, and setting your air conditioner to 28° and max fan speed will not make the system reach 28° in an efficient and effective way. That’s just like driving from 0-100 km/h towing a boat on a trailer and redlining the engine. Just because it says 28° on the controller does not mean the air conditioner will reach it. In-fact, setting the set point to anything higher than 26° when the outside temperature is 7° or less will make a very marginal difference. This is due to the temperature capacity ratings set by the manufacturer. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that hot air rises, this is referred to as air stratification. Its normal that some parts of the room will be warmer than others especially at different heights. As cold air falls, the same applies on cooling mode (but to a lesser degree). Is you have any questions regarding the heating capacity of your air conditioner, contact our service department on (08) 9331 8800.
3. Shelter does make a difference
Your air conditioner’s outdoor unit is exposed to the rain and elements all year round. In winter the unit is sucking in cold air and spitting out warm air. Now, you can’t stop the rain and cold weather altogether; however, you can reduce the opportunity of that coldness from entering your home. Install some blinds and curtains to stop the cold outside air from penetrating inside. Or, have the windows tinted with a UV coating material to reduce its effect. This will help keep the warm air in and cold air out. Also, make sure you didn’t leave that side window open or all the warm air will be sucked right out.
4. Use 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. During winter, there’s no point in heating 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 heating effect much quicker, and your system will run much more efficiently.
5. Remove, Clean, Re-install (Or, replace)
If your air conditioner hasn’t been serviced for over 1 year, then there’s a chance your filter is clogged with dust, 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 have a disposable pleated filter like this, then this cannot be washed and must be replaced.
Contact Ford & Doonan’s service department on (08) 9331 8800 to purchase a new one, or if you’d prefer us to perform this and other tasks as part of a scheduled service.