Keep cool this summer

Splits pageStay cool during the hot season by ensuring your air conditioner is up to running smoothly!

Follow this simple guide to ensure your air conditioner is working optimally before the summer heat waves come:

Get your air conditioner serviced

It is recommended that you get one major service every 12 months by a reputable contractor. Regular servicing extends the life of the unit, as well as ensuring that the unit is running at optimal efficiency. Dirt build up on the coils and filters reduces heat transfer, reducing the units efficiency and increases strain on all the major components, especially the compressor.

Work that can be done by the owner: ?

Regular cleaning of the filter is key – clogged filters don’t let enough air through to the indoor coil and this affects the capacity and longevity of the unit dramatically. Clogged filters also lead to bad airflow which means you may battle to cool/heat the entire room, leading to hot/cold spots. Clogged filters also cause condensate water dripping from the indoor unit. 

Work that can be done by the contractor:

  • Clean the indoor unit filters
  • Clean the indoor unit’s coils with coil cleaner
  • Outdoor unit’s coils cleaned with coil cleaner
  • Check heating and cooling operation
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Test incoming voltages
  • Inspect all electrical connections
  • Inspect and clean drip trays and check drain pumps and pipework
  • Inspect and clean indoor unit fan blades, lubricate bush if necessary
  • Inspect ductwork, ensure there is no leakage on ducting if applicable
  • Test the general operation of the unit and rectify rattles and any other issues

 Can you service your air conditioner DIY?

No. You can rinse the air filters of the indoor unit once a month or at least every three months as they are easy to remove, and easy to clean and then to put back, however coil cleaning and the system checking and other servicing tasks should be carried out by a qualified air conditioning technician.




What does it mean if my system is not?blowing hot or cool air?

First check the mode the air conditioner is currently set to (eg fan only mode).

The temperature setting may need adjusting (eg 30°C instead of 22° C ). The unit will not energise the compressor if these settings are wrong.

The unit might have a refrigerant leak, damaged compressor, faulty pc board or faulty sensors – best to have it checked by a contractor.

Air conditioner How often should the gas be topped up?

Air conditioners have a closed refrigerant system so the gas does not evaporate or go anywhere, unless there is a leak. Once the leak has been repaired it should function as normal and not need to be topped up again. If a unit was properly installed it can run with the same gas until it is replaced years later.

Be weary of service providers that insist you need to “top up” the gas regularly.

If the gas does need to be topped up or some of it needs to be removed, it usually happens during installation or if it wasn’t pressurised in the first place.

What are the costs involved when getting your air conditioner serviced?

According to Metraclark, he industry average for a service is between R325 – R395 for hi-wall splits, depending on the application and how far the contractor needs to travel. This doesn’t include parts and repaiars.

Fourways Airconditionings says that the costs normally rang from R350 to R600, depending on a number of variables, such as the distance to site, the number of units on the site and so on.

Compiled by Kayla Myburgh for Home Inspirations. Source: Fouways Airconditioning and Metraclark.

Photograph credits: Metraclark and Samsung.

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