With summer ending in Laurel, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be full of dirt and debris from your yard. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down sooner.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle slight issues before they turn into costly problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete includes:
- Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections
It’s not too late to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.
There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of pieces on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Select a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your system once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a handful of tools:
- Wet-dry vacuum and hose with a soft brush attachment
- Butter knife
- Damp rag
- Small, round paintbrush
- Replacement furnace filter (if necessary)
Related: How AC Repair and Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money
Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Switch off the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.
You need to be careful with these fine coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from H&C Heating and Cooling should handle severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, reach out to us a call at 301-960-3247.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Turn off the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters must be changed every several months, depending on the type you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, buy a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn the power back on.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from H&C Heating and Cooling can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual tune-up!