With summer ending in Fredericksburg, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of mud and yard refuse. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement more quickly.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy bills.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of small issues before they develop into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we perform includes:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready 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 Outside AC Unit
Pick a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your system once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a handful of 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.
You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Childress Heating & AC should handle severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet cloth.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, 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 power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be replaced every several months, depending on the type you use.
Unsure when you last replaced yours? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, buy a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and turn 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 system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine tune-up!