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Maintain Your Split System Air Conditioner

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by Lisa Nolte (subscribe)
Fifteen years ago I traded a corporate career for life on the river. Close enough to Melbourne to get a quick City fix, plus a great community with excellent coffee and four healthy active boys to keep me entertained, I've never regretted the change.
Published March 5th 2014
Simple DIY Air-Con Maintenance
Hot summers and cool winters are leading us to use energy hungry air-conditioning appliances year-round. But are we getting the best out of our equipment? Split systems are temperamental beasts, and let's face it, how many of us really read the operating instructions and manufacturers advice booklet anyway?

Here are a few essential points to note for efficient running of your split system that may even save you a service call.

Check your filters

Split-system air-conditioner heater
Have you taken a good look at your split-system lately?

The most important, and often overlooked, step in home maintenance is to keep the filters clean.

The air we breathe is laden with dust and other nasties. As the unit draws air through its intakes, impurities are filtered, usually by a fine removable mesh.

For standard split systems, the grille on the front flips up or down to reveal two mesh panels.

Mesh filter inside split-system
The filter should lift right out from under the grille

Remove these and clean them thoroughly. Your manual will say 'according to the manufacturers specifications', but a quick sweep of the vacuum cleaner or a hearty wallop on a verandah post should dislodge most grime.

Filter Clean
It's not hard to keep your filters clean

If you haven't done this for a while, or have never done it at all, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes to the efficiency of the machine.

If your filters are clean and the unit still doesn't work properly, check out the following before calling the service centre:

Ensure all parts of the unit are powered up
A split-system needs three components to work. Are all three - the remote, the wall unit and the base unit (probably outside) - connected to an active power source and turned on?

[ADVERT]Set the remote to automatic
Test the machine when set to auto. It may be that the other symbols don't mean what you think. Is there anyone in the whole world who understands them all?

Let it warm up
Ironically, these units do not like the cold. In less than tropical environments there is a heat up feature that prevents the fan from starting until the conditions are right. This may take quite a few minutes and more than a little patience – resist the temptation to fiddle with the remote.

Change the batteries in your remote controller
Battery life in an average remote control is about three months. If you find your split is not responding to orders, it may be because the batteries are no longer at peak performance. A dead giveaway is a faded display on the remote's digital panel. Once the batteries are changed, you may need a fine tipped implement to reset the remote.

Relocate your controller
A controller placed too close to the main unit will not receive or send the right information. Move it away a little and see if there's a difference.

Keep the wall unit clear of fluorescent lights
I'm not kidding. Apparently they don't always play well together, it has something to do with vibrations from the lights. Test your machine with the lights turned off.

Do you have any service-saving tips?
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Why? For cooling and heating when you need it
Cost: Free
Your Comment
thank you for u r valuable advice.
by jccgi (score: 0|2) 2352 days ago
I would never let the A/C get that dirty.. yuck!
by manth (score: 0|2) 855 days ago
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