Air Conditioner Spring Cleaning

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Spring cleaning is tradition in many American households. It’s the perfect time of year for airing out linens, clearing out clutter, chasing away dust bunnies, and … cleaning your air conditioner. If the latter hasn’t been on your spring cleaning list in the past, this year is the perfect chance to start.


Cleaning out an A/C unit on your own might seem like a daunting task or a delicate process that only a professional should handle. The truth, however, is that A/C unit cleaning can be done in just a few easy steps by every homeowner. Adding your air-conditioning unit to the cleaning list is a great way to save time and money in the future.


Why Clean Your A/C Unit?

Many people don’t realize that throughout the year, air-conditioning units collect debris such as leaves, dirt, and twigs – and sometimes, larger obstructions like nests left by mice or squirrels. Taking the time to clear this debris away can significantly increase your unit’s overall functionality.


The average homeowner doesn’t pay attention to his or her air conditioner until something goes wrong, and doesn’t bother to clean or maintain it otherwise. This common habit is the reason repairs are so costly when they are needed. Instead of waiting for years of buildup to cause your unit to breakdown, perform easy annual A/C unit cleanings and save yourself the hassle.


How to Spring Clean Your Unit

First, completely shut off the power source to your unit at the breaker box or an exterior shut-off box. This will ensure your complete safety from moving parts and electricity during the cleaning. Next, remove the fan cage on top of the exterior using a screwdriver. With a vacuum or by hand, scoop out all the debris within its interior and hose it out with a garden hose. Be sure to spray out the fins from the inside out to get rid of debris between them.


For maximum efficiency, straighten any of the bent metal fins on your unit to increase airflow between them. You can do this carefully using a butter knife or other slender tool. Be gentle, so you don’t damage the tubing embedded within the fins. You can then change the blower filter and clear out the area surrounding your unit to complete your annual cleaning.