During the cold months, you most likely put your air conditioner unit away. During that time, the unit can collect dust and get things stuck between the vents. This is bound to happen, but that doesn't mean you should re-install it without proper cleaning. Furthermore, while it's doing its work during the warmer months, it's also essential to keep it clean so you don't run into any issues while using it. The same goes for if you have Central Air and don't clean the condenser that sits outside of your home. If you are unsure about how to properly clean your AC system, don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are some tips on how to clean your AC system so it remains functioning at its best.
Clean the condenser
The condenser is the outdoor piece of an air conditioner that either releases or collects heat, depending on the time of the year. Since it's technically working all year round, you need to ensure the condenser keeps clean so it functions properly. The first thing you have to do is shut off power to the unit by either the switch or plug. Next, vacuum the condenser fins, which are the fine, narrow slats of metal that line the sides of the compressor unit. Vacuuming the fins will remove the debris and allow the condenser to pull in the air without obstruction.
Once you're done vacuuming, you might realize some of the fins are not lined properly. Since the condenser is outside, it deals with all types of weather such as wind, rain, and snow. It might've even been hit by a branch or rock. This is anticipated to happen, so you should gently re-align the fins by using a knife or kitchen utensil. Don't bend them too forcefully, or you could risk damaging the fins further.
Next, unscrew and remove the fan that sits on top of the compressor by using a screwdriver to remove the wiring on top of the fan, and then unscrew and remove the fan itself. Proceed to wash the fan blades and the interior fins by using your garden hose and rinse any debris from the blades of the fan. You can also wipe them off with a clean cloth or rag to make sure everything gets removed. When that's all completed, you can reassemble the compressor unit.
Clean inside the unit
The unit itself should also be cleaned. You can start by changing the replaceable air filters, which should be done twice a year. Remove the metal grate that covers the filter, pull it out, and replace it. Some filters can actually be reusable, so if yours can, you'll want to clean it twice a year as well. It's as simple as taking out the filter and following the manufacturer's instructions. Typically speaking, most filters can be cleaned by running them under lukewarm tap water and using a small amount of dish soap.
Another thing you should do is clean the drain of the unit. When the evaporator unit cools and de-humidifies air from outside, runoff liquid is produced and runs through a drain located in the floor, it produces runoff liquid. Run a still wire through the drain to make sure it's not clogged. If it is, the wire will help clear it.
Air conditioner system upkeep
Now that everything is nice and clean, you want to make sure it stays that way. Extra ways to help make sure your air conditioning unit stays clean include trimming the plants and bushes around your condenser and always washing off pollen and dust that spring may bring off your condenser by using a hose. If you're unsure about if your AC unit is cleaned at its best, or if you don't trust yourself to clean it without damaging it, you can always call in a professional who can inspect it and clean it annually.
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