Keeping your air conditioner in top shape requires that you do an annual cleaning of the entire unit. While this might seem intimidating at first, it’s actually simple enough for you to do on your own. To ensure your air conditioner lasts as long as possible and you achieve the greatest energy savings, you’ll need to clean both the indoor and outdoor units.
Turn It Off for Safety
Whenever you’re working with an air conditioner, you need to cut off the possibility of electrocuting yourself. The easiest way to do this is to go to the electrical box and turn the circuit breaker switch for the air conditioner to the off position. You should also let anyone else in the house know that you’re working on the air conditioner and tell them why they shouldn’t turn the switch back on. Remember to take a flashlight with you as you proceed.
Clean the Inside Unit
The next step is to clean the inside unit. Typically, you’ll find this component in the attic, basement or utility closet. You can start the cleaning process by removing the door on the side of the unit. You’ll need a screwdriver for this part of the job. The next step is to clean the evaporator coils inside the unit by rubbing them down with a soft brush or cloth to get rid of any dust that might have accumulated.
Next, you should remove the drip tray underneath the coils. This drip tray might have only water inside of it, but it might also have mold and other allergens that you should remove to keep your home safe. To clean the drip tray, make a solution of water and bleach. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the tray, place it again in its accustomed spot.
The final step to cleaning the indoor unit is to ensure that the evaporator line is cleared out. This line will run from the air conditioning unit into the basement floor or to an outside wall. Once you’ve found the end of the line where it empties, use a wet vac to suck out any debris that might be inside it.
Clean the Outside Unit
The next step in the process is to clean the outside unit. If you don’t have a cover for your it, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to clear a large amount of plant litter, brush and debris directly from the equipment. Regardless of what you encounter, make sure that any branches, leaves, twigs and loose dirt on top of the unit’s grate are completely removed. This is also a good time to clear away any brush that might have grown up around the equipment.
Then, take the grate off. Again, you’ll probably need to remove some screws to do this. Once you’ve loosened it, lift the grate away so that you can have better access to the rest of the unit. If there’s just a little bit of loose dirt inside, you might choose to simply brush it away with a cloth or brush, but if there’s significant caked-on dirt, use a hose to spray down the component. Next, take a comb specifically made for air conditioners and comb the fins so that they’re all sitting straight. You can find this tool in many hardware stores,
You should also clean away any water that’s left behind from spraying the equipment down. You can use a couple of rags, some paper towels or some old bath towels to do so. Finally, put the grate back on the unit and firmly attach it using the screws you removed earlier.
Turn the System Back on
Now, it’s time to test your system. Turn the thermostat completely off before you throw the air conditioner’s circuit breaker switch in the electrical panel back on. Then, return to your thermostat and reset it to the cooling position. Everything should work just fine.
For anyone who wants to take good care of their air conditioner, cleaning it is one of the simplest steps. It reduces energy costs and extends the life of the system. If you’re not inclined to do it yourself, remember that Smedley Service is always available to Layton residents. When we maintain an air conditioner, we do much more than merely clean it. We also repair and install cooling systems and offer the same full range of options for heating services and equipment. You can also count on us to look after your indoor air quality and your entire plumbing system. Call us today to discuss any of those services.