Keeping your air conditioning system clean will increase its efficiency and reliability and prevent costly repairs. While it is mostly best that you leave air conditioner cleaning in the hands of the professionals, you can very well use the tips below to clean a central air conditioning unit that you own.
Several Ways You Can Maintain Your Air Conditioning System
Get a new air conditioner filter from your local home improvement store. Read through the unit’s manual to know the correct size. You can also just take the old filter to the store to serve as you guide. Turn off the power to your blower or furnace, or the main panel, and replace the filter.
Open the blower compartment and vacuum up any dust and debris. Put in a few drops of oil to the lubrication ports of your motor, if it has any. Then, remove the plastic condensation tube and check for algae growth. If it is clogged, replace it or pour a mixture of 1 part bleach and 16 parts water into the tube. Clean the tube with a small bristled brush or pipe cleaner and then restart your unit.
Turn off the power to the air conditioner at the shutoff box. If you do not see one outside your house, turn of the circuit breaker powering the air conditioning systems. Using a vacuum with a soft bristle brush attachment, vacuum the condenser fins for leaves, grass, weeds and other debris that can block airflow. Also trim the foliage. Make sure that you do not damage the fins while vacuuming.
Unscrew the grille on top of the unit and wipe the fan clean using a damp cloth. If your fans have lubrication points, apply a few drops of oil made for electric motors. Lower a hose into the empty unit and spray the fins inside out with moderate water pressure.
Reassemble the unit and disable the unit by turning your thermostat from “Cool” to “Off”. Restore power and let the unit sit idle for 24 hours before restarting it and wait for 10 minutes. Pull back the insulation on the pipes coming out of the base of the air compressor. One pipe should be warm while the other is cold. If their temperatures are off, you will need the professional air conditioning repair.
While cleaning air conditioning units, avoid bumping into their coil and hitting the coils with other objects. The fins can easily get damaged and will then block airflow. Also, wear a dust mask when you are dusting or blowing out dirt and dust.
Contact Your Local Air Conditioning Techinician For Further Tips
The outdoor temperature should be at least 15.5 degrees Celsius for the unit to properly function. Otherwise, the thermostat might not engage the compressor to cool the air. The central air conditioner is a major appliance with plumbing and electrical connections. If you feel that you are not able to properly clean the unit, it is best that you contact air conditioning services.