With summer coming to an end in Greater Richmond, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be blocked with dust and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out faster.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up every year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.
Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address small issues before they turn into expensive problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we do consists of:
- Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections
You can still have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.
There’s also some work 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 few components on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Choose a warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your equipment 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 electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove rubbish from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.
You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Bent or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling should fix extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Replace the fan 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 properly, contact us a call at 804-302-6657.
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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be exchanged every few months, depending on the kind you use.
Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Remove it and angle it toward 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 dirty, you can clean it by draining watered-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.
Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular service!