With summer coming to an end in Auburn, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be full of dust and yard refuse. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out faster.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.
Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they develop into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we perform involves:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
You can still have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.
There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several parts on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Pick a mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a couple of items:
- 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
Cut the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove debris from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Forster Heating should fix extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, reach out to us a call at 530-885-8081.
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 should be exchanged every several months, depending on the model you use.
Not sure when you last replaced yours? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can clean it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and switch 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 Forster Heating can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual tune-up!