For ultimate comfort at home or in the office during the country’s so-called “summer” season, you need an aircon or air cooler. Philippines’ tropical weather can be notoriously hot and humid, so such appliances can make things infinitely more pleasant.
However, there may be times when you feel as if your air conditioner isn’t delivering your expected cooling performance. When this happens, don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can do to make your aircon run a little cooler. Here are just a few:
Clean or Change the Filter
One of the first things you should do if you notice that your aircon isn’t performing up to standard is to check the filter. If it’s clogged with dirt, it means your air conditioner has to work harder to reach the set temperature; it will also need more energy to do so.
Ideally, you should inspect the air filter every one to two months. When it’s dirty, replace or clean it ASAP. Do note that there are some air conditioner or air cooler filters that are designed for single use only. Don’t wash or clean these, but rather install a new one. Meanwhile, washable filters can last up to five years or longer. Check the label to make sure that your aircon’s filter is reusable.
Sometimes, the reason for your aircon’s sub-optimal cooling is not because there’s something wrong with the appliance. Rather, there may be some clutter in the room that’s blocking the airflow. For example, there may be tall cabinets or shelves that get in the way of proper circulation. Try rearranging the furniture and see if that makes a difference.
Clean and Straighten the Fins
An air conditioner has both condenser fins and evaporator fins. The condenser fins help move warm air away from the aircon unit itself; meanwhile, the evaporator fins help cool the outside air before sending it through the aircon’s vents. If these fins are dirty or bent, they can affect your air conditioner’s performance. In particular, they can restrict or even prevent efficient air exchange.
To get rid of debris lodged in the fins and to straighten them at the same time, you can use a fin comb. Just run it through the fins, as you would use a comb for your hair. However, be careful with your strokes or you risk bending the fins even further.
Inspect and Clean the Coils
The above-mentioned fins are part of the condenser (which releases heat outwards) and the evaporator (which pulls or absorbs the heat from indoor air). If these components arecovered with a layer of dust and dirt, your aircon will not perform optimally. Make sure they’re clean so they can function optimally. If you aren’t sure how to approach this task, call professional aircon technicians or service centers.
Seal the Room Where the Aircon Is
An air conditioner works by cooling the air within a space then recirculating it. This simply means that if warm air continuously seeps in, the air won’t get sufficiently cool even if your aircon is running 24/7.
Fortunately, it’s easy to fix this dilemma: seal the room’s doors and windows. You can add rubber seals where gaps are present, such as between the wall and window frame. There are also door guards (sometimes called weatherstripping) that you can attach to the bottom of your door to close the gap between it and the floor.
As a bonus, sealing the room where the air conditioner is can minimize the amount of dust present inside. This results in cleaner air circulating inside.
Shield the Exterior Part of the Aircon From the Sun
Whether you have a split-type or a window-type aircon, there’s always a part of it that’s outside. This is perfectly fine, of course, since your aircon is built to withstand the outdoors. The problem is that when the outdoor components are continuously exposed to sunlight, your aircon will not perform as well as it should.
To make your air conditioner more efficient at cooling down a space, help it along by providing sun cover for the exterior part. A small roof or awning attached to the wall will more than suffice. It may also be helpful to plant trees to provide shade; just make sure to sweep fallen leaves away so they aren’t blocking the vents.
Use a Fan
Last but not the least, for a cooler, more comfortable experience, you can turn on an electric fan while the air conditioner is running. Even the lowest setting on the fan can do wonders, simply because moving air is cooler than stagnant air.
It can also help if you don’t set the thermostat too cold. Start at around 25C and then just adjust the temperature once the room cools down enough (usually about 10 to 20 minutes after turning on the air conditioner).
The scorching temperatures in the Philippines can sometimes be unbearable. Hopefully, these aircon usage and maintenance tips can help you make your living or working space a lot more comfortable.