Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maintaining your home air conditioner

A split-system home air conditioner provides heating and cooling all year round, is unobtrusive within your home, and works quietly for minimum interruption to your home life. But after awhile, you may notice your air conditioner growing louder, working less efficiently, or taking longer to heat and cool your room. If this is the case, it's time to give your air conditioner a good clean!

Without regular cleaning and maintenance, an air conditioner can become clogged with sludge and particles from the air, leaving less space for the fresh, clean air to travel through into your home. Regular cleaning of your air conditioner keeps it working at optimum efficiency, as well as prolonging its lifespan.

Here's how to clean your home air conditioner:

Before you do any cleaning, ensure power is off on all home air conditioner units.

On the inside unit, you will need to wipe down all the surfaces with a warm, damp cloth (you can use a mild detergent too, as long as it isn't abrasive. You don't want to ruin the plastic). Inspect the coil on the indoor unit, if it needs cleaning, use a brush or damp cloth to remove dirt. Be careful when cleaning not to bend any of the fins. You can use a comb to straighten them again.

Remove the filters and use a vacuum to clean out the dust and debris. You can also wipe the filter down with warm water to remove any dust.

If the outdoor unit is dirty, remove it from the wall or window and rest it on a clean, hard surface. Clean the filters out and make sure any electric elements are switched off or covered with plastic before beginning to clean the coils.

Use a spray detergent or coil cleaner on the coils – wait for several minutes before washing and wiping off with a little water. Dry the air conditioner in the sun before replacing it in the proper position.

The frequency with which you need to clean your home air conditioner depends on the amount of time you regularly use it – but, for proper maintenance, it should be cleaned once a month and the filter cleared out once a fortnight during heavy use.

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your home air conditioner will prolong its life and keep it working efficiently all year long.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Looking after your air conditioning system

A small amount of maintenance ensures the long term high performance of you air conditioning system. Regular air conditioning maintenance prevents break downs and ensures your system performs at maximum proficiency.

When you buy a new air con system your provider will outline the maintenance requirements of your specific system. You can perform most air conditioning maintenance tasks by yourself, but some systems require serviced maintenance by a qualified professional to comply with OSH guidelines.

To conduct your own air conditioning maintenance, perform these tasks:

• Shut off the power to your unit before performing any air conditioning maintenance
• Change or clean the furnace filter at least once a month. You may need to change it more often in summer as more particles circulate.
• Check the condensate tube drains freely and there are no leaks in the hose connections.
• Spray the outside compressor with water and wipe away any dust.
• Clean the ducts every few years.
• Check furniture, drapes and plants are standing away from the system.

In addition to these air conditioning maintenance tasks, have your system checked annually by a qualified technician.

It can be easy to neglect air conditioning maintenance, but an improperly maintained system could be causing long-term health problems for your family, as well as emitting sound levels loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss.

With proper air conditioning maintenance, your unit will continue to heat or cool your home for over 15 years. Air conditioning maintenance ensures your system remains cost effective, energy efficient and safe.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The benefits of an underfloor heating system

Underfloor heating might seem like an unnecessary luxury, but it's one of the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally-friendly ways to heat your home.

As opposed to fireplaces, radiators and other heating systems, underfloor heating uses heat conduction to regulate air temperature. Underfloor heating heats evenly over the whole house. By maximising energy output when cooling or heating, underfloor heating systems create a more energy efficient home and reduce your power costs.

If you're building or renovating a property, the cost of installing underfloor heating is low compared to other heating systems. Once the system is installed, it needs little maintenance, and properly installed underfloor heating lasts for the life of a building.

As the entire heating system sits beneath the floor, it creates more space in your home for furniture and artworks. Unlike fireplaces, which can be messy, and radiators, which can be an eyesore, underfloor heating is invisible, allowing you the freedom to decorate your space.

Underfloor heating
drastically reduces dust and particles and improve the air quality, resulting in a cleaner, healthier home. Family members suffering from asthma, allergies, respiratory and sinus problems, fatigue and headaches will notice an instant improvement in their condition.

With no naked flame or exposed part, underfloor heating is completely safe to use with children and pets.

If you're looking for a cost-effective, unobtrusive and comfortable way to heat your home, underfloor heating could be the solution. Hire a professional to assess your home and install your underfloor heating. An improperly-installed system can leak and damage your home, so always trust a qualified underfloor heating expert.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review your heating system post the winter cold

Now that the winter chill has gone and spring has finally arrived, it's time to take stock of your home heating system. How did your home heating system fare against the winter cold?

With so many residential heating systems to choose from – wall mounted units, radiators, fireplaces, underfloor heating and heat pumps – you can be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed. This handy list of questions can help you assess your home heating system and decide if it's time for an upgrade.

Cost: Look over your electricity bills for the winter. Have they increased or decreased since this time last year? What have you been doing differently? Have you noticed a cost difference since changing your residential heating system?

Performance: How long does your unit take to heat up a room? Does your home heating system heat the whole house evenly or just part of a room? Has your residential heating broken down or malfunctioned?

Aesthetics: Does your unit look unsightly? Are you happy with its placement or do you want something less obtrusive? Have you shifted furniture and found the unit no longer heats effectively?

Noise: How much noise does your home heating unit emit? Do you think it's got louder over the last six months? If so, it's probably time you performed some home heating or air conditioning maintenance.

For some families, certain factors weigh more heavily than others. When choosing a home heating system, it's important to weigh all the factors and decide on the best fit option for your family. Talk to a qualified residential heating specialist for expert help and advice.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Health benefits of air conditioning systems in the office

As a business owner, you're responsible for providing comfortable and healthy premises for your employees. Ineffective office air conditioning and ventilation can spread irritants, chemicals and germs throughout your building.

Installing or upgrading your office air conditioning system could drastically improve the health of your workforce, resulting in fewer sick days and happier, more productive employees.

When a person feels too hot or too cold, their body uses energy trying to regulate their temperature. This takes energy away from other tasks, such as cognitive functions. If the office air conditioning is too hot or too cold, employees don't function at optimal capacity and are at greater risk of developing colds, flu, headaches, allergies and other health problems.

A properly functioning office air conditioning system provides numerous benefits:
  • Office air conditioning regulates the temperature to a comfortable level. Employees will no longer be wrapping up in summer and sweating during winter.
  • A good office air conditioning system is quiet and won't disturb employee's concentration.
  • In areas using chemicals and other pollutants, office air conditioning removes harmful particles from the air.
  • Office air conditioning prevents the spread of germs and bugs, resulting in happier, healthier employees.
  • Productivity increases and sick days decrease as employees benefit from healthier, cleaner air.
Installing the right kind of office air conditioning system could be the best business decision you make this year – happier, more comfortable employees means increased outputs and a reputation as a caring, healthy company.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are your air conditioners ready for summer?

With winter behind you and the summer months fast approaching, it's time to take stock of your current air conditioners. To prepare for the onslaught of summer heat, you need to ensure your air conditioners are working the maximum efficiency.

During summer, air conditioners work overtime to rid the air for pollinating spores from plants and flowers. These airborne spores cause asthma, allergies and hay fever. Add this to the heat of New Zealand summer, and it's not surprising more air conditioners break down over the summer months than any other time.

If you don't want your air conditioners to fail during summer, you need to perform the necessary air conditioning maintenance. Not only could broken or dirty air conditioners stop functioning, they can cost you more on your power bill and cause permanent hearing damage.

If you or anyone in your family suffers from asthma, allergies, hay fever or respiratory and sinus problems, keeping your air conditioners functioning at optimum efficiency helps clear the air of dust and plant spores and prevent the spread of harmful particulates.

Aside from your usual air conditioning maintenance (cleaning the filters, checking the hoses, wiping dust and grime from the grill) you should have your air conditioner checked and serviced by a qualified professional.

If your air conditioning unit emits a burning smell, buzzes loudly, smokes or otherwise malfunctions, turn the power off immediately and seek help from a qualified air conditioning maintenance professional.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Health benefits of air conditioning systems in the home

Although many people think of New Zealand as a tropical paradise, the truth is our weather patterns are changeable and unpredictable. With many homes not properly insulated, Many New Zealanders suffer from health problems as a result of extreme temperature changes.

Installing air conditioning in your home can make a vast improvement on your health. If you suffer from respiratory or sinus problems, allergies to airborne particles, have limited mobility or live in an area of poor air quality, consider the health benefits of installing an air conditioning system:

  • Excessive heat or cold cause long-term stress on the body - headaches, colds, excessive coughing, and other persistent symptoms are often the result of long exposure to extreme temperatures. Installing air conditioning can instantly relieve these stresses.

  • Temperatures and humidity affect how the body works. Too much heat or cold can use up energy, quite rapidly in some cases. The body burns energy trying to regulate its temperature, leaving you feeling fatigued. Using air conditioning to regulate indoor temperatures can help you feel more energised.

  • Air conditioning banishes stale air, bad odours and airborne chemicals, making your home more safe and pleasant to live in.

Even people in good health fall ill from air particulates and temperature changes. Constant stress on your body from extreme temperatures, poor ventilation and harmful air particulates causes your immune system to work overtime, leaving your family vulnerable to more serious health problems.

Air conditioning makes your home a clean, safe and pleasant environment to live in. Even the most basic air conditioning system will drastically improve the quality of life for you and your family.