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The Best Way to Run Your Air Conditioner in Summer

The Best Way to Run Your
Air Conditioner in Summer

Welcome to summer! Long, hot days and warm relaxed nights. Sounds perfect, right? But, summer can quickly turn into a nightmare when your air conditioner isn’t working effectively. If you’re looking to learn the best way to run your air conditioner this summer, then this blog post is perfect for you

Ideal Room Set Point Temperature

In general, air conditioners work best in cooling mode when the temperature is set between 22°c to 24°c with a medium or high fan speed setting. You can change it according to your preferences at any given moment, but the efficiency may be impacted negatively.

The closer the set point on the air conditioning controller is to the outside temperature, the more efficient your air conditioner will run. The set point is the temperature the user inputs into the controller.

Ford & Doonan believe that the ideal set point, in cooling mode, is between 22°c and 24°c considering that the outside temperature is 36°c or below. When the outside temperature goes over 36°c, the efficiency of the unit may be negatively impacted. This is not a fault of the air conditioner, it is due to the capacity ratings set by the air conditioning unit manufacturers and not by Ford & Doonan.

These temperature capacity ratings are set by the manufacturer to satisfy a variety of climates across the world.

By selecting the set point between 22°c and 24°c, the air conditioner will be operating in an efficient, cooling mode.

Ideal Number of Zones to Have Open

If you are running a zoned ducted air conditioning system, you could be losing a lot of efficiency if you’re not careful. The more zones you have open the greater change in performance you’ll notice.

If your air conditioner is trying to cool all bedrooms in your home, the kitchen and living room on a 36°c day, the air conditioner’s performance will be impacted. This is due to the temperature capacity set by the air conditioning unit manufacturers.

Ford & Doonan recommend using your zoned ducted air conditioner on a day/night principle. This means, in the morning only turn on zones you’re currently using at the moment. For example, the living and kitchen area. Then, in the evening, switch those areas off and turn on the bedroom zones.

Ideal Time of Day to Run your Air Conditioner

The time you run your air conditioner during the day has a larger impact on the performance than you may think. On a very hot summer day, when the maximum temperature is set to be above 36°c, Ford & Doonan recommend turning your air conditioner on in the morning, and leaving it on cooling mode between 22°c and 24°c for the duration of the day.

You may be thinking, “but won’t that use a lot of electricity?” The answer will surprise you.

Most modern reverse cycle air conditioners feature inverter technology. An Inverter is used to control the speed of the compressor, so that the unit can continuously regulate the temperature. A microcontroller can sample ambient air temperature and adjust the speed of the compressor accordingly. Air conditioners equipped with inverter technology have increased efficiency when compared to non-inverter counterparts, leading to an increased lifespan due to fluctuations in cooling loads being minimised.

Another benefit of modern air conditioning controllers is that you can download an app for your mobile phone and remotely control your air conditioner. This allows you to turn on/off the air conditioner, along with switching the fan speed too as shown below on the AirTouch 4. Perfect for improving efficiency and creating the ideal comfort.

A Secret Performance Tip

When your air conditioner is running, be sure to close doors to areas of your home that aren’t currently receiving cooled conditioned air. This will reduce the chance of hot air from flowing into a cool room. But, be sure to leave a gap/jar to rooms that are receiving conditioned air, so that air recirculation can occur. This is important for maintaining efficiency.

Ideal Fan Speed

The fan speed that you use does in-fact impact on the overall heating or cooling performance of your air conditioning unit. Ford & Doonan recommend operating the air conditioner on a high speed fan setting. This delivers the system’s maximum capacity. At night, selecting a lower fan speed setting or turning less zones on can also be beneficial.

On modern air conditioning controllers, that can be simply done via the app

Ideal Settings for Performance and Efficiency

As mentioned above, the ideal fan speed setting in cooling mode is high fan speed. Later on in the night, we recommend reducing this to medium or low speed.

The ideal mode for your air conditioner is to select either heating or cooling mode, not auto mode. We don’t recommend using the “auto mode” in residential applications as there is potential for your system to switch between heating and cooling during the same operating mode. If you want to cool your home, select cooling. If you want to heat your home, select heating.

The “dry mode” operates to dehumidify the air conditioned rooms. Dry mode will operate on cooling mode at predetermined times for set periods even when the room is at the set point temperature. This allows the air conditioner to remove moisture without cooling the air.

The “fan mode” will allow for air circulation. There is no cooling, heating or dehumidification occurring when this is selected. Ford & Doonan recommend using this during night periods when it’s not too hot or cold, but air movement is required.

Clean the Filters Frequently

Regardless of whether your air conditioning system is a reverse cycle ducted or split system, it contains an air filter. The job of the filter is to remove dust and other particles from the air to keep the air clean. Over time, the filters get clogged and decrease efficiency.

Ducted air conditioners usually come with a standard washable filter or a disposable pleated filter. If it’s a washable one, you must take the filter out, wash it, leave it to dry and reinstall it every 6-12 months. You can do the process yourself using this video below

Mesh Washable Ducted Filter

Pleated Disposable Ducted Filter

On the other hand, if you have a pleated disposable air filter, you must replace it with another one within the specified period. It does depend on the use, but 6-12 months is the perfect time in general. You can watch how to remove this filter in the video below

Split System Filter

If you are using a split system air conditioner, chances are the filter is washable. This can be removed, washed, left to dry and then re-installed. If the filter looks damaged, just order a replacement via Ford & Doonan’s Service Department.

In Summary

Air conditioners are a lifesaver in the scorching heat of a Perth summer. Not taking care of the system will result in severe discomfort at home or in your office. But now you know the best technique! On a hot summer’s day, turn the air conditioner on in the morning before the peak temperature. Turn on the zones to rooms that are being used at the moment. Select high fan speed setting. If the air conditioner isn’t meeting your expectations, then watch one of our videos above on removing and cleaning/replacing the filter. If the air conditioner still isn’t working properly, it may need a service. Contact our service department below.

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