With summer winding down in Arlington, now is an ideal time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be blocked with dust and debris from your yard. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.
Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address small issues before they develop into costly 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
- Confirming pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
You can still have a tune-up 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. You just need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few pieces 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 warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can check your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a few 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
Follow these Steps for Cleaning the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Take out debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.
You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning should handle extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, give us a call at 360-255-5857.
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 must be replaced every couple of months, depending on the model you use.
Unsure when you last replaced yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by draining watered-down bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and turn 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 Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular service!