hvac ductwork

Air Conditioner Maintenance Guide and Cooling Tips

Carrying out regular air conditioner maintenance ensures that your unit keeps operating smoothly throughout its lifetime. This helps you save money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and extending its lifespan. 

Although there are a few simple steps you can take yourself, it is always preferable to have expert help. Mistral Cleaning Services is an air conditioner maintenance company based in Dubai. We can help you ensure that your HVAC system keeps providing the cooling you need. 

Read on to find out some easy air conditioning maintenance procedures you can adopt to save time and money on energy. You can reach us any time you have any questions or need help with your AC system by filling the request for a quote form below.

How Your Air Conditioner Works​

An air conditioner changes the temperature and general quality of your home by extracting hot air and replacing it with cooler air. This is a necessary function in Dubai where outdoor temperatures are often in the higher double digits for most of the year.

They often come in two different configurations: central air and split systems, and your choice will depend on your unique needs. Central air conditioners work just like your refrigerator, but on a larger scale. Split systems do the same thing but with two units, making them great for single rooms or areas in a building.

In essence, your air conditioner quickly condenses gas in the compressor into a liquid coolant. It then circulates this through the indoor units, carrying heat in the air from the inside out. Don’t know which type of AC system is right for your villas or offices in Dubai? We can help.

hvac ductwork
HVAC Ductwork Diagram

Why Does My AC Need Maintenance?

Your air conditioner is a mechanical equipment with different working parts; just like a car, drone, or plane. All mechanical devices are prone to functional errors, wear, and tear as a result of their operations.

This is especially important in Dubai where desert sand, dirt, and contaminant can get into your AC unit. If left unchecked, this can result in several problems such as inefficient operation, noise, energy drain, and more.

Regular maintenance is the only way to ensure that they run smoothly and properly. Taking care of your air conditioner proactively keeps it running at peak efficiency and extends your equipment’s lifetime. It also saves you on repair and replacement headaches.

How Often to Schedule Preventative Air Conditioner Maintenance​

This depends on several factors such as the type of AC system, how you use it, and your location. Dubai’s summers are dusty, prone to sandstorms and extreme weather conditions that may affect your HVAC unit.

This makes having an air conditioner maintenance schedule necessary. Ideally, you should carry out a thorough maintenance check-up at least once every year. However, you should call a professional maintenance company if you notice any problems with your unit.

Scheduling a maintenance service when the climate is much better during winter will ensure that you receive prompt service. This may become more difficult during summers when it is more likely to be dusty. You may have a harder time getting service by then, as that’s when maintenance companies receive a high volume of calls.

Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

There are several air conditioner maintenance procedures you can adopt to keep your unit in peak performance. Sometimes, something as simple as air filter cleaning can prolong your unit’s efficiency and improve the quality of air in your home.

You can also follow the following easy air conditioner maintenance checklist whenever you can.

1. Turn off the power

This is the first step to take when working with electrical equipment. You should also remove the plug from the socket or breaker box if possible. This eliminates the dangers of working around electricity. This also ensures that you don’t come in contact with the air-conditioner’s moving parts.

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evaporator coil cleaning
2. Clean the evaporator coil

Next, clean the evaporator coil on the inside blower unit. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air and cools it, before circulating back through your home. A dirty coil will prevent your air conditioner from operating optimally.

Find and open the evaporator coil and use a soft brush to clean any dust on to. Spray the coil with a coil cleaning solution (you can find this in most home improvement stores). Finally, clean out the drip pan with soap and hot water to eliminate algae growth.

3. Clean the evaporator drain
The evaporator drain pan collects condensed air which falls off the coil in the form of liquid water. From here, the water flows into a drain tube which is often routed outdoors to external drains. This makes the drain a thriving ecosystem for algae and mold can block the drain tube. A blocked drain will stop flowing or flow very slowly, causing flood damage on the walls and floor. You can clean the evaporator drain using a wet/dry vacuum. You will have to locate the drainpipe where it leaves the evaporator coil enclosure and follow it to its endpoint.

When you locate it, use the vacuum to clean the drain of any blockages. Simply position the vacuum at the opening and seal any overlap with a rag or duct tape. When you have a tight seal, turn on the vacuum for a few minutes to clear the drain.

AC Filter
4. Change or clean the blower filter

We recommend changing or cleaning your air conditioner filter at least twice a year in Dubai. The first change should come just before summer and the second before winter. You may want to change it more often if you live in a particularly dusty area. This ensures that the general quality of the air in your home.

Be sure to replace your ac filter with a similar type, preferably with the same airflow rating. The process for replacing filters differs but they are often found on the indoor AC unit. Simply raise the external cover, unlatch the old filter, and install the new one. You may need to align or match the filter to installation arrows on the unit.

5. Preform the external cleaning

Unlatch the exterior compressor grill or fan cage fasteners to check if there is debris inside the unit. As a result of its exposure to the elements, the external unit will require a thorough cleaning. You can do this by hand or with a vacuum machine. However, you may need a screwdriver to remove the fasteners from the top of the unit.

6. Wash out the fins

With the outer cover removed, use a brush to remove all visible dirt on the outside. You can run a vacuum over the fins to remove all stray particles. Be careful not to use a high-pressure wash system as this can damage the fragile fins.

Next, use a water hose at gentle velocity to spray water through the fins from inside out to remove hard to reach dirt between them. When done, your vent fins should look clean and free of dirt and dust.

7. Straighten bent fins

Bent vent fins can reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency significantly by reducing the much-needed airflow. Inspect your fins and carefully straighten bent fins using a flat metal like a screwdriver or table knife. You can also find a fin-straightening tool in tool stores around you. Be gentle as you don’t want to damage them in the process.

AC vent fins
8. Clean the area around your unit

When done cleaning the interior of your AC unit, its time to replace the fan and replace the unit cover. Next, clean the area around the unit by raking the leaves and debris around it. To ensure proper airflow cut back any vegetation at least 2 feet in all directions around the unit. You can take it a step further by covering the top of your unit when it is not in use.

Remember to take off this cover when the unit is operating to avoid blocking the airflow. Also, a completely covered air conditioning unit may encourage insects and rodents to build nests inside.

Call for Professional AC Maintenance

The above preventative air conditioner maintenance measures will help ensure that your AC remains in top shape. A professional AC maintenance company will give you fewer things to worry about. They have the tools, skills, and experience to ensure your unit keeps you comfortable all year. Your maintenance company will create an air conditioner maintenance schedule and perform additional maintenance tasks as needed. Mistral Cleaning Services technicians are always ready to help you with HVAC cleaning and all of your HVAC needs. We help you save money, save energy, and keep your AC unit running as efficiently as possible.

Maintaining your air conditioner is the best way to ensure it performs optimally for longer. In Dubai’s dusty climate it is important to carry out a thorough maintenance check-up at least once every year. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about carrying out your maintenance yourself. Mistral Cleaning Services provides exceptional AC maintenance services in Dubai. Our expert technicians are always available to help you install, repair and maintain your AC unit.

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