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We all know those frustrating situations when it comes to electrical home appliances and their never-ending issues.There is also this feeling that these issues occur in the least convenient times.Moments before a family event, the fridge gives out; right when your relatives show up for a visit, the guest bedroom air conditioner decides to call it quits; and in the wintertime, the boiler calls a strike.
And after we find there is some sort of a problem with one of our appliances, we open up a phone book or search online to find the right person to fix it. Suddenly, we find ourselves faced with a wide selection of electricians and repairmen: certified electricians, senior electricians, the King of Cool, the Champ of Frost, etc.
And once we’ve decided that Avi “the King of Cool” will be the best man for the job; the one who will quickly and easily solve the problem (and maybe cheap, too!), we find that Avi – who is not as nice as his Yellow Pages ad – angrily explains that the problem isn’t even with the air conditioner, and that he is not the person we should have called.
Of course, he doesn’t forget to charge 250 shekel for a service call… what fun.
So, how can we avoid these situations? Let’s begin by going over the most common problems and issues.
Most Common Appliance Problems
The first appliance which is vital, but can also be a hassle, is the air conditioner.
There is nothing quite like having a working air conditioner, which keeps you cool in the summer and hot in the winter. Then again, there is nothing quite like an air conditioner which decides to malfunction, and not cool or heat your rooms. How is that even possible? How can an air conditioner be able to provide heat, but not cold? (and why does that always happen in the summer?!)
The way in which our air conditioner heats or cools a room has to do with a process which is governed by the laws of thermodynamics. We will not be diving into the entire process, but instead we can go over the basics of the system, so we can identify basic issues, and know which repairman to call, should the need arise.
An air conditioner requires three things:
First and most important – you guessed it – air! The air conditioner does not create air, but merely takes the existing air and modifies its temperature to the degree which we have set. Therefore, it is extremely important to allow the smooth passage of air into the system, without any dirt, grime, or other particles. So, where does the system get its air supply, and how can we make sure that nothing harmful ends up in the mechanism? We will answer those questions shortly.
Second: electricity. While it is common knowledge that air conditioners run on electricity, the term “electricity” is very broad. If we decide, for some reason, to provide our microwave oven with the same amount of electricity as our air conditioner – or vice versa – it is highly likely that our food will be burnt to a crisp (quite possibly along with the rest of the kitchen!)
— Arista Air (@AristaAir) June 12, 2017
There are times when the air conditioner does not work, and we immediately contact an air conditioning technician (remember Avi?). However, many times the air conditioner turns out to be fine, and we find ourselves faced with a service call charge, an embarrassing situation, and still without a functioning air conditioner. Why? Because as it turns out, the problem was with the electric circuit board, and now we must send Avi on his way, and call an electrician.
And, if you are really lucky, the electrician that shows up will also charge you for a service call, and then tell you that you need to call an electrical engineer, not an electrician.
As you can see, locating the root cause of an electrical problem can be paramount. That way, you will know who to call from the get go. It can save you time, money, and quite a few headaches.
Third: gas. It may surprise some people that the air conditioner runs on gas, and yet the gas bill is not any higher in the summer. The truth is, the gas in question is of a different type, and its consumption by the air conditioner is also different than other gas-run appliances.
The air conditioner typically consumes chlorofluorocarbon, or alternatively ammonia. However, unlike other gas-powered appliances, such as the kitchen stove, the gas remains within the body of the air conditioner, where it undergoes various changes to provide heat or cold. Because of this, we are not faced with huge gas bills.
There are times when a gas leak causes the air conditioner to malfunction, and is those cases we must call for a technician to locate the source of the leak, plug it up, and refill the air conditioner with gas.
Maintaining Your Air Conditioner
As mentioned earlier, the air conditioner utilizes clean and fresh air for its cooling or heating functions.
An air conditioner unit is usually built of two main sections – one indoors, one outside.
The inner section is the unit which houses the filters. Mostly, they are located at the front of the unit, and they are easily removed for cleaning and maintaining. It is highly recommended to clean your filters once every few weeks, to ensure the flow of clean air in and out of the unit.
How do we clean the filters? First, remove them from the unit, then place them in a space where they will be washed (such as a tub or large sink). Wash thoroughly with water until all of the dust is removed, and then let the filters dry completely, in order to avoid any mold or fungus. Once the filters are clean and dry, reinsert them into the air conditioner.
A vacuum cleaner may also be used, with great caution and on a low setting, without causing damage to the filters. It is important to note that any time when we are not sure of what to do, is a good time to call a professional and get his or her advice.
Optimal location of other air conditioner parts
In order for the air conditioner to function at the maximum capacity, we must leave a space between the vents and the room’s furniture. A couch or closet which are too close to the opening of the air conditioner may complicate the dispersal of air, and confuse the air conditioner’s sensors.
This is a section which is typically placed outside, in its own nearly-separated unit. Like with the indoor unit, a certain amount of space needs to be cleared, in order for the compressor to do its job properly, and take in clean air. The harder it is for the compressor to do its job, the more power it will be using. Furthermore, this may cause unnecessary complications and malfunctions.
It is important to allow the flow of drain water from the air conditioner. If the water remains inside the mechanism, they may find other ways out – for instance, through your living room walls. The water which is drained out of the air conditioner is purified water, and it may be used in other ways, such as gardening and ironing.
These are the basic actions which anyone can do, to secure the longevity of the air conditioner. Regardless, it is recommended to call an air conditioning technician once a year, to make sure that all system are functioning properly. An annual technician’s inspection will save us from wasted time and money, because a technician can locate issues before they become too serious, and fix them before things get complicated, frustrating, and expensive.
Locating The Source of an Issue
When we find that our air conditioner is malfunctioning, we must first ascertain the location and nature of the problem – is it, in fact, the air conditioner, or is it some other factor which is affecting its performance?
If the air conditioner will not turn on, there are two basic issues which could make it appear as if the air conditioner is having trouble.
First: the remote control. The most commonly seen issue, and one which is easily located and solved, is with the air conditioner’s remote control. Occasionally, the air conditioner goes out and shows no signs of life, but the issue itself lies in the remote. If the remote is not displaying anything, it may be time for a battery change.
However, there are times when the remote’s display is on, but the air conditioner is still not working. Change the batteries anyway, just to be on the safe side. Sometimes, there is enough battery power to light up the remote’s display, but not enough to send a signal to the air conditioner.
If the remote seems fine, it may still be the root cause. Sometimes, remotes malfunction due to exposure to water, extreme heat, or from taking a fall. In those cases, it is best to call a technician, and have a new remote made, or alternatively fix the current one.
Second: the electric outlet. The air conditioner is powered by an electrical outlet, hooked up to the house’s electrical system. In order to test the outlet, plug in another appliance. If the appliance works, the plug is probably not the issue. If a fuse has dropped in the fuse box, it may mean that the air conditioner is short-circuiting, and that an electrician will be able to solve your problem.
Remember – electricity is extremely dangerous. A certified professional must be contacted, since attempting to fix electrical issues without the proper training can be very risky.
What if you still haven’t located the root cause of the issue? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. We here at Efes Takalot employ a variety of repairmen and technicians under one roof. Give us a call, and – whether it is an electrical problem, a cooling/heating problem, or any other issue – you will be able to rest easy, knowing that we will send the proper man for the job.