If you own an air conditioner, you should take care of it by getting it serviced on a regular basis. At the same time, though, you don’t always need an air conditioner technician to do all maintenance for you. Doing some simple cleaning can extend the life of your air conditioner and ensure that you’re minimizing your energy costs. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your air conditioner is clean is to use these handy steps.
Always Work Under Safe Conditions
Whenever you’re working on something that uses electricity, you should always turn the power off at the source. This is especially true when you’re working with big equipment, such as an air conditioner. You can turn the power source off by going to the electrical panel and shutting it off. You should also let your entire family know that they shouldn’t turn it back on because you’re working on the air conditioner. Doing this job early in the day is also a good idea because you’ll be more likely to be able to work without your family being hot and uncomfortable.
Clean Out the Inside Unit
Whenever you’re cleaning out your air conditioner, you should start with the inside unit, which will usually be located in a utility closet, the attic, or the basement. Once you’ve found this unit, start by opening the access door on the side of the unit. Then, clean the evaporator coils inside of the unit. You should also use a soft brush or cloth to do so.
The second step is to clean any mold or other allergens out of the drip tray. Start this process by removing the tray from the inside of the unit. Then, soak the tray in a mixture of bleach and water for a couple of minutes to kill anything living on the surface. Finally, replace the tray back where you found it.
The final step to cleaning the inside unit is to find where the evaporator hose empties. This will usually be on the outside of the house or inside of a basement. You can skip this process if the water that you pour down the drain runs clear. But if you find a blockage, you should use a shop vac to clear the obstruction. It should be able to suck it out when you use the attachment to the wet vac. You’ll typically want to do this step for a couple of minutes.
Clean the Outside Unit
When it’s time to clean the outside unit, you should find this part of the air conditioner on a concrete slab around the outside of the house. To start this process, simply start clearing away any overgrowth that might be beginning to creep around the unit. You might need a weed whacker or some pruning sheers, depending on how much growth you have. The next step is to clear away any branches, twigs, leaves, or other debris that might have fallen on top of the unit.
The next step is to take the grate off. Usually, you’ll need to take some screws out of the unit to remove it. Then, put the screws in a safe place for later and put the grate to the side.
You should also take a cloth to wipe away any loose dirt inside the unit. Otherwise, if there’s stuck-on dirt, you should use a hose to spray it off with water. When you’re done with this step, use a rag or some paper towels to clear away the majority of the water left behind from spraying the unit down.
The fins near the condenser coils are delicate, but they do important work when it comes to saving on energy costs. They need to be straight to do this, though. If you find bent fins, straighten them with a special comb that you can find at a home improvement store. Then, once you’ve finished this, you can put the grate back on, carefully replacing the screws.
Turn the Air Conditioner Back On
Go to the thermostat and turn the unit back to the off position. Then, go to the electrical outlet and turn the switch that you previously turn off back to the on position. Finally, you should turn the thermostat to the cool position.
Whenever you need some help maintaining or repairing your air conditioner, call us at R.J. Groner Inc. in Stroudsburg, PA. We can help you with a variety of air conditioning projects. You can also count on us for a full range of plumbing, heating, and indoor air quality services.