Do you crank up your AC when the weather gets warm? If so, you're not alone. Most of us depend on air conditioners to help us beat the heat. As your AC pumps cool air throughout the home, it filters out dirt, debris, and other unwanted pollutants. Over time, however, the filters can get clogged, resulting in a filthy AC unit.
Many problems are linked to dirty air conditioners, from poor air quality to uneven cooling. Fortunately, you can prevent many of these issues through proper cleaning. In this blog, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean the air conditioning unit. Here's what you can expect:
By the end, you'll better understand why cleaning your AC is important, how to clean it, and when to call professionals.
Why Cleaning Your AC Matters
During cooling seasons (or warmer months), changing your AC filters once every month or two is a good idea. Regular cleaning helps prevent a buildup of debris, which could otherwise cause the following problems:
- Poor air quality
- Mold growth
- Uneven cooling
- Poor energy efficiency
- Reduced system lifespan
Substances such as dirt and dust can seep into your home's air, increasing allergens and encouraging mold growth. These substances can also clog the filters, which prevent your AC from properly distributing cold air. As a result, the unit will start working harder, reducing energy efficiency and weakening the system.
Step-By-Step Cleaning Instructions
If you've been experiencing problems with your AC unit's efficiency, it might need to be cleaned. Here are a few steps you can take to clean the appliance:
- Gather your materials: Generally speaking, you'll need a screwdriver, a mild detergent or cleaning solution, water, a soft-bristled brush, a spray bottle, and rags. It's also advisable to wear gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes.
- Clean the exterior unit: Start by cleaning the exterior AC unit, which is located outside. Turn off the power, then use the screwdriver to remove the outer cover (which protects your condenser unit). Remove any visible debris (such as leaves and sticks) using your hands. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Finally, spray the condenser unit with a hose to eliminate dirt.
- Clean the interior unit: Next, focus on the interior unit (which includes the evaporator coil and filters). Start by turning off the power, then open the access panel. You should be able to easily access and replace the air filters. If the evaporator coil is dirty, use a soft-bristled brush to gently cleanse it (being careful not to accidentally damage it). You can also spray it with a combination of water and detergent.
- Test the unit: When cleaning, ensure the outer covers and access panels are properly secured. Then, turn the unit back on and ensure it works properly.
The Benefits of Professional AC Maintenance
While it's possible to clean your AC unit by yourself, doing so is a lot of work. Furthermore, there are many delicate elements that can accidentally become damaged during the cleaning process. That's why many people choose to rely on professional AC maintenance for their cleaning needs. Here are a few benefits of hiring an HVAC expert:
- Increased safety: Hiring a professional reduces the risk of damaging the AC unit or sustaining an injury.
- Reduced AC problems: In addition to cleaning, maintenance includes checking for and preventing common AC problems.
- Warranty preservation: Most manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep your warranties eligible.
- Long-term savings: By reducing the risk of repairs, regular maintenance can help save money in the long run.
At George Brazil, we have over five decades of experience when it comes to AC maintenance. During a standard tune-up, we use a 21-point checklist that covers every element of your unit. Not only will we thoroughly clean the appliance, but we'll also make sure it's operating as efficiently as possible.