Cleaning Your Air Conditioning Unit

CleanACUnitWeb350Pix.jpgA couple of months ago, we wrote a post on how rain affects your outdoor air conditioning unit and whether or not you should cover it during a storm. It doesn’t and covering is not necessary, of course, but this does call to mind the idea of cleaning it….particularly if it’s been an especially stormy year. It should be noted that this is different from servicing your unit, which should be handled by a professional on at least an annual basis. Cleaning it is a task that you can effectively handle yourself. If you’re unsure of where to start, no worries! You’re in the right place.

We’ll begin with the interior components:

1) Turn off the power to the unit, both at the furnace switch AND the main electrical panel.

2) Replace your old furnace filter with a new one.

3) Open the panel and locate the blower component. Use a vacuum to pull any dust or debris that has accumulated inside the chamber.

4) Carefully disconnect the condensation drain tube and either replace it or clean it with a 1 to 16 part bleach and water solution.

5) Use a soft bristled brush to clean the drain port of any debris, and then reconnect the drain tube.

6) Turn the power to the unit back on, both at the furnace switch AND the main electrical switch.

 

Follow the steps below to clean the exterior condenser:

1) Turn off the power to the unit, both at the furnace switch AND the main electrical panel.

2) Vacuum away dirt, grass, and leaves from the fins using a wet-dry vac with a soft-bristled brush attachment. Remove all vegetation and debris from around the condenser.

3) Check for any bent fins, and taking care not to insert it more than a half inch inside the unit, use a case knife to gently straighten them out.

4) Remove the top grille and carefully lift the fan out. Set it aside without pulling at the attached electrical wires. Remove any debris you find inside before wiping the interior clean.

5) Using moderate water pressure with your garden hose, gently spray the fins from the inside out. Wipe dry.

6) Replace the fan and the top grille, and turn the power to the unit back on, both at the furnace switch AND the main electrical switch.

7) Set your thermostat to ‘cool’, and trigger the unit to turn on by lowering the temperature setting to below the current temperature.

8) Wait 10 minutes, and then check that the insulated tubing that runs from the unit to your house feels cool to the touch and that the uninsulated tubing feels warmer.

If at any point in these procedures you find yourself stuck, please do not hesitate to call one of our professionals. Additionally, if this is not a task you feel comfortable undertaking, we are happy to clean and service your unit for you.