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  1. #1
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    Air Conditioner Cleaning and Servicing

    Most of us here use air conditioners but how many of us know how to service or clean the unit so that it works best. I for one don't know except that I have been advised to clean it regularly. How to go about it? Clean what and how and how often? What is best to do or not to do? When should a qualified service man be called in?

  2. #2
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    The missus does it, but I think she pays 500 baht a year per machine for cleaning, replacing the filter and re-gasing.

  3. #3
    My kind of town
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    Have a tech come in and clean your air con every 3 to 4 months. it cost about 400 to 600 baht depending on who you call. It will save you money in the long run. If the air con is dirty it will work harder. My electric bill came down 2k baht the month after I had all my units service.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    About 500B per unit per year. No point in servicing it until the start of the hot season. Be prepared.
    Last edited by superman; 30-09-2011 at 09:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    Maybe I need to clean mine more...
    (although, my electric bill was 1,400 baht this month; 4 bedroom house with 3 aircons, can't see that I'm wasting much...?)

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Do mine every 3 - 6 months, amazing amount of crap comes out of them! 600 baht a unit for full strip down by Nomchai here in Pattaya

  8. #8
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    Of course, it depends on how much you use them

    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    500 baht a year per machine for cleaning, replacing the filter and re-gasing.
    Cleaning, filter replacement/cleaning OK

    but regassing!? not every year surely

  9. #9
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    every 6 months here in Malaysia.....last time it cost about 2000 baht for 3 units....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Maybe I need to clean mine more...
    (although, my electric bill was 1,400 baht this month; 4 bedroom house with 3 aircons, can't see that I'm wasting much...?)

    Do you run the AC in bedrooms 24/7 or just at night?

  11. #11
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    Is there anyone on here who does the cleaning themselves and only calls a Tech when needed?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceburat1 View Post
    Is there anyone on here who does the cleaning themselves and only calls a Tech when needed?

    After watching the technician do it several times I decided I could do it myself to save calling him out. It took me twice as long as I had to be careful but its doable.....not so much to save money as to possibly make less mess.

    Also, it has happened to me a couple of times that after service technicians have cleaned the machine ( 300 baht twice a year ) the machine develops a drip and they have to come back. This is because they have just blasted all the crap off the combe which then just blocks up the drainage overflow pipe.

    Apart from regularly cleaning the filter ( easy, once a month with a vacum cleaner ) the most common problem you meet is the build up of ' mook ' or snot to you and me. This viscous snot like stuff tends to block the drainage channels and the pipe that drains off the condensed water. When technicians don't do the job properly and this snot is not removed , the condensed water backs up and your air con starts to drip.

    To clean it you need to totally remove the cover and completely expose the coombe. This is a bastard job on some units especially if they are mounted high up near the ceiling.

    Once you have exposted the coombe , the service people will put a hood around the machine to catch all the water they spray through a jet and stop it dripping down the wall. If you don't do this proceed with caution to avoid mess.

    The way I cleaned the coombe was :

    TURN OF THE MAINS POWER !!

    1) Hoover off all the excess crap you can see on the outer edges of the combe.

    2) poor a kettle full of warm water over the top of the comb and watch to see it drains through and where the overflow pipe for the condensed water is.

    3) Drainage channels will be somewhere at the bottom of the combe. Mine had 3. Check they are all clear of snot.

    4) Spray cleaning foam over the coombe ( scented is best ) and leave for 30 minutes.

    Next use a toothbrush or something similar to scrub the coombe down gently front and back. ( you may need to lift it away from the wall to do so )

    5) Use 2 or 3 kettles of warm water poored over the top of the coombe to clean out all the residual foam. Make sure the water is draining through the condensed water overflow pipe and not down the wall !!

    6 ) if you still see snotty stuff along the drainage channels, get as much out as you can by whatever means. I use tissue and cotten buds.

    7) Clean the fan at the bottom of the unit. If you are doing this manualy with a brush its another bastard job . You'll need a brush to suit and more cotten buds to get between the blades. To do this properly can take a least 40 minutes.

    8 ) Once the fan is clean , out everything back together and test run using just the fan without the air at first.

    It took me a couple of hours to do all this but it worked and was sweet smelling afterwards. I would not have attempted it myself had I not previously watched the technicians doing it several times by which time I knew what problems I was likely to meet.


    Finaly, if your air con has a drip and you need a quick fix before the cleaning men turn up ,you can find the end of the condensed water drainage pipe, and after giving it a clean, give a heftly blow up the pipe. This might temporarily blow out any snot thats blocking it at the top. This won't work if the machine han't been cleaned for a few years as it will be too gunged up.
    When I did this operation, Ms Bangyai was watching the top end of the drain pipe to see what happened. What happened was she got a face full of snotty shit

  13. #13
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    It is simple to clean the air con unit yourself.

    First of all the metao micro screen filters are easily removed, washed and replaced.

    I recommend cleaning these filters, (pop the top cover on the inside unit, screens slide right out) once a month as they will collect dust and it will blow all over the house causing itchy eyes etc.

    If you have a garden hose and a tarp to funnel and catch the water, it is quite easy to clean the inside unit, however, keeping the screens clean cuts down on the dirt going into the unit. If you routinely clean the screens the inside unit only needs to be washed out once or twice a year max.

    The outside unit get sprayed out with the hose once a month as it is likely to pick up more dirt being outside. This is pretty basic and it is important to ensure the fan blade is clean. Dirty fan blades will result in inefficiencies due to more resistance put on the motor.

    Servicing the unit with freon is about the only reason you should have to call a technician and if there are no leaks, this should not have to happen for quite a while.

    The cleaning part is really quite simple

  14. #14
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    ^ interesting post that one, Bagyai (you bloody cheap charlie... )

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    but regassing!? not every year surely
    Yes. Seems like I should do it more often... you live and learn...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ceburat1
    Do you run the AC in bedrooms 24/7 or just at night?
    If it's hot at night, if it's hot when I'm at home (weekends), maybe about 30-40 hours per week in my office/bedroom area (18btu aircon), the two smaller aircons (13BTU) in the missus' mother's room and the missus' office area are rarely used outside of the hot season... Maybe 50 hours per week total usage, on average?
    How do I post these pictures???

  15. #15
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    500 thb aircon cleaning is really too cheap to waste time doing it alone, especially as you don't know if you need to refill freon or not.

    Remind me people changing their car engine oil back home to save few euros...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by buycondojomtien View Post
    500 thb aircon cleaning is really too cheap to waste time doing it alone, especially as you don't know if you need to refill freon or not.

    Remind me people changing their car engine oil back home to save few euros...
    Agreed but do remember the majority of foreigners here have nothing to do so a bit of excitement like cleaning the air con does them good

  17. #17
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    There is really only a couple of things you need to do. Firstly make sure the outside unit is clean. If you live in a dusty or polluted area or city, Clean the outside unit every 3 months. If a cleaner area every 6 months. The easiest way is to turn off the unit and blow compressed air through the finning on the condenser(outdoor unit).Remove the top which is normally just a few screws and blow out the base. If their is excessive dust on electronics use very low pressure air so as not to damage them. The easiest way to clean the indoor unit is remove the filters and wash in cool water. You can buy a special spray from the refrigeration wholesaler which does not require to be washed off. The natural condensate water is enough to wash the chemical off. Just spray the finned coil and refit cleaned filters. Check that the drain is clear and not full of dirt. Be aware that some indoor units have a small pump in the drain if their is nowhere to fit a normal drain. E.G inside wall. Thes pumps are very small and it does not take much to block them. This is all you need to do to keep your unit running efficiently. If you are regassing an A/C it has a leak!!! Get it fixed!! The refrigerant(gas) should never need replacing unless there is a leak or major mechanical breakdown. You can trust me on the above. I have been both technician and engineer in refrigeration and A/C for over 40 years.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    but regassing!? not every year surely
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    Yes. Seems like I should do it more often... you live and learn...
    Quote Originally Posted by ozthai
    The refrigerant(gas) should never need replacing unless there is a leak or major mechanical breakdown
    that would be what I thought, same as in the car

    just clean the unit properly, re-gas if there is a leak (after fixing the leak!)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceburat1 View Post
    Is there anyone on here who does the cleaning themselves and only calls a Tech when needed?
    Yes i do ! It only takes a few mins. Just take the filters out and wash them with warm soapy water. You would be shocked with the filthy state of most i take out.
    Some have not been cleaned ...EVER. and must be quite dangerous.
    Having seen what is in those airconditioners, i never use one until i have pulled the filters out.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    that would be what I thought, same as in the car
    Me little Honda City got regassed at the 1 year service. I had a mate back home who owned a fair sized second hand car yard, and he was always regassing the older vehicles. Mai rue...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airportwo
    600 baht a unit for full strip down by Nomchai here in Pattaya
    Nomchai have a special on at the moment - only Tb500 per unit

  22. #22
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    Can we get a price update please for 2015 ?

    Cos I'm in Phuket and just got quoted 1500thb to service each unit
    and we have 20 units !!!!

    Three times a year works out EXPENSIVE !

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleesy View Post
    Cos I'm in Phuket and just got quoted 1500thb to service each unit
    and we have 20 units !!!!

    Three times a year works out EXPENSIVE !
    That's what you get for living in the most expensive area of LOS.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleesy
    Three times a year works out EXPENSIVE !
    Once a year is enough for a service.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleesy
    Three times a year works out EXPENSIVE !
    Once a year is enough for a service.
    Depends too on how much dust/dirt is blown thru the air around said A/C.

    I hose my A/C compressor units out every 3 months or so depending on how much dirt is collected on the coils. Vacuum the evaporators too - wash the filters. Takes 15 min total and makes a big difference on the performance of said A/C unit not to mention your electric bill.

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