Everyone should know how to do some minor air conditioner maintenance. It’s a great way to not just save you money, but to make sure you never take the air conditioning for granted, because eventually, it might not be there when you’ll need it most. Plus, it’s easy to do! Following the simple steps outlined here can save you money on energy costs and extend the life of your unit.
Before doing any air conditioner maintenance, you should shut off the power to the unit. Doing work around any electricity or spinning fans can be hazardous when the proper precautions aren’t taken, so cut the power while you’re working on your air conditioning just to be sure.
Cleaning the Air Conditioner Condenser
Your AC’s condenser is one of the most important components: it creates the cool air! Cleaning a ground-level condenser is important because plant matter and debris can clog up the grills. Remove the grate that sits over the fan and vacuum/wash out the debris inside. Wash out the fins from the inside out with a hose with no pressure; the fins can easily be damaged if the pressure is too high.
Speaking of the fins, you can examine them to see if they sustained any damage. If they are bent or flattened, you can repair them with a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife. Just be careful of the tubing in the fins.
If there is any plant growth around the condenser, cut it down or prune it back at a distance of around 2 feet. Rake anything on the ground away, and keep an eye on the area to prevent any large growths from interfering with the unit.
Cleaning Your Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils absorb heat with refrigerant flowing through their tubes. Situated behind the blower motor, the evaporator
coils can get really dusty. Lift the cover and dust off the coils with a soft paintbrush. Get some coil cleaner from your local hardware store and spray down the evaporator coils, letting it all drip into a drain pan. Clean out the drain pan with water and a little soap. You can use this to test to see if the unit is draining properly, too!
Cleaning The Condensate Drain
The condensate drain is a pipe, usually made of PVC, that comes off the enclosure that houses all the evaporator components. It lets moisture escape rather than accumulate, but it can’t do this when it’s clogged. Blocked moisture can also lead to mildew and mold, which can spread through your system and cause more damage.
For simple blockages, you can connect a wet/dry vac to the end with some duct tape and suck out the issue. Disinfectant can be poured down it to ensure any organisms are killed but ask an expert before performing this.
Clean Filters Play A Major Role In Air Conditioner Maintenance
Change at least twice a year when you transition over to the warm or cold. Make sure you have the correct size for your unit and insert it in the right direction of the air flow; look into your manual and at the frame for these directions!
After following these inexpensive steps, turn on your power and let the AC run for a couple of hours. Make a note of anything odd or problematic, and if you can’t trace it, give your local HVAC experts a call.