Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, or anyone else who has an AC unit to worry about, the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to give you problems. We often don’t realize how much we rely on our AC units for comfort until they stop working. When this happens, we’re left in heat or cold until a company can come out to help us.
However, there are some things that you can do to prevent your AC unit from breaking down. Learn how to clean an air conditioner the correct way, and you won’t have to worry too much about it giving you troubles down the road. Once you learn how to clean it well, you can then diagnose small problems before calling in the professionals.
Want to learn how to clean your AC unit properly and avoid future problems? Continue reading below for our guide!
1. Changing the Filter
To begin with, the simplest step that you can take to help keep your AC unit clean and running smoothly is to change the filter each month. To help you remember to do this, try to have a specific day that you change it and stick to that day each month. For example, changing it on the first of each month is a good idea.
If you can remember to do this each month, you’ll take away a lot of future troubles. When the filter isn’t cleaned on a regular basis, it becomes dirty and clogged up. When this happens, your AC unit has to work a lot harder than it normally would.
Changing the air filter each month not only helps your AC unit not work as hard, but it helps lower your electric bill as well. Plus, it’s an inexpensive step that’ll extend the life of your unit and prevent the need for future ac repair.
2. Cleaning the Coils
Your AC unit outdoors has coils or fins that surround it. These coils need to be cleaned as well. The first step in cleaning the coils is to be sure that anything around the coils that could be obstructing it is removed.
When debris is blocking the coils on your unit, the system is forced to work a lot harder than it would normally. To clean the coils, you can take your garden hose and gently spray them off. Be sure not to use a high setting that exerts a lot of force as this could cause damage.
3. Checking the Ductwork
When your AC unit is running, be sure that all windows and doors to your home or building are kept shut. This is true when using the heat or cold air because your unit will be able to regulate the temperature better this way. Then, take a look at the ductwork.
You want to ensure that it’s sealed as it should be. Perform this inspection on a regular basis. If there is an issue with the ductwork, then the cool or hot air will leave the ductwork before being transferred into your home or building.
This forces your unit to work harder and cause possible issues.
4. Removing Debris
Your outside unit is prone to having debris build-up on it. You’ll need to ensure that this debris is removed as often as possible. To do this, you need to remove the fan cage.
Take a screwdriver and remove the fasteners that hold the fan cage onto the unit. Then, lift it up and away from the unit completely. You can now access all of the leaves and other debris that was trapped inside of it.
Use your bare hands to remove it or use a wet/dry vacuum to do the work for you.
5. Cleaning Around the Unit
Aside from cleaning the unit itself, you need to clean the area around the outside unit as well. Any debris that’s around the unit should be raked or swept away. Be sure to remove any tree branches hovering over the unit as well, and keep bushes nearby trimmed.
Your unit needs about 2 feet of a clear path from all sides to work in a proper manner. And when not using the condenser, you can cover the top of the unit to keep debris from falling into it as well. However, be sure not to cover the entire unit or sides of it as this can cause critters to enter for cover or condensation to build.
6. Cleaning the Evaporator Coil and Drain
The last step that you can take to keep your AC unit clean is to clean the evaporator coil and drain. Locate the coil door and remove the screws or tape around it to open it. To start your cleaning, take a soft brush and brush off loose debris from the coils.
Then, you can use a store-bought coil cleaner and spray the coils with it. The cleaner will then drip into the pan below the coils. After it’s done dripping, clean the pan out with warm water and soap and a small amount of bleach if needed.
You can then pour a mix of half bleach and half water down the drain.
Do You Know How to Clean an Air Conditioner?
Knowing how to clean an air conditioner unit is essential when owning a home or building. Be sure to follow these simple steps above to clean your AC unit the correct way. Doing so will be your best bet at keeping your unit running as smoothly as possible, lasting years to come!
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