The principle behind air conditioning is simple. Two coils (one inside your home, the other outside) are connected by pipes filled with refrigerant. This fluid has the property of easily absorbing and rejecting heat, and is pumped through this circuit of pipes by a compressor. Two fans pass air over these coils.
During the cooling cycle, warmed refrigerant circulates through the outside coil where it releases heat and cools down. It moves back inside, and is circulated through the indoor coil.
The hot air inside your home is blown over this cold coil (and filtered and dehumidified at the same time) where it cools down and, in turn, cools your home. During this process the refrigerant warms up and moves back outside to repeat the cycle. (Your domestic fridge is a good example of this process.)
To ensure optimum performance, single package units or the outdoor section of split systems should have adequate ventilation and, if possible, be placed in a shady area.
Direct sunshine and restriction of air access will reduce the air conditioner’s performance.
Adequate clearance from obstructions is essential to ensure that exhaust air is not re-circulated back through the outdoor unit.
Generally the best temperature to set your air conditioning to is around 24 – 25°C in summer and 17 – 19°C in winter.
You can save considerably on the amount of energy consumed for each 1°C of cooling or heating that you do without. For example when it’s 35° outside, setting your air conditioner to around 25, rather than say, 22, can save a significant amount of energy without your system running constantly. Balance between comfort and efficiency of the system.
Shade your windows in summer with curtains, awnings, or shutters to reduce heat absorption by up to 80%. Heavy linen curtains with pelmets will also help trap heat in winter. This all helps in reducing the overall running costs of your air conditioning.
For more energy tips, see www.energysmart.com.au
The primary purpose of filters is to protect the indoor coil from dust build up which could reduce the overall performance of the air conditioner. It is important to regularly check and clean your filter. The majority of service calls are due to a dirty or blocked filter and in most cases a service fee is charged even if the air conditioner is under warranty.
Most air conditioners in the split range now have a specially treated additional filter that traps fine pollens etc which greatly helps people suffering from allergies.
Ducted systems can now have electrostatic air filters fitted, which is the ultimate in home or office filtration.
Air conditioning maintenance is just one simple fortnightly operation. Because the air filter in any air conditioner screens out dust and pollen particles, it should be removed regularly and washed. This simple operation is covered in the individual unit’s instruction manual.
All filters have a limited life span and will need replacing as over time they lose their dust holding capabilities. We recommend replacing the filter in a ducted system yearly and in a split system every two years.