Air conditioners have been around for a really long time and today it is still a very exclusive piece of equipment to have in your home – mainly due to the fact that these units (especially installed air conditioners) are very expensive and so is electricity. People are also moving around all the time, which means that they might not want to install such an expensive device, only to leave it behind when they have to pack up and leave. Having said that, South Africa does have some of the hottest summers around and experts predict that this summer is going to be the hottest we’ve experienced in quite a while. In this article we focus on portable air conditioning systems, which can be moved around to your leisure, is often more environmentally friendly and less expensive. Hope you find this information useful, especially if you are considering in investing in such a unit this summer.
Portable air conditioner maintenance
In order for your portable air conditioning system to last as long as possible, it is essential to give it the proper care and maintenance needed:
1. Drainage: Most portable air conditioning units also acts as a dehumidifier as it removes water from the air, which is then also used to assist in the cooling process. Portable Air Conditioners will collect condensate in buckets which need to be emptied often as it normally can not be connected to pipes that will drain this water automatically.
2. Cleaning inside: Portable air conditioners will usually have some sort of air filter to eliminate airborne particles, and some advanced units may even come with built-in air purifiers complete with carbon filters and ionizers. For effective particle abatement and optimal cooling efficiency, regularly clean or replace the filters in your portable air conditioner. This should occur on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on use. If your portable air conditioner has a washable filter, slide the filter out, immerse it in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly, and let it dry before replacing it back into the unit.
3. Cleaning outside: A clean portable air conditioner will result in increased air volume, so the actual housing of the unit should be cleaned every few weeks. Wipe the surface of the unit with a soft, damp cloth when the unit is turned off. Try to keep the portable air conditioner away from direct sunlight because this can change the colour of the unit’s surface.
4. When you put it away: An air conditioner is often not something you would use the whole year round, as some do not come with a heating option as well. Ensure that you store your air conditioner properly in order for it to be in good working condition when you want to use it again the following season. Prepare your unit for storage by draining all the water from the water tank and switching it to fan mode. After you have allowed the unit to dry properly for several hours, unplug it, clean the filter, wrap the cord around the cord hooks, pack the unit in its original carton box and store in a safe, stable and dry location.Read More
Becoming a homeowner is always exciting. Making sure that your home remains in good condition can take time. Use this simple maintenance guide to keep up with regular maintenance and avoid the most common maintenance issues.
Although we’ve tried to keep this guide as simple as possible, it is always best to seek professional help if you are unsure. Find a range of home lifestyle professionals here.
Assess possible insect issues. Clear cobwebs and prepare your insect repellent measures.
Check, clean and repair patios and decks. Ensure that it is sealed properly, check for loose boards, insect infestations, cracks and that the railing is secured.
Check for cracks, blisters, bubbles and peeling paint, especially on exterior walls. Look out for water stains, moisture and damp in walls and ceiling.
Remove sediment and prolong your geyser or water heaters life by flushing it.
Service fireplaces/built-in braais and clean chimneys.
Check paving for cracks.
Check windows and door seals, replace broken or cracked panes of glass and apply new putty where necessary.
Check batteries and test smoke/ carbon dioxide detectors.
Prevent grime and build up in less frequently used spaces such as guest bathrooms by running water and flushing toilets.
Check that power outlets, switches and light bulbs work.
Check window and door handles and locks are in working order.
Clean build-up residue in shower heads.
Clear gutters of leaves and debris to ensure proper water flow. Make sure gutters are properly secured and connected allowing water to flow away from the house.
Check for roof leaks and damaged roof tiles.
Check and fill wall, ceiling and foundation cracks.
Clear dead plants and shrubs, check that plants are not growing into cracks and trim trees where necessary.
Check the grout in bathrooms and kitchens.
Check for small leaks in plumbing and taps
Check, clean and if necessary change air conditioning filters.
Clean sink disposal using vinegar ice cubes (this cleans the disposal and sharpens the blades).
Clean stove extractor fan filter with degreaser and hot water.
TWICE A YEAR
Test geyser or other water heater pressure relief valve.
Do a deep clean: Thoroughly clean appliances, windows and surfaces.
Vacuum refrigerator coils. Dirty coils cause fridges to run less efficiently and use more electricity.Read More
Whether it’s in your car, home or office, an air conditioner is a welcome respite from the summer heat. As technology has developed so has the way air conditioners are made, providing more environmentally friendly options for cooling down on hot days.
If you are looking at upgrading or getting a new aircon this summer, here are three things to help you make the best choice for your pocket and the environment.
Air Conditioner Size
Picking the correct size air conditioner for your room is step one to getting the best results. Air conditioner size is measured in terms of cooling capacity, which is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). A simple calculation to work out the best unit size is to work out the square meterage of the room and multiply that by 500. For example, an 18m2 room will require a 9 000 BTU air conditioning unit (18m2 X 500 = 9 000 BTU).
If your aircon is too small, it will have to constantly run as it struggles to keep the room cool. If it is too big, it will cool the room too quickly and turn on intermittently without removing removing moisture so the room will still feel clammy. In both cases you will end up using more energy than necessary.
Energy Efficient Air Conditioner
Energy efficiency goes beyond your personal electricity bill every month. As South Africa regularly struggles to produce enough electricity, being conscious of your overall electricity usage is a way to help alleviate pressure on the electricity grid.
When buying a new air conditioner check its Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), this is usually indicated by a sticker on the front of the unit. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient it is and the less it will cost to run.
Opting for an aircon with inverter technology, where the unit maintains a constant ambient temperature without having to turn on and off constantly also saves energy. Inverter units also run more quietly.
Keeping the aircon temperature between 18oC and 22oC or no more than 10oC below the ambient temperature will also reduce energy consumption. This temperature range is generally the most energy efficient.
Help your air conditioner to keep your home cool by correctly insulating your home. Put insulation in your ceiling and seal windows and doors to keep the cool in during summer and heat in during winter. Keeping windows and doors closed will help keep the temperature constant.
Choosing an air conditioner that works efficiently for your home will home is kept perfectly cool while saving you costs. An energy efficient air conditioning unit will also ensure the environment is better looked after while you stay comfortable through the hot summer days.Read More