It’s warm all year round for much of Maui. That’s why air conditioners are quite common on the island. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Kihei or Wailuku. You will find that most homes and almost all establishments are air-conditioned, and there are a lot of things that we can talk about when it comes to AC systems. But one of the things that homeowners keep asking is air conditioning tips on Maui.
Air conditioners keep us cool during a hot day. No longer considered luxuries, they are necessities. Comfort cannot be overemphasized as an everyday necessity. It keeps optimal workplace productivity and allows a good night's sleep. Nevertheless, there are a lot of things that I can tell you about air conditioning systems.
1. Choose the right air conditioning system.
Apparently, everyone has his or her individual needs. Some people are okay with window type air conditioners. You will see a lot of small offices and shops with this type of AC. Large establishments and big houses are better off having central air conditioning systems on Maui.
People have different needs and preferences, though. We’ve seen big houses with AC's only in the bedrooms. We’ve seen portable coolers as well as split system AC. People just prefer one thing to another, but you can always get professional advice if you’re having one installed for the first time or upgrading your air conditioning system.
2. Choose central air conditioning systems.
Window AC units are okay, and in some cases, they are a good choice, but most homes and businesses in Maui are better off installing central air conditioning. A window AC only cools a room it’s installed in. However, all houses have multiple rooms, and it gets expensive to cool the entire house using several units. This is where a central cooling system’s advantage really shines. On top of that, central AC systems allow even cooling, so one corner of the room isn’t warmer than the rest. Moreover, these programmable systems provide more efficiency that their window type counterparts just can’t stop.
3. Watch out for dust.
One of the things that air conditioners do aside from cooling your house is cleaning your air. Dust gets trapped in the filters, and that’s why your house is less dusty when your AC is running. Of course, good housekeeping keeps dust at bay. However, dust may accumulate in your rooms despite regular house cleaning.
Check your filters when too much dust builds up on your furniture and floors. If you’re using disposable filters, you’re going to get dusty indoor air because these filters can’t trap fine dust. Clean your filters once or twice a month, and replace them at least once every six months.
4. Inspect your ducts.
Another air conditioning tip on Maui is to check the ductwork once in a while. Leaks in the ducts can also cause dust to enter your home, and dust is just one of the problems that leaky ducts bring about. That’s why when we do inspections, one of the important things on our list is to check the integrity of your ductwork because about 20% of cooled air is lost through leaks, gaps, and holes. Obvious symptoms, aside from dust, are longer running time and warmer than the usual indoor temperature.
Call an HVAC technician on Maui if you notice a loss of efficiency, dust accumulation, or anything out of the ordinary that’s been happening to your air conditioning unit. Don’t try to seal leaks or gaps in the ducts if you’re not skilled enough.
Don’t try to seal the leaks using the wrong materials. I’ve seen leaks sealed with duct tape. There are recommended adhesive tapes for that purpose (e.g. HVAC mastic). Also, note that much of the ducting is inaccessible.
5. Don’t shy away from portable air conditioners.
As much as we want everyone to install a central AC system, we can’t make impositions. For some people, room air conditioners are better. There’s the window type discussed earlier, and there’s also the portable type, which is good when you want a cooling machine that can be brought to different rooms. It’s easy to set up. One person can do the job.
A portable AC comes with wheels that allow easy transfer from one room to another, but many models are quite heavy and cumbersome, if not dangerous, to carry upstairs or downstairs.
6. Maintain your air conditioner.
No matter what type of unit you have, you need to keep it in good condition. If you want it to run without problems for several years, don’t miss doing the following:
- Replace the air filter once a month to promote sufficient airflow.
- Clean the compressor cabinet. Remove dirt and debris.
- Inspect the coils and fins. Clean them when they are covered in dirt.
- Keep the compressor shaded.
Lack of maintenance forces your AC to work harder and reduces its lifespan. It also leads to expensive repairs down the road, as poor maintenance makes your unit susceptible to damage. If you don’t know how to maintain and tune-up your HVAC system, don’t hesitate to seek professional air conditioner maintenance on Maui.
7. Install air filters.
Most of us think of factory smoke and exhaust gas when dirty air comes to mind, yet indoor air can be worse than the air on a busy street. The other bad news is that we spend most of our time indoors, all the while inhaling a nasty mix of dust mites, dander, mold spores, and pollen. The film of dust you see on your furniture is just a tiny fraction of all the soup of microscopic pollutants floating in the air that you breathe.
Your air conditioner has a filter, but it’s not enough in many cases. If you’re particularly sensitive or any of you in the family has allergies, you should consider installing household air filters. These filters come as media filters and electronic filters, which can be built into your HVAC system or installed as stand-alone units.
8. Consider ductless air conditioning.
Also called a mini-split system, a ductless air conditioner is composed of an indoor unit attached to a wall and an outdoor unit. Both units are connected by a refrigerant line that delivers electricity and another line that takes condensation away. A ductless system is preferable if you have no existing ducts but don’t want the window unit. It’s more efficient and less noisy than a window AC.
Some mini-split systems include heating and allow a network of multiple units in your house, making them a versatile alternative to otherwise cheaper room air conditioners. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about removing the unit once winter arrives, which is a tedious task for window AC owners.
9. Transfer your AC safely.
Whether you have a portable unit or a window unit, you may need to transport your air conditioner at some point. Even the smallest unit can be too bulky and heavy for the average person, and carrying all that weight around is troublesome and hazardous. Be better safe than sorry by using a hand truck. Secure the unit on the truck. Hold the hand truck firmly as you go upstairs or downstairs.
If you don’t have a hand truck or cart, you may have to improvise a sled with a rope to move the AC unit downstairs or upstairs. Secure the unit firmly on the sled with cleats and straps. Make sure you’re strong enough to hold and move the rope attached to the sled with the bulky machine. Otherwise, this procedure can be dangerous both for you and the unit and should be carried out by a professional instead.
10. Leave it to the pros.
One of the crucial air conditioning tips on Maui is to know when to drop your tools and call a professional technician. You should call a licensed HVAC contractor in the following situations:
- When you’re not sure what type of air conditioner to choose
- When you don’t know how to install a new AC
- When there’s a problem with your unit that you can’t identify or fix
- When your air conditioning system loses efficiency despite maintenance
- When your system sustains damage after a storm or an earthquake
Pacific Air Conditioning has been providing HVAC installations, tune-ups, and maintenance on Maui. Call us at 808-244-0161 to schedule a free consultation.