- A large number of issues, faults and failures relate directly to lack of service.
- A time based service frequency is often inaccurate and the potential to spend money servicing equipment every six months without having used the equipment during the preceding six months, generally just becomes a “Waste of Money”.
- Environmental factors dictate the actual required service frequency. (Clean, dirty, dusty, corrosive, usage frequency and so on)
- Exceptions to this are corrosion related failure, blocked drains and issues such as vegetation overgrowing the condenser and potential overheating of the condensing (outdoor) unit.
- A few basic rules and a bit of common sense will go a long way to ensuring trouble free usage of this equipment.
- Use a reputable company to supply and install the equipment.
- Listen to the installers advice as to where the condenser would be best placed. Most times the most aesthetically pleasing position for the “unsightly” condenser is highly unlikely to be the best position for long and reliable service. Carefully consider the consequences of not taking advice.
- The shorter the interconnecting tubing is, the cheaper, the more energy efficient and the more reliable the installation is likely to be.
- Get the installer to show you how to clean the indoor air filter. Set up your own personal service schedule to keep this item clean. Healthier, more efficient and most likely more reliable.
- Each time you clean the filter use the reminder that you have set to take a walk past the condenser. Do this while the unit is operating. Observe carefully. Is the condenser coil clean, is the casing free of dirt / dust / plant matter etcetera? Is there an unusual noise being emitted from the unit? If all these things are in good order and or clean you are likely to improve the serviceability and lifespan of the unit.
- Check your guarantee / warranty terms. Are you compliant? Non-compliance may render your warranty invalid while keeping yourself compliance may cost you nothing extra.
- If you are not sure of anything phone your supplier and ask advise. This should be freely given unless you think that a “site visit” may be necessary.
- If the unit is making an unusual noise or not quite cooling or heating as it used to, get it checked to avoid additional damage. (Be aware that ambient conditions, extreme heat or cold will impact on “what the unit used to produce” Best advice, test the unit on a subsequent day that is not quite as extreme, if it works satisfactorily it is likely that there is nothing wrong with it.)
- If the unit is underperforming it is good advice to get it checked out as soon as it is possible. It is highly likely that this will save further damage if there is a fault.
- “Short of gas” does not mean that the unit has “used up” all its gas. If it is short of gas it means that there is a “gas leak”. This must be found and repaired as soon as possible as not only will the machine operate inefficiently but the probability of further extensive damage is the most likely consequence. Get it fixed!!
- Be involved to the extent that you know exactly where to problem was or where the leak was found. It may end up being exactly the same place the next time you have a failure.
- Please note that air conditioning gas is generally, but not always, non-flammable, non-explosive and non-toxic. It can however displace the oxygen and lead to asphyxiation but this would need to be in an incredibly small space and an incredibly large leak. It is an extremely improbable possibility.
Before calling a service technician:
- Ensure that the power supply is on. If absolutely nothing is working it is likely to be a power issue.
- If the power appears to be OK switch the main serving this appliance off for a period. (Two to three minutes should be adequate) Switch the power on again and attempt to restart the unit.
- Ensure that the control or remote control battery is in good order, if not replace it and try again. Make sure that you are using the remote correctly. Ventilation only, heating only, cooling only or on automatic selection. Which is it? Unnecessary service call outs are an unnecessary expense.
- Thermostatic Control: Basic room temperature should be about 22.5 Degrees Celsius in summer and around 21 Degrees Celsius in winter. (In winter people tend to dress a bit warmer so a slightly lower temperature is generally acceptable) It serves no purpose to “swing” the control from one end of the scale to the other. It’s not going to speed up the process! Move the set point maximum 1 Degree at a time until you find the exact temperature that you are comfortable with. Wild swings will only frustrate your efforts to achieve your ultimate room condition or temperature.
- Relative humidity is generally not controlled in the standard office environment as this becomes very expensive to manage and then control. Elevated room humidity or low room humidity does have an effect on the “perceived” room condition. (A room with a low relative humidity will, at normal conditions (22.5 Deg C) be perceived to be a bit chilly while a room with an elevated relative humidity at normal conditions (22.5 Deg C) will be perceived to be a bit warmer or more clammy.) Ideal relative humidity at 22.5 Deg C would be between 50% and 55% RH) This is possible but not always possible to be achieved at all times without extensive and expensive additional equipment.
Basic record keeping and good practice:
- Good practice to manage your own record keeping. No guesswork if you’re “On It”.
- Some companies will be able to give you a full service history on each unit they service if they are your regular service provider.
- Some air conditioning systems are very simple, some are extremely complex. Depends on what’s actually needed or required by law. An operating theatre system is very different to basic comfort cooling for your office or home. Good records are great tools in identifying a problem.
- Stick to an outfit that you trust.
- Make it your business to complain when you are not happy. Most businesses would rather you complained than remained unhappy. This gives them the opportunity to improve the situation.