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July ECA Best Content Runner-Up | Winter Air Conditioner Maintenance: A Quick Guide for Renters

August 17, 2017

Check out Amber’s article about AC and HVAC maintenance and its analysis below.

Without the ability to upgrade cooling or install solar panels, renters are set to suffer as electricity prices soar. While channelling your inner Scandinavian this winter and hibernating with a mulled wine may be tempting, maintaining your rental air-con now can save you lots of cash and headaches when the summer sun reappears.  Don't just vent about it  Dust and dirt naturally settles on the vents and coils of your air conditioner. This gradually reduces energy efficiency, as the unit needs to work harder to keep your home at an optimal temperature in the Australian summer heat. Filthy coils may even pose a fire hazard. Following the maintenance instructions for your unit, give the indoor fan vents and coils a good clean. Make sure that you chat with your landlord or rental agent before doing any major maintenance on the air conditioner in your rental property—if you're lucky, they'll do the dirty work for you!  Filters aren't just for Snapchat  The indoor air conditioning unit has air filters to catch airborne nasties such as dust, allergens and bacteria to keep the air fresh. If this is left to build up, the air conditioner will be less efficient, more expensive, less healthy and more likely to fail while labouring in the peak heat of summer. Sacrifice ten minutes in between Netflix binges this winter to give your air conditioner filter a thorough clean. To do this, simply switch the power off to the unit, remove the filter/s and give them a gentle tap outside to dislodge the majority of the gunk, before vacuuming the rest. Now set a reminder in your phone to do this regularly, and you'll save yourself dollars on your energy bill, as well as keeping the air quality high. Filters need to be replaced periodically, so let your landlord know if you think that the filter in your air conditioning unit is ready for a change.  Call in the professionals  If you notice any damage while giving your air conditioner a seasonal clean, it's important that you notify your landlord or rental agency so a trained professional can perform any repairs. Your unit should be serviced every few years by a professional, who will check the thermostat and refrigerant levels as well as giving the external coils a good clean. If your unit hasn't been serviced for a while, check your tenancy agreement for details about service regularity before contacting your landlord or rental agency—it's in their best interest to keep the unit maintained for longevity, while your interest is in keeping your energy bill as cool as your thermostat this summer.  For more information on the responsibility for repairs and maintenance in rental properties, contact the housing department in your state or territory.


Vertical: HVAC Contractors

Keyword: air conditioning repair




The article focuses on a specific audience of renters trying to maintain an air conditioning unit. Many articles focus on homeowners, but not as many focus on people renting properties. Ultimately, each section provides information specific to renters, which enhances the authority of the piece as a whole.


With any repair or maintenance article, you run the risk of getting too technical, even when your chosen audience seemingly has no experience in the related industry. This article relies on conversational and descriptive language to give readers a heads up about how to perform basic maintenance without getting in trouble with the property owner or landlord.


The article starts off with two actions renters can take on their own, helping them gain perspective for what they might be able to do on their own. The final section on calling in professionals reminds them that ultimately renters shouldn’t do too much of their own AC or HVAC maintenance. The progression of ideas isn’t complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.



Use Value:

It’s winter in Australia right now (and when the article was submitted), so the piece offers a useful timeliness. Beyond that, it includes specific details renters want or need to know. Each supporting point solidly connects back to the controlling idea and the audience, and each suggestion is easy to follow.


The topic of HVAC maintenance will never be glamorous, but it’s still important for renters to understand. The first two section headings in particular utilize a play on words to draw readers in and help bring further interest to the topic. In the end, what sets this article apart is the narrow audience with key points in each section that apply specifically to that group of readers.

Check out all of the July ECAs winners here.

By WritersDomain

WritersDomain is a team of in-house writers, editors, and support staff.

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