With summer winding down in Lake Forest, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be full of mud and debris from your yard. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out more quickly.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy expenses.
Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle small issues before they turn into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we do includes:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections
You can still have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.
There’s also some upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several components 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 equipment 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
Stop the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Take out debris from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning should fix severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the equipment with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace 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 running correctly, reach out to us a call at 949-204-0859.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be replaced every few months, depending on the model you use.
Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Scrub 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
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular maintenance!