1) By fragrance loving home owners:
a) Burning of essential oil or incense and using of air purifier or oil based/alcohol based body lotions.
Essential oil is believed to promote better health, improve breathing, de-stress and lots of other benefits. Thus, it is very difficult to advice home owners to refrain from using them. Chemical added to air-purifiers was promoted as air purifiers and claims to effectively remove dust from the air, helpful for people suffering from asthmas. In case you don’t know what it is, it is the 4th picture in the centre. I have a customer who claims that after she started using the air purifier she observed less dust found on her desk and floor. I think that’s highly possible as the oil based chemical added into the swirling water attracts the dust particles in the air. (PS: Do you know that some industrial engineers will spray a thin layer of oil onto air filters as it will attract and trap more dust particles?)
However, using such oil based purifier together with the air conditioner is a bad idea; the chemical released into the air will ultimately be absorbed into the air conditioning system. If the chemical indeed attracts dust, it will start to attract dust at the fan coil, causing the fan coil to clog up. But that’s not all, aircon blower get wet from condensation, providing water source suitable for mold to grow, with the presence of oil particles (a rich nutrient), mold multiplies very quickly when the aircon is turned off and when the temperature rises. As such we observe enormous mold growth within aircon when the family goes away on holiday. Our observation is that families that used such products see lots of jelly-liked substances forming at the fan coil. These jelly not only clog up the fan coil, it reduces the wind flow, and clogs the water pipe; resulting in water dripping. Ironically, while the chemical based air purifier was used as a means of improving the air quality so as to prevent asthma attacks, using it together with the aircon results in mold growth within an aircon blower, whereby mold can trigger asthma attacks.
We further observed enormous jelly build up in families that burns essential oil. Our observation is that after a thorough chemical cleaning, the same amount of jelly will build up as quickly as 3-6 months, causing water dripping and a choked fan coil.
When you have a running nose or a sinus problem and starts to release inhalers the way you release essential oil; by burning a collector of water over a candle, soon your air conditioner will have a running nose too, that is, water dripping. The effect is similar to burning of essential oil.
Excessive use of oil based / alcohol based body lotions do result in jelly formation too; thus, you must be prepared to conduct proper chemical cleaning pretty regularly; at most you can stretch it to once in a year, it may be shorter depending on how soon your air conditioner starts leaking water.
Many of our customers commented that they are using air purifiers in the other room so it should be ok for their room. Some commented that they are using air purifiers while the air conditioner is not turned on, so it should be ok. Unfortunately, they are not ok. Diffusion occurs, good smell does migrate. As long as your room smells nice, it means that the petroleum-based chemical is present in your room. Read this label:
Some rooms seem to cope better as regards to water dripping. This has to do with the way the water pipe is laid. If one of the rooms has a poor water pipe gradient, then the presence of jelly substance will clog up the water pipe much faster.
as compared to the other room. Either there is a way to fix the water pipe infrastructure problem, or else, you will have to avoid jelly build up.
But Spa and beauty salon uses such products too, why didn’t they run into trouble?
If they operate in shopping centres that uses centralised air conditioning, the FCU uses thick fiber filters better than cooker hoot filters, these filters are better in protecting the system, but still there will be jelly built up, which needs regular clearing of the choked drain pipe. As for those that installed air conditioners similar to those installed in your home, trust me, they are always running into trouble.
2) By humidity conscious home owners:
a) Using of humidifiers to replace lost water moisture
It is common knowledge that an air-conditioned room feels dry. Nevertheless, the law of physics works in such a way that the energy produced by an air conditioner is first used to remove the water moisture before they were used to effectively cool a room. Therefore, if you attempt to replenish the water moisture in the room by putting in a humidifier, you are in fact making the air conditioner work extra hard without properly cooling the room down. The extra water produces creates more problem as more dust is flushed down the system, causing water dripping (if you have a poor water pipe infrastructure). When big commercial buildings or shopping centres have difficulty cooling the space down, they put in dehumidifier to dry the air.
b) Leaving the windows / doors partially opened
Similar to what that’s explained above, a not properly closed window / door allows water moisture to keep replenishing itself. This causes the aircon to work extra hard trying to remove the water moisture. The fan coil will be always in a very wet condition, which attracts lots of dust and oil. Since the aircon will be made to work harder and longer hours, needless to say, it is not good for your pocket nor the life span of the aircon.
3) By health conscious home owners:
a) Spraying of chemical directly into the fan coil
Modern air conditioners are built to be more efficient, this they do so by packing the aluminum fins more tightly together, most with multi layering properties. If you shine a touch light on a modern fan coil, chances are you see nothing at the other end. Meaning, the air is made to move in a zig-zag manner through the fan coil. These greatly increase the surface area and improve the heat exchange properties.
Nevertheless, it is this characteristic that makes modern air conditioner more susceptible to choke; dust particles get choked in this tightly packed air space.
Think about it. If dust gets trapped in the fan coil, how will it be possible that after spraying some chemical into it, it will flush out all by itself? You see the guys that does the demo clearly demonstrated and shown a bottle of dirty water coming out of the fan coil after he sprays his quick fix chemical on it? But what that you can see are those chemicals and dirt that gets trapped in the fan coil that haven’t been flushed out.
On top of that, these chemicals are usually acid based and will corrode your fan coil when stayed in your fan coil for a long time.
b) Spraying of Disinfectants, Insecticides in air conditioned rooms.
The base chemical for pressurised spray cans are usually hydro carbon. We observed jelly built up in families that spray disinfectants and pest control substances in the room regularly. Thus, please do not spray anything in an air conditioned environment. I’ve a customer who sprayed disinfectants directly onto the surface of the fan coil, the objection, of course is to kill germs. But the jelly problem became so bad the entire fan coil was choked with those jelly liked substance. It took us 4 rounds of high pressure cleaning (with chemical) before we successfully unclogs the system.
c) Putting in extra 3M filters.
The very reason why your filters are so “lousy” is simply a result of trade off for a quieter, smaller and energy efficient motor. If you put in good filters, they end up blocking your airflow. Feedbacks we get from customers is that the airflow becomes very weak and it varies from brands to brands. Usually Sanyo, Panasonic and Daikin has high airflow (i do not wish to mention names of those with weak airflow on my website), so they may cope very differently from use of filtrete.
But because “Good” filters are so good in blocking the dust, they end up blocking the air flow.
d) Using hot steam cleaner /hot water to disinfect the air conditioner.
Undeniable, hot steam / water kills germs. BUT do you know hot steam/water measuring 100’C wiil risk damaging your thermistor? Worst, mold do not “die” unless the temperature is raised above 140’C. Steam which is 100’C, cannot “kill” mold but rather stress them, causing them to produce mycotoxin, you will be worst off. If you google and read up on mold, you’ll know what i’m saying is true.
Thermistor is a temperature sensing device placed at the fan coil to detect the temperature of the fan coil and/or air. It is a variable resistance component that has a working temperature ranging from some -50’C to 125’C (may vary from different manufacturer).
The temperature your thermistor in your air conditioner is usually operating between 10’C to 28’C. I would say, a stress free environment for the thermistor to last you a long time. I don’t think pushing it to 100’C is a good idea.
Thus, if you really want to use a hot steam cleaner, do remember to remove the thermistor first!
Also please bear in mind that while hot steam kills bacteria, it will not remove dust and mold that chokes your fan coil. If there is rubbish in your room, you will need to throw them out, don’t you? Do you use hot steam to disinfect the rubbish?
When your fan coil is choked, the only proven way is to use alkaline based chemical and flush the dirt out using very high pressurised water.
4) By comfort loving home owners
a) Excessive use of talcum powder.
Excessive use of talcum powder can send these fine powders straight into the air conditioner. It will clog the fan coil as well as the water tray and pipe. The result is cooling problem caused by the choked fan coil, as well as water dripping caused by choke to the drainpipe and tray.