With summer winding down in Arlington, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be blocked with dirt and yard waste. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric bills.
Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address small issues before they become 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
- Checking pressure and temperature
- Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections
There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.
There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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 temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run 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
Stop the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Empty debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Bent or crushed fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning should handle severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, contact 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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be exchanged every several months, depending on the kind you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 moldy, you can freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and restore power.
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 provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine maintenance!