Air conditioners need to service regularly and people want to know how long it takes. So, I went to study the servicing process to find out.
The time required to service a split air conditioner is usually about 30 to 45 minutes. The air conditioner service time depends on the number of technicians and accessibility. In case of an air conditioner breakdown, additional time is required for troubleshooting and rectification.
Servicing the air conditioner is not just about a quick wash of the filter and fins, there are also important checks that need to be done in order to keep good health of the system. Hence, there are few factors to consider when estimating the service time.
Breakdown of Air Conditioner Service Time
Let's see what are the scope of work and the estimated time for each task. Thus, the service time can breakdown as follow:
|Work Description||Estimated Time|
|Part 1: Preparation, water pump, power connection||~ 5 minutes|
|Part 2: Indoor filter and fins cleaning, drain purging||5 to 10 minutes|
|Part 3: Outdoor fins cleaning||5 to 10 minutes|
|Part 4: Check gas pressure and running current||~ 5 minutes|
|Part 5: Testing||~ 5 to 10 minutes|
|Part 6: Wrap up, payment and leaving||~ 5 minutes|
The above breakdown not just provides you with the estimated time, but it also highlighted the necessary works for a good air conditioner service.
Factors Affecting Air Conditioner Service Time
It is important for us to tell the air conditioner service technicians some of the details in advance for them to have a better time estimation. The following are the 4 factors that are affecting air conditioner service time.
1. Air Conditioner Service Technicians
Servicing air conditioners is a labor-intensive job. Having 2 technicians can finish the service job significantly faster because works can be carried out simultaneously.
Usually, one technician will be performing the cleaning work while another technician supports it by setting up power and water supply, passing and taking tools rather than having only one technician climbing the ladder up and down. Nevertheless, having only one technician will still be able to complete the work but it'll take a longer time.
The skill of the technicians as well as their tools and equipment also plays an important role in speeding up the service time. Technicians with swifter hand and better equipment can work more efficiently and drastically reduce the service time.
Some technicians prefer not to dismantle the indoor unit of the air conditioner for cleaning work because it poses the risk of gas leakage later on when connecting back the refrigerant pipe. Instead, they use a canvas to capture the dirty water and the cleaning work can be carried out as usual while the indoor unit of the air conditioner remains in position.
2. Accessibility to the Air Conditioner
The accessibility of the air conditioner is critical when estimating the service time, especially for the outdoor unit. Some outdoor units located at places where it is very difficult for the technicians to perform service work. The technicians have a hard time trying to reach those places and it takes a lot of time for them to maneuver during the service.
It is best to describe and provide some photos for the technicians prior to the service appointment date if you feel that the accessibility is challenging for them. So, the technicians can prepare the necessary tools and equipment to perform smooth service work and waste no time.
3. The Dirtiness of the Air Conditioner
If dust collected at the fins of the air conditioner for a long period of time, it can become hardened. Once the dust is hardened, it is much difficult to wash away. Thus, technicians will take a longer time to service the air conditioner.
I usually peek at my air conditioner's outdoor unit to check on the fins condition once every 2-3 months. Usually is the outdoor unit that collects more dust than the indoor unit. If it is all dusty, I'll get it serviced. Otherwise, it is not just about the difficulty of cleaning the fins, but the air conditioner also consumes more power when the fins are all choked up.
4. The Type of Air Conditioner
Although typical houses use window and wall-mounted type air conditioner, some houses use ceiling cassette and ceiling ducted unit. Ceiling cassette and ceiling ducted air conditioner are much harder to service compared to the window and wall-mounted type air conditioner.
However, both ceiling cassette and ceiling ducted air conditioner have a better filter. Thus, their cooling fins are less likely to collect duct when their filter is cleaned regularly. Therefore, technicians often only clean the filter during their service.
What If Your Air Conditioner Breakdown?
The time requires to troubleshoot and rectify a malfunction air conditioner varies greatly depends on the problem. Most of the time, a malfunction air conditioner is due to refrigerant leakage. Depends on the skill of the technicians, refrigerant leakage usually can be resolved quickly. However, if you have a very minor refrigerant leak, the service technicians can take a few hours just to identify where is the leakage and take another hour to fix it. For the air conditioner service technicians, a big crack is better than a small crack.
If your air conditioner spoiled due to parts failure, most probably the technicians have to visit your house another day after they have purchased the new part for replacement. If you're lucky, the technicians may happen to have extra parts that they can change for you during your service.
Another common problem is water dripping. Often, it is because of the blockage of the drainpipe by the “jelly-like” substances. In this case, the service technicians just have to unclog the drainpipe by purging it with compressed gas such as nitrogen. It'll take just about 5 minutes to get it done.
Why do the air conditioner refrigerant leaks? Refrigerant pipe joints can crack over time due to constant vibration. Combine with the high operating pressure, the air conditioner refrigerant can leak through pipe cracks after a long period of time.
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