Air Conditioner Cleaning Tips You Need to Know

Posted on: June 14, 2017

One of the best ways to ensure the consistent, efficient performance of your air conditioner is with a routine maintenance schedule that includes periodic cleaning of system components. Preventive annual maintenance should be performed at the start of each cooling season by a licensed, experienced professional to ensure safe, reliable operation and prevent mid season breakdowns and costly repairs—but there are a number of steps a homeowner can take throughout cooling season to maximize comfort and efficiency. Here are some air conditioner cleaning tips to get you started.

The Benefits of Regular AC Maintenance

Not unlike your vehicle, your HVAC equipment requires regular tuning and cleaning in order to ensure peak performance. Additional benefits include:

  • Increased efficiency. A dirty or neglected AC unit has to work even harder to deliver cool, conditioned air and control indoor humidity levels. Once system components have been cleaned airflow and efficiency are instantly improved.
  • Cost savings. As your air conditioner works to meet the demand for cool air, dirty or worn parts can hamper its progress, needlessly driving up the cost of energy. A clean, well maintained unit also requires less repairs saving you even more.
  • Enhanced airflow. The flow of air can be impeded by a dirty filter, blower wheel, coils, or ductwork, decreasing comfort and efficiency.
  • Cleaner air. A dirty or clogged air filter or system components introduce and circulate particulate such as dust, mold spores, dander, pollen, and other allergens throughout your living space.
  • Peace of mind. Rest easy knowing that your cleaned and tuned AC will perform safely and reliably throughout cooling season.
  • Prolonged lifespan. Dirty components wear out faster than clean ones, due to prolonged friction and stress which can shorten the lifespan of your equipment.

Air Conditioner Cleaning Tips

Most cleaning tasks can be handled by the homeowner, but if you are unable to clean your AC unit yourself, be sure to contact Air Experts Heating & Cooling for professional assistance.

Cleaning The Condenser

  1. Turn off the power at the outdoor unit or on the main electrical panel for safety.
  2. Clear the area around and above the unit, removing grass, foliage, and debris—aiming for a clearance of at least two feet on all sides and four feet above.
  3. Clean the condenser fins which are the thin metallic blades surrounding the outdoor unit (these fins are quite fragile so use a light hand to ensure they are not bent or broken). Check your manual to determine how to remove the outer box to access the fins and vacuum them with a soft brush.
  4. If comfortable, unscrew the fan to access the interior portion of the condenser. Because the fan is wired to the main unit, you’ll need another set of hands to hold it in place while you vacuum out any visible debris.
  5. While the fan is removed, gently spray the fins from the inside out.
  6. Replace the fan, and outside covering.
  7. Restore power and check to ensure the unit is operational.

Cleaning The Indoor Unit

  1. Turn off the power at the unit or on the main electrical panel.
  2. Check the furnace filter and clean or replace as needed.
  3. Open the blower compartment and vacuum any visible dust or debris.
  4. Replace blower compartment door and restore power to the unit.

A clean, well maintained air conditioning system operates at peak performance, providing cool conditioned air throughout the heat and humidity of a Raleigh-Durham area summer. Call the experienced team of professionals at Air Experts Heating & Cooling today to learn more, or contact us online to schedule an appointment. 

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