I have a confession to make: my husband and I have committed a glaring act of environmental vandalism. It was definitely NOT intentional but, every time I think about it, I break into a cold sweat of remorse and guilt.
We had a new reverse cycle air-conditioning system installed at the end of 2008 and we love it. At the time of installation I asked the contractor what I needed to do in the way of maintenance and was told that I didn't need to do a thing. Lovely. I read the instruction booklet which had no mention of maintenance either. Lovely.
Over the summer and, particularly last Saturday when the temperature soared, the air-conditioner seemed to be struggling, as well as making a lot of noise. We were running it at the maximum we could. We ended up moving outside to our rumpus room where it was cooler but left the air-conditioner on in the vain hope that as the sun set the system would improve. I could almost see the emissions pouring into the atmosphere by that point and felt a little sick.
Finally, my husband and I admitted we had a problem and would have to call in a repairman. Not something we could really afford after having had to have a termite treatment recently. *cringe* First, however, I wanted to check the manual again. Just as I remembered, there was nothing. This time, however, I went to the trouble-shooting section which suggested cleaning the air intake grille. We had nothing to lose so we did and it was FILTHY. I'm surprised we hadn't all died of some sort of bronchial malfunction! We replaced the grille, turned it on and waited. It was still on maximum and, pretty soon, the house became ARCTIC. Furthermore, the fan noise was almost non-existent, even on high.
I'm glad we were able to fix the problem and I can assure Mother Nature that we'll be cleaning the air intake grille on a very regular basis from now on. I just wish we'd known to do it sooner.