With summer winding down in Sandpoint, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be full of dust and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out more quickly.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained once a year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy expenses.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle small issues before they become high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete involves:
- Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Confirming pressure and temperature
- Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
It’s not too late to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.
There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few parts on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit
Choose a warm day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can check the unit 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
Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Switch off the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Take out waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Age Heating & Cooling should fix large amounts of damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working like it should, contact us a call at 208-603-2210.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Next, How You Can Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters must be replaced every few months, depending on the kind you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? Take it out 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple 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 replace the tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and switch the power back on.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Don’t Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Age Heating & Cooling can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine tune-up!