With summer winding down in Fredericksburg, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be blocked with dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down faster.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address minor issues before they develop into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete involves:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Checking pressure and temperature
- Examining 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 upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few pieces 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 mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test your system once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a couple 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
Stop the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.
You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Bent or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Childress Heating & AC should fix severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in 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, give us a call at 540-675-4306.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to 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 need to be replaced every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and switch the power back on.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Childress Heating & AC can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine maintenance!