With summer winding down in Lexington, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be blocked with mud and yard refuse. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out faster.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy costs.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address small issues before they turn into expensive problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete includes:
- Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Confirming pressure and temperature
- Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.
There’s also some upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several parts on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
Tips for Cleaning the Outdoor AC Unit
Choose a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check your system once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a handful of things:
- 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove debris from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.
You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from James Heating & A/C, Inc should fix severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re done.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, reach out to us a call at 336-853-6070.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Next, How You Can Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.
Unsure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the 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
Don’t Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from James Heating & A/C, Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular service!